Progress being made on future Interstate 69 in Union City
After years of delays, progress is being made on a major route you will eventually be able to take. A second segment of the new Interstate 69 in Union City, Tennessee, will begin in the next 30 days.
It’s being build in different segments. The first was built a few years ago from State Route 5 to west of State Route 21.
Next month, construction begins on the second segment from State Route 3 to State Route 5. The final segment will connect the interstate to U.S. 51, which goes into Kentucky. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is still waiting for the funding to begin the third portion.
Betty Hanson brings her grand kids to Discovery Park of America every time she goes from Kansas to visit her family.
Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy says a new interstate could someday bring even more families to the area.
"It should increase our attendance dramatically, because the whole design was made to work with the interstate," Rippy said.
He says it felt like the project has been slowing down for the last six years or so, so the construction of the $50 million, 2-mile segment gives him hope the project will be completed.
"I can’t wait to ride on it. I just want to get on it, and say it’s finished," he said.
Nichole Lawrence with the Western Tennessee Department of Transportation says the challenge with I-69 through Union City has always been funding.
"With that section being built and the one before that being built, we have hopes in the near future we’ll be able to get the other section built," Lawrence said. "Which will make a usable section around Union City to connect U.S. Route 51 to U.S. Route 51."
Lawrence says the wait will be worth it, with drivers getting a new interstate to take through Tennessee.
Work on this part of the project is expected to be completed in 2019.
This is part of a larger $1.5 billion project to construct I-69 in Tennessee.