|Schroer’s visit to focus on I-69 |
|Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 9:01 pm |
|By KEVIN BOWDEN |
State Transportation Commissioner John Schroer will be in Dyersburg Feb. 22 to discuss the status of I-69, as well as other transportation projects in northwest Tennessee.
Schroer scheduled his visit at the request of state Rep. Bill Sanderson and he will speak at noon at the Lannom Center.
The status of I-69 is at the top of his list of transportation projects in the region, but Schroer is also expected to discuss the status of the Reelfoot spillway project, Highway 412 and other issues concerning northwest Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure.
The transcontinental interstate, dubbed a “corridor of national significance” by Congress, has become a topic of recent interest in the wake of statements by Schroer that “There is no further federal funding dedicated to the I-69 corridor, at this time.” That basically means the I-69 project through West Tennessee has hit a red light.
The layout of the interstate has it extending from Port Huron, Mich., at the Canadian border, and traveling south through seven states until it reaches the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
By the numbers, it is estimated the interstate from Canada to Mexico has a total price tag of $25 billion. It has been estimated $1.5 billion will be needed to build the interstate through West Tennessee, with $250 million to $300 million needed to complete the interstate from Fulton to the southern border of Obion County.
The I-69 route through Obion County has the interstate entering Obion County on Highway 51 South at Fulton and then continuing along the state highway until it reaches Mayberry Road where the interstate veers west, then south, to Union City. The I-69 bypass around the project on the west side of Union City is already under construction, but is incomplete.
It has been estimated $37 million has already been spent on the I-69 project in Obion County. Work on the local leg of the interstate shut down in November 2012.
The interstate will reconnect with Highway 51 South just south of Union City at Walker Tanner Road and will then extend south along a new route east of Troy before tying back into Highway 51 South just south of Troy. I-69 will continue along Highway 51 South to Dyersburg and eventually on to Memphis as it winds its way into Texas and on to the Mexico border.
The I-69 West Tennessee Coalition held its annual meeting in Union City last year, and it was then I-69 Coalition vice president Bill Revell voiced his concerns about the future of the interstate as it related to the uncertainty of federal funding for the project.
Work on the interstate project has been going on for more than two decades, but it appears a lack of federal funding from Congress has stalled the project.
Tennessee has already invested more than $200 million in the interstate project, according to Schroer.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 2.1.13