MURFREESBORO – DNJ – 2/8/2013 Rutherford County legislators are working with Smyrna officials and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to revive plans for an Interstate 24 interchange at Rocky Fork Road.
State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, and state Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, both said Friday at a Chamber of Commerce Capitol Connection breakfast they are pushing for the interchange to cut congestion on Smyrna roads.
“We’re working with the federal government to approve that exchange,” said Tracy, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “There’s so much growth in Rutherford County we’re going to have to revamp some of our interchanges.”
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will make another request to the Federal Highway Administration to build the interchange, Tracy said.
The Federal Highway Administration turned down the initial request for a Rocky Fork interchange in 2009 because it wasn’t regional enough in scope, Smyrna Town Manager Mark O’Neal said after the breakfast. The administration also felt existing interchanges at Sam Ridley Parkway and Almaville Road could handle the volume of traffic, he said.
“We’re trying to show that’s not an accurate assessment,” O’Neal said.
The interchange project is estimated to cost about $10 million, including the addition of roads and connections to Old Nashville Highway, according to the town manager.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has to obtain approval from the Federal Highway Administration and is submitting new traffic counts in an effort to push the project forward, O’Neal said.