State of the Town…Infrastructure
November 26, 2010 · Leave a Comment
By Mayor Beth Lothers
With growth inside the Town of Nolensville and growth of adjacent communities that commute through Nolensville, infrastructure planning and improvements are critical in preserving our way of life. Nolensville Road as a state highway requires that the Town have good communication and information sharing with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
As reported in a prior article, the Town Engineer and I met with Commissioner Nicely and TDOT engineers on September 23rd with issues related to Nolensville Road. Recently I sent a thank you to the State Officials when in only a few weeks crews came out and completed the widening and turn lanes at Sunset and Nolensville Road. Nolensville had previously been advised that traffic counts did not warrant signalization of this intersection. But since our meeting, TDOT crews recounted the intersection following the turn lane completion and have provided the Town of Nolensville with a warrant for signalization. Next month, this intersection will be reviewed by TDOT’s Spot Funding Committee to determine if the state will participate in the signalization project. TDOT has been doing spot repairs on Nolensville Road and has committed to more extensive repaving in the spring. The Town is awaiting permission for a request for a crosswalk in the Historic District to provide marked pedestrian passage for village shoppers.
The Town of Nolensville has embarked on and completed many large infrastructure projects the past few years including the realignment of Rocky Fork Road, signalization at Rocky Fork/Clovercroft and Nolensville Road, eastern access to the Ball Park in the completion of Nolensville Park Road, significant road repairs of timeworn and flood damaged roads as well as the completion of the Safe Routes to School sidewalk project. Short term pot hole repairs are performed by the Town’s Public Works department by cold patch method. More extensive road repairs are contracted with Williamson County Highway Division or private road contractors.
Significant lessons learned include the need for experienced transportation engineers to review all proposed plans before they are accepted by the Town. For example, the engineering plans and right – of – way for the Rocky Fork Road realignment were provided by the developer of Silver Stream subdivision as required by Williamson County. Construction of the road was the responsibility of the Town of Nolensville. The original plans had significant shortcomings that included missing easements and insufficient laneage that was needed as to not recreate the original problem at old Rocky Fork Road. The necessary corrections were identified and incorporated in the final construction plans.
Road construction is very time sensitive in terms of the permitting process, weather and existing environmental issues. I am confident in the present Town Hall staff that unnecessary delays, insufficient plans, and road projects that negatively affect simultaneously approved residential plans will not occur again with the full time Town Engineer and Town Planner currently in place. On Sunset Road, substandard paving conditions existed due to inferior work of a contractor whose work was not required to be bonded by a prior administration. The developers of Sunset Park are to be commended for stepping up and contracting with the Town of Nolensville an agreement whereby the road conditions were improved and the town reimbursed with a fee attached to each building permit pulled. Haley Industrial Park’s turn lanes on Nolensville Road and the surfacing of the interior roadways are in the process of being completed as required by the approved plans.
The Town of Nolensville is also currently meeting with Williamson County Schools on the status of the construction of the approved turn lane in front of Sunset Elementary and Middle Schools on Sunset Road. The engineering plans are being reviewed by the Town Engineer and construction by a WCS contractor will occur dependent on weather conditions.
Funds used for roadway projects include the Roadway Impact Fee Fund, the Adequate Facilities Tax Fund and the State Street Aid Fund. Each fund has specific rules and requirements attached to it and Nolensville takes great care to utilize funds appropriately and specifically according to the project at hand. Proper documentation is critical which was even more apparent in order that the Town of Nolensville will be reimbursed by FEMA for repairs related to flood damage.
The Town of Nolensville has a Major Thoroughfare Plan which is realized incrementally as development provides the opportunity to do so. A Transportation Infrastructure Study was completed in 2007. The Board of Mayor and Alderman approved a revision to the roadway pavement requirements that increased the asphalt depth improving the strength and life span of the subdivision roadways. A developer is currently challenging this change in court, wanting to use the prior standards. The BOMA unanimously directed that the Town stand firm in implementing the improved standards in the appeals process.
Metro Water Services controls and operates the sewer system utilized in Nolensville. The Town was involved in securing a low interest loan, economic development grant and funding providing principal loan forgiveness of over $400,000 so that sewer could be realized by the property owners in the historic district. The Town will continue to work closely with private developers, County government, County school system and the State in the construction and maintenance of Nolensville’s infrastructure.