Franklin motorists, get ready for one of the busiest road construction seasons you’ve ever experienced in your city.
The regular street paving projects you’ve come to expect each summer are being planned. And the city is mapping out another round of alley paving projects.
But hold on for the detours and construction equipment that will change how you get through city, continue the next steps of upgrading Jefferson Street and U.S. 31 and add parking, pedestrian crossings and a new road.
In total, nearly $18 million is being invested, in what is perhaps a record-setting year for roadwork in Franklin, and more than 50 percent is being paid for with state or federal tax dollars, which oftentimes comes with stipulations as to how quickly communities must spend the money.
Three roundabouts are being built, and the number of miles that makes up the city’s well-known trail system is growing by nearly 30 percent.
The city’s goals in the projects are to improve traffic flow for residents overall, continue to improve the gateway into the city, create more parking in key areas, get rid of semi-truck parking and complete some long-planned improvements, such as the city’s takeover of State Road 44/Jefferson Street/King Street through the city, Mayor Steve Barnett said.
A new road, the extension of Brookhaven Drive, will help residents avoid construction when three new roundabouts are built on Eastview Drive, Barnett said.
The roundabouts on the truck bypass will make traffic flow better for semis traveling to industrial properties, and the trail with pedestrian crossings being added on Eastview Drive will connect portions of the city.
Work on several of the projects begins in March.
Franklin is about to embark on a record year of spending on public infrastructure projects, focused mostly on improving streets and traffic flow. Work is starting in the coming weeks. Here’s a look at the projects ahead:
Jefferson Street, from U.S. 31 to the Louisville-Indiana railroad tracks
What: Final coat of pavement, striping and landscaping
When: April or May
2: Road reconstruction
Jefferson Street, from the railroad tracks to Branigin Boulevard
What: Rebuilding the road and replacing sidewalks. Use Monroe or King streets as detours.
When: March 1 through August
Cost: $858,000, paid for by the state
3: Road reconstruction
Jefferson Street, from Branigin Boulevard to Forsythe Street
What: Rebuilding the road and replacing sidewalks. Detour using King Street to Home Avenue.
When: August through November
Cost: $869,000, paid for by the state
Eastview Drive and King Street
What: Turn the intersection, which currently has a stoplight, into a roundabout
When: Crews will begin moving water lines this month with construction of the roundabout beginning in March
Cost: This is included in the $2.4 million King Street project
5: Road reconstruction
King Street, from Middleton Road to the roundabout at Eastview Drive
What: Rebuilding the road and replacing sidewalks and add lighting and landscaping.
When: March through August
Cost: $2.4 million, with state funds covering the entire cost.
Along Eastview Drive, from the roundabout, north to Commerce Drive
What: Add a paved trail on the east or north side of the road. Includes several pedestrian bridges and a pedestrian railroad crossing with cross-arms. The project will add 3.5 miles of trails and bring the city’s total trails system to 16 miles.
When: Now through August
Cost: $3.5 million
Eastview Drive at Upper Shelbyville Road, near Needham Elementary School
What: Remove flashing stoplight and build roundabout
When: Work begins on June 1, following the last day of school, and should be finished before school resumes Aug. 8.
Cost: $1.8 million, with city funds covering 60 percent
Eastview Drive at Hurricane Road
What: Build a roundabout
When: Work begins Aug. 1 and should be complete in November.
Cost: $1.4 million, paid for entirely with city money
9: New road
What: Extend Brookhaven Drive in the Heritage subdivision across undeveloped land to connect with Commerce Drive. The new road will also include a trail on the north side.
When: May 1 through June 30
Cost: $918,000, paid for with city dollars
10: Reconstruct King Street
What: Rebuild King Street from Fairway Lakes Drive where work ended last year to Eastview Drive
When: May 15 through June 30
Cost: $5 million, with state funds covering 71 percent of the cost
11: New parking lot
What: The city will convert the semi parking behind the McDonald’s restaurant into bus and passenger car parking with outdoor seating in order to eliminate semi parking
When: May or June
Cost: $180,000, paid for with city money
12: New parking lot
What: The city is using property it already owns and a building it is purchasing and demolishing to create a 100-spot parking lot as the first phase in a project to create greenspace and a place for festivals while improving downtown drainage and preventing flooding
13: Pedestrian crossing
What: The city is improving the pedestrian crossing, with a focus on making it safer for school children, at U.S. 31 and Mallory Parkway.
When: Summer break
Cost: $628,000, with state or federal funds covering 90 percent of the costs
Learn about the projects
Public meeting regarding navigating the upcoming construction projects
When: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today
Where: City hall, 70 E. Monroe St.