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Downtown Franklin streets targeted for improvements

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Construction crews will close two blocks of a downtown Franklin streets for weeks this summer to tear up and reconstruct the road and build new sidewalks.

The Franklin Redevelopment Commission gave initial approval to spend up to $1.25 million to rebuild Water Street, add new sidewalks to Monroe Street and repave both Monroe Street and Home Avenue.

The board will vote in April on whether to spend the money, which comes from the city’s tax-increment financing districts. Taxes collected from businesses in those districts are set aside for infrastructure and economic development projects.

The city will reconstruct Water Street from Madison to Monroe streets. That process will be similar to the work that was done on North Main Street and around the courthouse last year and will involve tearing the road down to dirt underneath and then rebuilding the road and putting in new sidewalks and lighting at the intersections.

On Monroe Street, construction crews will build new sidewalks on the south side of the street from Franklin City Hall toward Franklin College and put up new lighting. The road also will get a new layer of pavement.

Home Avenue will be repaved from Jefferson Street to the bridge over Youngs Creek. City engineer Travis Underhill suggested the project be done this year because traffic on that street is expected to increase when South Main Street is closed for bridge repairs in 2016.

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