By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sparta Highway paving
Sparta Hwy work closeup shot
Sparta Highway is undergoing a resurfacing project throughout September. An eight-mile section will be involved in the project. Pictured are TDOT crewmen Marcus Sawyer, left, and David Brown using a jackhammer to remove the reflective pavement markers from the road. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Motorists expecting a quick drive from McMinnville to Sparta via Highway 70S might find their progress slowed somewhat this month. A resurfacing project is under way in an area over eight miles long.
TDOT spokesperson Jennifer Flynn says the project is 8.36 miles long and will extend from just outside McMinnville city limits from the bridge over Collins River to Victor J. Young Road in Rock Island.
“That entire section will be resurfaced, but it will never be totally closed during the work,” said Flynn. “Traffic will be flagged while paving operations occur.”
The resurfacing project was awarded to Hudson Construction Company from Chattanooga with a bid of $818,857. Project completion is on or before Sept. 30.
When asked about the need to resurface that section, Flynn says it was time according to a paving cycle.
“It was just time for the route to be resurfaced,” she said. “We like to keep our interstate and state routes on a regular schedule so they will stay in good shape. We have pavement experts who determine the best time to resurface our roadways to ensure a good, quality job while maximizing taxpayer monies. It’s kind of like maintenance work you do on your house.”
On Wednesday, a crew placed cones along the middle of both the eastbound and westbound lanes in order to protect crew members as they removed the reflective pavement markers in the middle of the road and graded the interior edge of the highway next to the median to prepare it for resurfacing.
Motorists had to use the exterior shoulder of the highway to avoid hitting the cones. As part of the project, new reflective pavement markers will be placed after resurfacing is complete.
Signs will be posted and flaggers used, when necessary, as the work progresses. Drivers are urged to use caution and pay attention to construction signs.