TDOT to begin widening project on I-65 south of Nashville - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

TDOT to begin widening project on I-65 south of Nashville

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Traffic congestion remains a problem on Interstate 65 south of Nashville, creating a nightmare commute for many drivers, so officials plan to soon widen the roadway.

"During rush hour, it's crawling usually, especially coming south in the evenings, 5 miles per hour or so," said commuter Jeff Lomenick.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is starting another round of construction Sunday to relieve some of that daily congestion.

Crews will pick up where a recent widening project left off at the Goose Creek Bypass, making I-65 four lanes all the way to Highway 840, along with an expansion on the bypass.

"It's going to be totally redone, and it's going to be a 10-lane bridge section through there. It's going to be huge," said TDOT spokeswoman Deanna Lambert. "You're going to have three through-lanes in each direction and then two turning lanes in each direction. So it's really going to help to move traffic through that area."

TDOT estimates 62,000 cars drive that stretch every day, and with the General Motors plant in Spring Hill adding another shift and more jobs, two lanes is just not enough road.

"When the lanes come together, people kind of panic, so that's not a good thing when people are trying to get somewhere," said commuter Lamar Wilson.

For now, the plan is to work around commuters, as lane closures will be restricted between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

"During the day, during rush hour, lanes will not be closed. It will be two lanes open at all times on the interstate and at least one lane open on Goose Creek at all times," Lambert said.

It will take some time to complete. The project isn't scheduled to be finished until summer 2016.

"I am willing to put up with the headaches in the short term for a long-term solution here. There's a lot of growth coming - new homes, commercial development also - and we need the roads," Lomenick said.

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