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City to Re-apply for $1 Million Sidewalk Grant

September 16, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville is again embarking on a plan to eventually build new sidewalks and improve pedestrian crossings and is hoping to obtain a grant of up to almost $1 million to help make it happen.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the aldermen adopted a resolution to authorize the submission of an application to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for a Multi-Modal Access Grant.

This program is a 95/5% match for construction of up to $1 million. If fully funded, the city would receive $950,000 in grant funding with a $50,000 local match requirement for construction of new sidewalk and crosswalk improvements along the State Route 26 (Highway 70) and State Route 56 (Congress Boulevard) corridors and intersections.

The grant application will be filed and if approved be administered on behalf of the City by the Upper Cumberland Development District.

The city first applied for the grant two years ago but the application was denied.

TDOT Provides Update on DeKalb Highway Projects

September 15, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has released a weekly update on three major highway improvement projects underway in DeKalb County

*DEKALB COUNTY SR-26 (US-70) grading, drainage, and construction of retaining walls and paving from near SR-53 (LM 2) to near SR-96 (LM 6.1): The contractor (Twin K. Construction) has begun clearing operations, installing erosion control measures, and water line relocation. Intermittent lane closures and flagging operations are expected. Intermittent blasting operations have begun and temporary road closures will result. Motorists are advised to use caution and be alert to all construction signage while traveling through the work zone.

*DEKALB AND PUTNAM COUNTY SR-56 resurfacing from north of East Church Street (LM 8.1) in DeKalb County to I-40 (LM 0.6) in Putnam County: The contractor (Asphalt Paving Systems, Inc) will be performing daily lane closures as resurfacing operations take place. Motorists should be prepared to stop and be aware of all construction equipment and personnel.

*DEKALB AND WARREN COUNTY SR-56 construction of bridges and paving from south of Warren-Dekalb county line (LM 24.5) to East Bryant St. (LM 2.9): The contractor (Jones Brothers Contractors) will continue installing concrete box culverts and drainage structures. Grade work, bridge work, paving operations, and utility work on the new roadway alignment are ongoing. Traffic is still using the existing SR-56; however, motorists are advised to use caution and watch for construction equipment adjacent to roadway. Flaggers may be present to move equipment across roadway, unload equipment, or complete utility work. The contractor is currently performing grade work at various locations throughout the project. A traffic shift in Smithville will remain from Vaughn Lane to the end of the project to allow the contractor to complete work. There will be a temporary diversion for Ferrell Road and one remains in place for Williams Road to allow the contractor to construct the new alignment. The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph in the construction zone. Motorists should use caution in this area and watch for flaggers and construction equipment.

New Processes for COVID-19 Contact Tracing

September 15, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office is launching a text message COVID-19 case investigation system beginning on Monday, September 13, 2021. in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health.

Upper Cumberland residents who test positive for COVID-19 through a reportable testing mechanism (PCR or antigen testing) may receive a text message from the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office asking them to complete their case investigation online.

Individuals who have been tested in Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties should expect to see this change.

While traditional phone interviews for contact tracing will continue, the text message outreach will accelerate the case investigation process and help provide critical isolation and mitigation resources in an expedited manner.

The survey will also uncover who may have been exposed, so that contact tracers can follow up with those individuals to advise them of the exposure, what symptoms they need to watch for, when to get tested, and how to avoid infecting others. “If you receive a text, we urge you to respond and complete your case investigation information,” said Upper Cumberland Assistant Regional Director Mindy Doyle. “Please do your part to contain the spread of COVID-19 and help our community.”

It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Visit to see your local Health Department’s most up to date COVID-19 vaccine availability

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