On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting to discuss the environmental impact of the western extension of Mack Hatcher Parkway.

All construction plans for the Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway are complete, according to Paul Holzen, Franklin’s Director of Engineering. The plan is for the parkway to have four lanes and wrap all the way around the city of Franklin in order to alleviate traffic through the downtown area.

“It’s the city’s number one priority project,” Holzen said. “Originally, it was designed to be constructed as a four lane highway, and obviously funding is very tight at all levels of government and so TDOT took a really critical look at it and decided they may not be able to build the whole four lane, but said to get the project qualified for funding let’s look at building two now and then build two lanes in the future.”Mack Hatcher Western Extension March 2015

Holzen said the city of Franklin committed about $5 million to the project, purchasing properties, relocating residents and tearing down the structures that were in the way of the parkway. Franklin also hired its own construction consultants to help design the northwest quadrant of the western extension and right-of-way work.

“The city of Franklin has been an invaluable partner in project development,” Heather Jensen of TDOT wrote in an email.

Thursday’s meeting pertains to the Mack Hatcher extension from US 31 Columbia Pike to SR 106 Hillsboro Rd., and the consideration of environmental impact under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will also be discussed. The meeting will be held in the gymnasium of Pearre Creek Elementary School at 1811 Townsend Boulevard in Franklin on Thursday, April 16 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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