Intersection Could Become Road Block Between For Businesses
by Adam Ghassemi
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Whether you're a want-to-be cook or already serve the masses, if you need restaurant-quality supplies chances are Kimberly Minter at "ChefMax" has it.
The Murfreesboro store does most of its business with restaurants ordering over the phone, but walk-in customers are important.
It's not what's happening in the store that worries her. It's what's happening right outside the window.
"It's all the way up to the top of the bridge. You can imagine by 4:30 at rush hour that looks," Minter said looking at traffic at Memorial Boulevard and NW Broad Street.
Traffic has been a growing problem for years. Now the state plans to fix it with a "single urban interchange" that could threaten a lot more than just congestion by cutting-off customers from a number of businesses, like Minter's, for years.
"If they can't get to it they're going to go to the person up the road," she said Wednesday.
Beth Emmons with TDOT says four lanes of Memorial Boulevard flying over six lanes of NW Broad is necessary for traffic expected to hit 60,000/day by 2014.
"We're going to involve the public in this project," Emmons said promising they plan on working with businesses before construction ever begins. "It's going to be painful. We understand that and we want to try to help them and do everything that we can as less painful as possible."
TDOT officials say they won't start bidding on the project until next summer, with three years of construction beginning shortly afterwards. They say before any of that happens they'll hold public hearings to make sure businesses and drivers get a chance to have influence.
Emmons says they're also considering creating a task force to make sure public is able to get fully involved.
While Minter says she knows something needs to be done she hopes the solution won't mean her customers are forced to go out of their way or somewhere else.