Mount Juliet has been one of the quickest growing cities in the south since the early 2000s. What was once a small rural farm town, has transformed into a suburbia boasting with Providence Marketplace, great schools and two beautiful lakes on each side.
However great the growth has been for Mount Juliet, it has not been easy on its roadways, specifically Mount Juliet Road.
This was a problem the city hoped to solve when it undertook a project to connect Golden Bear Gateway with I-40 in Oct., 2015.
“Part of the vision of this road was really sort of as a bypass of Mount Juliet Road.” Deputy Public Works Director, and head of the project, Andy Barlow said.
The city also hopes the so-called “Eastern Connector” will foster economic growth in the region.
“Short term you're talking about ‘okay it's traffic relief for Mount Juliet road’ but long term it's going to be its own catalyst for development,” Barlow expressed.“There's a lot of goods and services that can be built along this corridor to serve Mount Juliet Road.”
The Under Armour Distribution center was recently built along the route, with more coming soon.
Although the road will relieve traffic on Mount Juliet Road, it may create problems on Golden Bear Gateway in front of the High School.
“I do expect that some of the traffic is gonna be hitting in front of the high school, particularly in the peak hours of the day,” Barlow stated.
So just how much of a concern should this new influx of traffic be, and how long should students be prepared to deal with it?
“Well we thought about that, and we've already started into the engineering work for widening the road in front of the high school… eventually it'll go all the way to Lebanon Road,” Barlow said.
The project also had a hefty price tag, around 14 million dollars, but with the growth it is expected to trigger, the city’s leaders expect that it will pay for itself in full.