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What should Murfreesboro’s ‘Bridge Over Broad’ be called?

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The Murfreesboro City Council wants public input to rename a “Bridge Over Broad” scheduled to open Dec. 17.
Scott Broden/DNJ

Murfreesboro officials want suggestions on renaming the soon to open “Bridge Over Broad.”

City Councilman Rick LaLance proposed the name be “First Responders Memorial Bridge” during a Thursday night meeting and recommended discussing options during a work shop.

More: Murfreesboro traffic: Councilman says bypass roads will help congestion

Murfreesboro City Manager Rob Lyons told LaLance the local government could ask the public to suggest naming ideas for the bridge.

“We’re glad to help you with it,” said Lyons, who noted that public feedback will help the officials decide on a name. “Bridge Over Broad is kind of a place holder. First Responders Memorial Bridge is a terrific idea.”

Lyons told the council that the Tennessee Department of Transportation reports that the bridge that links Old Fort Parkway (state Route 96) to Memorial Boulevard (U.S. Highway 231) over Broad (U.S. Highway 41) is scheduled to open for traffic Dec. 17.

City Councilman Eddie Smotherman also said LaLance had a great idea.

“Open it up for the public and have some public input, as well,” said Smotherman, who quipped that the city could even consider putting a sign up by the bridge with the headline, “Name this bridge.”

Mayor Shane McFarland suggested the city use the same approach with the bridge as the government is doing in accepting feedback on naming a future west-side park that will open in the Blackman community between Burnt Knob, Blackman and Vaughn roads and Veterans Parkway off Interstate 840.

Initial bridge contract called for completion by spring 2016

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Murfreesboro City Councilman Rick LaLance talks about bypass road planning such as Bridge Over Broad to help future commuters avoid many stops at traffic signals.
Scott Broden/DNJ

TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges recently said commuters should be able to drive on the bridge prior to Christmas while crews are still working on landscaping and other parts of the $22.8 million construction project. 

TDOT forecasts that the intersection will have 72,740 vehicle trips per day by 2034, which is an increase of 14,080 from the 2014 count of 58,660. 

The state awarded an initial $17.6 million contract to Brentwood-based Bell Associates Construction to start the bridge project in January 2014. The initial work was supposed to be completed by spring 2016.

The state adjusted the contract after discovering more work was needed to adjust the design and relocate the utility lines without taking out space needed for the existing businesses, said Degges, who noted that about 75 percent of TDOT projects are completed on the original advertised schedule. 

Although most of the work Bell does with subcontractors will be completed to open the bridge before Christmas, the company will be fined for not having all the project completed by Dec. 15, Degges said. 

Council hires architect for fire station by Blackman High

In addition to discussing renaming options for Bridge Over Broad, the council approved three requests from Fire Recuse Chief Mark Foulks:

  • Hire Johnson + Bailey Architect to design $2.7 million fire station at 3920 Blaze Drive by Blackman High;
  • Accept donation of trailer valued at $350,000 as a portable office from Bridgestone-Firestone for Fire Rescue Department use as an incident command center for emergencies;
  • Agree to $13,500 10-year lease for a rehab emergency support trailer from the Tennessee Federation of Fire Chaplains.

The council also awarded a $411,420 contract to Neel-Schaffer to design better-timed traffic signals with fiber optic lines at 14 intersections along Northfield-Rutherford Boulevard. The city won a $3.4 million TDOT Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant to fund all but $21,000 of local funding to pay for the Rutherford-Northfield project.

More: $3.5M project to improve traffic light timing for Bridge Over Broad, Rutherford-Northfield

Reach Scott Broden at sbroden@dnj.com and on Twitter @ScottBroden.

Article source: http://www.dnj.com/story/news/2017/12/01/murfreesboro-city-council-what-should-bridge-over-broad-called/912726001/