The Tennessee Department of Transportation hopes to take bids this summer for construction of the first phase of a project to widen Hwy. 127 N. from Interstate 40 to Fentress County. 

“We got into some right-of-way issues on Hwy. 127 that TDOT is working through,” state Sen. Paul Bailey said during the Jan. 6 legislative breakfast hosted by the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce. “That’s pushed back the let date to bid that section. We’re hoping to get those right-of-way acquisitions and move that project forward.”

Jennifer Flynn with TDOT told the Chronicle the Hwy. 127 N. project encompasses four sections in various stages of development from Crossville to Clarkrange. 

The first section includes 4.9 miles from I-40 to near Potato Farm Rd.

“As soon as right-of-way is available on the project, it will be advertised for construction in the earliest construction letting possible,” Flynn said. “This should occur in the summer of 2020.”

This section will be a four-lane highway with a center turn lane for part of the project, with a 2018 estimated cost of $29.2 million. 

The next section is 3.3 miles from near N. Lowe Rd. in Cumberland County to Little Rd. in Fentress County. This section is also in the right-of-way and utility relocation phase. Estimated cost for this section was $46.6 million. It includes a road built away from the existing Hwy. 127 footprint with a new bridge across Clear Creek at the county line. 

Engineering is underway to design the 3.5-mile section from Potato Farm Rd. to Hollow Lane and the 3.1-mile section from Hollow Lane to Lowe Rd. While the state plans to acquire right-of-way for a four-lane, divided highway, TDOT announced in 2018 the project would initially only include construction of an improved two-lane highway. 

Work is also continuing on construction of a new five-lane section on Peavine Rd. from Peavine Firetower Rd. to Catoosa Blvd. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2020. 

Motorists are reminded to be alert to shifts in traffic patterns as construction continues. The posted speed limit has been reduced to 35 mph within the work zone and temporary lane closures may be necessary. 

The state is also partnering with the city of Crossville on the Northwest Connector. The city is finishing up right-of-way for the section of road from Hwy. 127 N. in the area of Arby’s to Genesis Rd. and is beginning work on right-of-way acquisition for the section from Hwy. 127 N. to Hwy. 70 N. 

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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