January 4, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
The Tennessee Department of Transportation still has plans to improve Highway 56 south in DeKalb County and into Warren County but construction is months away and will be done in three phases instead of two once it gets underway.
Plans for this overall project have been in the making for more than ten years.
Originally, TDOT planned to build a new four- lane highway from south of the Warren County line (in Warren County) to near Magness Road in DeKalb County but later changed the plans to a new two-lane road (typical section) with twelve foot lanes and ten foot paved shoulders and passing lanes along the 3.30 mile existing alignment.
TDOT’s plans still call for a new two-lane but the highway could eventually be expanded to four-lanes in the future.
“In the 3.3 mile section from south of the Warren County line to Magness Road TDOT will build two lanes of the future four-lane. We already acquired the property necessary to construct the four-lane road, and as future traffic warrants, TDOT will construct the remaining two lanes. As soon as the new Environmental Document is complete, we can let this section to contract,” Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Community Relations Officer told WJLE Thursday.
The second phase of the project is tentatively scheduled for a bid letting later this year.
“State Route 56 from near Magness Road to East Bryant Street in Smithville has property already acquired for a four-lane divided highway. We will build two lanes and as we approach town, tie to the existing five-lane. This project will have stream mitigation issues that we are trying to resolve now. This project is scheduled for a late 2018 construction letting,” said Flynn.
Meanwhile, a new section has been added to the project.
“We will add a new section south of the first project that will be a 1.3 mile widening project from near State Route 287 to south of the Warren County line. This will be included in the new Environmental Document. We will need to update survey data and start the preliminary plans. This section will have 30 to 35 tracts of property to acquire, and our Project Development Director said that it will likely be a stand alone project due to time to acquire the property and develop plans,” Flynn said.