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Dispute Leads to Work Stoppage In Mt. Juliet

Posted at 8:40 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 22:49:40-05

A dispute over traffic flow in Mt. Juliet has led to a work stoppage at the Providence Commons construction site.

The city and a commercial developer were at odds over access to the shopping center, which is located on the ever busy South Mt. Juliet Road in Providence.

Shopper Mary Moran said, "I mean it gets backed up way past Central Pike trying to come in.  And it takes forever to get into shopping areas and restaurants."

Keeping up with growth is not easy for many cities. In shopping areas like Providence Mt. Juliet city planners have tried to give people options.

Mt. Juliet Deputy Public Works Director Andy Barlow said, "We are pro connectivity.  We like connectivity within developments.  We like connectivity within our area roads and neighborhoods."

Barlow explained connecting one property to another with a road allows traffic to flow in different directions, and helps relieve traffic congestion on the main roads.

The philosophy was at the heart of a dispute between the city and commercial developer Boyle Investment Company.

The city stopped construction of Providence Commons, because Boyle won't build a bridge to move traffic away from the front entrance shared with Holiday Inn Express.

The company said the project was approved without the bridge. Attorneys have since tried to work out a solution.

Barlow said, "If you ever see or think about an issue where traffic could be made worse by a development especially, it receives a lot of attention."

In this case a bridge behind the building would give drivers the option of getting on South Mt. Juliet Road at a traffic light.

City officials believed the dispute could be resolved. NewsChannel 5 reached out to the developer, but got no comment.

Shoppers just didn't want to add more traffic congestion.  Daniel Holland said, "At any time from three o'clock to six o'clock it's red lights.  That's all you see."

Mt. Juliet officials said the other developments on Mt. Juliet Road are connected. Providence Commons would be the lone exception if the bridge is not built.