Home Local News Lakeland Pursues New Solution Amid Soaring Construction Costs For New Canada Road

Lakeland Pursues New Solution Amid Soaring Construction Costs For New Canada Road

A street sign in Woodbridge shows where the New Canada Road will be located. File photo.

Lakeland city officials are facing a challenge as construction costs for the New Canada Road project have exceeded the available funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). The original cost estimate for the project surpassed the $16.5 million allocated in the approved Surface Transportation Block Grant. The total cost for the new road has increased to $36 million over the past few years, creating a significant funding gap. To address this issue of soaring cost, the project will now be divided into two phases. Instead of a completed 4-lane road from I-40 to Highway 70, the project will now consist of 4-lanes in some sections and two lanes in other sections to complete the New Canada Road corridor.

Specifically, phase 1 of the project involves constructing a full 4-lane roadway from Beverle Rivera Road to Owl Hill Road in Plantation Hills. The road will then narrow to two lanes from Owl Hill to Lake Bridge Road. Through Woodbridge, the road will widen back to 4-lanes from Lake Bridge to Canabridge, as that portion of the roadway already exists today. The remaining section from Canabridge to Highway 70 will be two lanes with a pedestrian path.

Click to view larger image of the revised project.

During a recent meeting at City Hall on March 7th, the Lakeland Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved the amended plan for the project. City Engineer Emily Harrell explained, “We’ve been looking at ways to get the project started and to get additional funding for it. The best way to move forward is to phase the project.” John Pankey, Vice President of Transportation at Fisher Arnold, who was on hand to discuss the revised project assured the board that the reduced plan still provides everything the city needs until Phase 2 can be completed.

Commissioner Jim Atkinson acknowledged the challenges posed by the rising costs, stating, “We’re in a tough spot with the cost of the project going up so drastically. The fact that we can open the entire corridor now through this project (Phase one) makes total sense.” Vice Mayor Wesley Wright expressed satisfaction with the revised project but hoped for additional improvements, such as additional screening and traffic circles, in the future.

Officials hope the bidding process for the project will begin in fall of 2024.