An estimated $1.2 million improvement to a section of Blaze Drive between Brinkley Road and Blackman High School will be ready for traffic before the school year begins Aug. 7.
"Although this project had an ambitious schedule, Rollins Excavating and Hoover Paving should be commended for working overtime to get Blaze Drive completed before the first day of classes," said City Engineer Chris Griffith. "While there will still be some minor disruption to complete some of the widened sidewalks to the schools, the roadway will be open and ready for vehicular and pedestrian travel Aug. 7. City inspectors have been key to keeping this project moving forward on schedule."
The City of Murfreesboro decided to start the three-lane Blaze Drive reconstruction project in May to remove potholes and add multi-use improvements, new sidewalks, and curb and gutter, for the more than 3,300 Blackman High School and Blackman Middle School students who attend classes on the city's west side.
"We are excited to add the multi-use path as an attractive feature to the west side of the Blackman school area," added Griffith. "More than an improvement to the surrounding property, it's an added safety feature."
The stretch of road was initially planned for upgrade as part of the $11 million widening of Brinkley Road to 3 lanes scheduled for construction at the end of 2018 or early 2019. City engineers responded to neighborhood concerns about the condition of Blaze Drive near Brinkley and pushed up the timetable for the stretch of road to the high school.
The larger Brinkley Road Improvement Project, approved for design by the City Council in May 2016, will widen 2.1 miles of roadway between Franklin Road (SR 96) to Manson Pike. The improvement will include a continuous center turn lane, pedestrian and pike paths and a new bridge over Overall Creek to improve walking and biking from neighborhood subdivisions to Blackman schools.
City engineers and SEC, Inc. held an informational meeting July 18 for the public and affected property owners to review proposed plans, including Right of Way, for the Brinkley Road Improvement Project.