The Tennessee House Transportation Committee Wednesday voted to call for a study of Interstate 24 traffic and available options to help alleviate traffic congestion. The study was requested by Smyrna Representative Mike Sparks, Vice Chairman of the Tennessee House Transportation Committee, along with Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro.
“The I-24 corridor from Murfreesboro to Nashville is the busiest area of the State of Tennessee,” said Representative Sparks. “Senator Ketron and myself, along with several thousand commuters from Rutherford, Coffee, Bedford, Davidson and other counties travel this busy stretch daily. To study these options and search out the most fiscally prudent options available, whether it’s a Monorail, bus rapid transit, or additional lanes makes good sense.”
“The current population of Rutherford County is about 290,000,” stated Senator Ketron. “By 2025, it is estimated to be at 600,000, and by 2035 it is estimated that there will be another million residents in the greater Middle Tennessee area. This presents a great problem in terms of traffic issues. We have to be forward thinking regarding what we are going to do when we add this many new vehicles to an already congested roadway.”
2003 High Speed Commuter Rail Line Study:
You may recall in 2003, a high speed commuter rail study was conducted in the state of Tennessee. The study called for a rail line between Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville. The study can be found HERE.
Looking back to March 12, 2014 announcement of Monorail Study:
State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) won approval Wednesday of key legislation calling for a study to determine the feasibility of a monorail public transportation system along the I-24 Nashville Southeast Corridor that connects downtown Murfreesboro to Nashville. Senate Bill 2515, which was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, directs the Department of Transportation to conduct the study, which would include the costs of construction, operation and financing of the monorail system.
“This 32-mile strip of interstate is the most congested corridor in the state,” said Senator Ketron. “The current population of Rutherford County is about 290,000. By 2025 it is estimated to be at 600,000 and by 2035 it is estimated that there will be another million residents in the greater middle Tennessee area. This presents a great problem in terms of traffic issues. We have to be forward thinking regarding what we are going to do when we add this many new vehicles to an already congested roadway.”
Ketron said he has conducted numerous meetings with the department and other transportation officials about the project since last summer. He said that a monorail could handle up to 55,000 passengers per day, which would greatly reduce future congestion.
“We are left with no other means to handle congestion that will alleviate this kind of population growth,” said Senator Ketron. “A great number of my constituents travel this corridor every day and find that their commute is getting longer. This study is a critical step in giving us a roadmap on how this project could be accomplished,” added Ketron.
The bill requires the study to identify all public and private funding sources, including amounts that can reasonably be anticipated and estimated costs and revenues. It requires TDOT to report its findings and recommendations to the Senate and House Transportation Committees by February 1, 2015.