Residents got to weigh in on the future of a local road that for years has been criticized as being unsafe.
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation held two public hearings Tuesday to get community input on possible changes to State Route 126.
For years, residents along Tennessee State Route 126 have asked for change, saying their busy, curvy, narrow road is costing lives.
At a public hearing with TDOT those concerns were made very clear to those with the power to change it.
"I nearly lost my husband to a severe accident at the intersection of our road, Briarwood and 126," said local resident Charlotte Dade at the hearing.
Another concerned citizen, Scott Mendenhall told officials, "if something would've been done, my wife would still be living."
Many residents said what's there now simply isn't doing the job.
"We need to put shoulders all the way down the roads on both sides, and we need turn-off lanes after four or five major intersections," said Vance Ramsey, who lives and drives along S.R. 126.
Officials showed a crowd of more than 100 people three construction options. We learned all of them would have varied widths.
"We're talking about four lanes, then you go to three lanes, and [then] two lanes," said Mark Nagi, a TDOT spokesperson.
But there's one proposal that's gaining momentum with the crowd: 'Alternative B Modified'.
We learned this plan would improve safety by creating a longer three lane section which would take fewer homes and businesses through right-of-way acquisition, and it would leave room for gravesites that would have to be moved under the other two plans. That's a heart-breaking thought for family members, like Cathy Dean, who is now happy to see this other option.
"Thank you so much for that, because honestly that was more than I could bear," Dean said.
Officials will be taking all of these comments that they heard with them as they consider which plan, if any, to adopt. However, officials told us it could be 2017 before any construction actually starts.
If you still want your voice heard you can write or email a comment to TDOT until January 31.
You can mail a written comment to:
Public Hearing Comments
SR 126 (Memorial Blvd.) corridor Improvement Project
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Suite 700, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
Officials ask that you include your name and address in your comment so that it can be included in the official record.