Commerce Drive roundabout construction starts this week in Franklin

Construction will begin soon on the final roundabout in a series of five on Franklin’s truck bypass.

Dave O’Mara Contractor, Inc. will close the intersection of Graham Road and Commerce Drive to construct a new roundabout Monday, or later in the week. Expected precipitation and supply delivery issues, along with utility relocations that are still pending will likely cause the construction start date to be pushed back until later in the week, said Mark Richards, Franklin city engineer.

Once construction starts, it will last for approximately 75 days, while a $1.4 million roundabout is constructed at the site. The purpose of the project and the other roundabouts along the truck route is to get semi-trucks safely and efficiently around Franklin, from Interstate 65 to U.S. 31, while avoiding downtown.

Last year, a roundabout was built at the intersection of Commerce Parkway, Arvin Drive and Hurricane Street. In prior years, roundabouts were built at the following Eastview Drive intersections: King Street, Upper Shelbyville Road and Hurricane Street.

The Franklin Board of Public Works and Safety approved the contract for roundabout construction in February. Funding for the project was approved by the city’s redevelopment commission soon after.

The project was originally hoped to be completed before school was back in session, but city officials ran into delays with utility relocations.

“The delay was due to supply chain issues which Duke Energy had in relocating transmission and distribution lines,” Richards said in an email. “Metronet also had lines located on Duke’s transmission poles and could not perform its relocation until after Duke was complete.”

Metronet is still working on relocations and is expected to finish the work on or about August 11, Richards said.

Traffic will not be able to go through the intersection during the construction of the roundabout, but the contractor will maintain access to properties within the closure area, Richards said.

The posted detour follows U.S. 31, Earlywood Drive, Graham Road, Linville Way, Commerce Parkway and Arvin Drive.