Mt. Juliet – Eastern / Beckwith Connector
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
As a suburb of Nashville and the largest city in Wilson County, Mt. Juliet offers close proximity to two major transportation routes in I-40 and U.S. 70, making the area prime for both residential and commercial growth. The new Eastern Connector alleviates traffic along the congested Mt. Juliet Road, while providing access to a planned 600-home subdivision, a planned free-standing emergency room, and other possible commercial developments, including a recently opened FedEx facility.
Eastern Connector, which links the Beckwith Road interchange with Lebanon Road, is one of the largest local programs projects to date in the state of Tennessee. At just under three miles long, the roadway features four lanes, a grassy median, two bridges over Division Street and the Nashville Eastern Railroad, as well as bikes lanes along the paved shoulders.
The location of the new roadway presented several challenges for the construction team, especially with regard to utilities. Several utilities has be relocation along Division One gas line had to be bored under Division Street and the railroad, which was over 1,200 feet long. Three other gas lines had be lowered and an air gap bridge installed in order for heavy construction equipment to be able to safely traverse across the lines. Other challenges in the project included a wetland area, which had to be undercut and backfilled with large rock in order to create a stable roadway fill, and fast-track schedule requirements. The first 900 feet of roadway had to be completed in less than a month to prepare for the opening of a new FedEx facility. This required the placement of base stone and asphalt followed by pavement striping and the installation of all traffic control devices.
SSR provided construction engineering inspection services for this $13.5 million project and led the coordination between the contractor, City, and FedEx to ensure that the fast-track schedule for the first section was met. The project opened to traffic in the summer of 2017.