Remember it is coming! That was a phrase most just tossed away as a myth about a new Canada Road because it has been talked about dating back to the 1990s. The process has been long and arduous like most municipal projects tend to be. Much effort has been spent on planning dating back to 2008. Further delaying the project over the years was the land acquisition phase of the project which took longer than anticipated. Then there is the financial aspect that had a twist the last fiscal year. The City of Lakeland reserves are sufficient but with the project at a cost north of 20 million and the grant involved is a reimbursement based Federal mechanism this requires ample cash flow. With that understanding the city took on a short-term capital outlay note that will be used to pay for the project and then the city, which is paying for only 20% of the project, will be refunded and the note is fulfilled upon completion.
The City of Lakeland website elaborates that “funds for the design and construction of the road were approved by the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and authorized by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).” New Canada Road is a realignment of the existing Canada road and is approximately 2.3 miles in length. Keep in mind the existing Canada Road will remain almost fully intact with exception to the southern end where it will stop around Leeward Slopes (see the below link for details).
At a recent Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting there was discussion about moving forward with the hiring of Construction Engineering Inspection (“CEI”) Services for the New Canada Road project. These services are required by TDOT for large-scale projects. Some of these services consist of the inspection and documentation of all work activities performed by the contractors along with recording, filing and managing required TDOT Local Programs CEI documents. Smith Seckmen Reid, Inc. (“SSR”) was the one proposal received and selected to provide the city with these services. Their proposal was reviewed by a selection committee where they verified and agreed with their qualifications to provide the CEI service. When asked by Commissioner Wesley Wright about their services, and the over $2 million price tag, it was made clear that this is expected for anything of this scope and magnitude.
Clearing and construction will commence in a matter of months and completion will most likely be 2025.
For more info about New Canada Road: https://www.lakelandtn.gov/159/New-Canada-Road