By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
October's heavy rain has again slowed completion of the 12.9 mile U.S. 70S project between Woodbury and McMinnville.
"We were hoping for a November completion, but because we had more rain than we expected during the first two weeks in October (usually a very dry period) and because of unplanned utility relocation delays, it has once again put us a bit behind on the project," said Jennifer A. Flynn, Regional Community Relations Officer, Tennessee Department of Transportation.
"Currently, we expect that all work will be completed in mid to late December. The contractor is doing his best to complete the project as quickly as he can," Flynn said.
Contractors are now working to complete bringing the asphalt layers of pavement to the desired height on the ends of the four-lane highway.
"The majority of the work is on the Cannon County end of the project," she said.
Final steps includes installation of permanent signage, placement of the thermoplastic pavement markings and bringing the shoulder stones to final grades.
"If the weather is cooperative, our project supervisor estimates that it will be approximately three weeks before traffic is transitioned to the new alignment and a month to complete all the work necessary once traffic is shifted," Flynn said.
"Currently, we expect that all work will be completed in mid to late December. The contractor is doing his best to complete the project as quickly as he can," she said.
Highways Inc. is the contractor on the road project which was bid at $21 million. Work began on the two-phase project in September 2013. The project includes paving on U.S. 70S (S.R. 1) beginning near S.R. 281 in Cannon County and extending to Centertown near S.R. 287 in Warren County for a distance of 7.003 miles. The other phase was 5.991 miles of paving beginning near S.R. 287 in Centertown and extending to Spring Valley Road in McMinnville.
In addition to paving, the project includes placing base stone, underdrains, guardrail, and signs on the entire 12.9 mile section of roadway between Woodbury and McMinnville.