Motorists are being asked to detour around a section of US 70S Bypass for several days while upgrades are being performed on the railroad crossing near Warren County Jail.
Lane closures and traffic detours are expected to continue through June 7, unless weather causes delays.
“They need at least 56 consecutive hours to work on each side of US 70S, and they wish to allow one day in between working on the two directions of travel,” said TDOT assistant traffic engineer Landon Castleberry.
The contractor performing the work is Queen City Railroad Construction from Knoxville. Work involves removing the old track, installing new track, new concrete crossing surface, and asphalt approaches. The goal is to make for a smoother surface and remove the jarring ride over the railroad tracks.
Currently, the crew is working on two of the lanes while the other two remain open. Motorists are being detoured down Red Road and a flagman has been stationed at the intersection of Red Road and Sparta Street to help with traffic congestion. This part of the project is expected to be finished Saturday morning with those two lanes reopening at some point Saturday.
The other two lanes are expected to be closed Sunday with a new detour route in place.
Lane closures had to be approved by TDOT, as well as the city of McMinnville.
“The needed upgrade to the railroad crossing is important to the safety of our citizens and we fully endorse the project,” said Mayor Jimmy Haley in a letter to TDOT approving the lane closures.
Haley also expressed concern for a delay that might push lane closures to June 13 which is when Bonnaroo traffic will arrive.
“We do ask that all efforts will be made to avoid the shutdown of the highway during the week of the Bonnaroo Festival in June,” Haley said.