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More work planned in downtown Franklin

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After drivers dodged orange barrels and detoured around closed roads in downtown Franklin for about a year, more roadwork is coming.

Franklin officials are considering projects on Water, Monroe and Jefferson streets and Home Avenue this spring and summer. That would mean another several months of road construction downtown, a year before major work is set to start on State Road 44 in 2015 through 2017.

Workers would repave the most damaged parts of Jefferson Street west of downtown and east near Forsythe Street to fix the lumps, cracks and holes in the roadway. The new pavement would be a short-term fix until the reconstruction of Jefferson Street planned for 2016 and 2017.

Two of the larger projects would include rebuilding part of Water Street, similar to the type of work that was done on North Main Street last year, and replacing sidewalks and adding new lighting along Monroe Street from downtown to the railroad tracks.

Both projects have been discussed by the Franklin Redevelopment Commission as an extension of the streetscape work done around the courthouse. The two new projects could cost about $1.25 million, according to early estimates.

Another project being considering is repaving Home Avenue from Monroe Street to the bridge over Youngs Creek, since that road will get more traffic when the South Main Street bridge is under construction in 2016, Franklin city engineer Travis Underhill said.

The Water and Monroe street projects would require construction crews to tear up and rebuild pavement or sidewalks, meaning streets would be closed and drivers would need to use detours for longer. The other repaving projects could be completed within a week or two.

The city plans to get prices from contractors for those projects and other annual paving planned this year then choose which streets will be done depending the cost, Underhill said.

City officials originally had not planned any large road projects downtown this year because engineers will spend most of the year preparing for the project to rebuild State Road 44 from U.S. 31 to Eastview Drive, which would be closed in phases for construction in 2016 and 2017.

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