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Nashville construction causing growing pains among commuters

Nashville construction leaving residents frustrated
Posted at 7:28 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 20:28:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As construction crews take over roadways and sidewalks, residents like Thomas Dodson are growing more frustrated.

"It really is a byproduct of just unchecked growth when contractors, when builders are allowed to just do whatever they want," said Dodson.

A representative with the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure said construction site plans are reviewed by NDOT, and contractors are required to submit a traffic control plan as a condition of being permitted. Contractors are required to maintain appropriate signage for pedestrian and bicycle access, but that's something Dodson said he doesn't see.

"You know, in the mornings coming back after I take the dogs to the park it can be a nightmare," said Dodson. "It can be completely shut down, it's completely willy-nilly and there's no signage at all."

Over in Green Hills, commuters sat through a traffic jam on Hillsboro Pike Tuesday evening thanks to construction shutting down part of the road.

"We're a growing city, we're continuing to grow," said District 25 Council Member Russ Pulley. "With that growth comes certain pains of growth. So what we try to do to the best of our ability is grow responsibly."

Pulley said growing responsibly means setting higher fines for construction violators and enforcing them. Currently, if NDOT determines a right of way a violation has occurred, the fine for violations is triple the amount of the permit. For example, a permit that costs $100 initially, could be fined $300 if permit conditions are violated.

"In many instances, the accountability really is not there because we don't have the means by which to really hold them to strict accountability for that," said Pulley.

But a representative with NDOT said the city has 15 inspectors ensuring permit compliance — four of them were recently added just to meet the growing demand for permits.

"Many people are continuing to flock to Nashville and I think that it's just very important that we do this responsibly and that's a day-to-day process to figure out what that means," said Pulley.

The NDOT representative also said "right-of-way permits are only required when crews are working in the Metro right-of-way. If the work is done on private property, no permits are required from the NDOT permit office."

"Permits cost $55 in the low impact area for 5 days or less and $10 every day thereafter. In the high-impact areas, permit cost $100 for 5 days or less and $10 every day thereafter. The life of a permit varies based on individual needs of a project."

If you spot any right-of-way issues, you're encouraged to submit them to hubNashville by calling 311 or visiting