By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Ryan Manners of Encompass Land Group proposed a plan Thursday night to Thompson’s Station town staff that would see a roundabout constructed on Critz Lane and Paddock Park Drive.
All development along Critz Lane has been halted since June of 2018 after serious safety and traffic concerns were raised by town officials.
The safety of Critz Lane has long been a topic of discussion between town officials, who argue that the population growth of Thompson’s Station, which a recent study has found to be the single-fastest-growing area in the state, has far outpaced the road’s capacity. A recent Independence High School graduate, 18 year-old Austin Oppelt, was killed during a one-car crash in 2017 on Critz Lane, something Alderman Ben Dilks had previously brought up when asked by a developer how dangerous the road really was.
In June of 2018, developer Encompass Land Group had its development of its Canterbury subdivisions halted, with town staff insisting on improvements to Critz Lane before a single additional home was developed along the road. So on Thursday during a special session meeting of the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Encompass Land Group broke down its three-phase plan on how to fix Critz Lane.
The first phase, which would last from March through November of 2019, would see the construction of Lioncrest Lane, which branches south off of Critz Lane and connects with Clayton Arnold Road, bypassing the intersection of Critz Lane and Paddock Park Drive.
The second phase, which would last from November 2019 through February 2020, would see Critz Lane closed between Clayton Arnold Road and the newly constructed Lioncrest Lane. That portion would see grading and drainage, as well as paving during this phase. The remainder of Critz Lane would still remain open to traffic, with drivers able to use Lioncrest Lane to still travel east and west.
The third and final phase, which would last from February through July of 2020, would see the actual construction of the roundabout at Paddock Park Drive and Critz Lane. Critz Lane would remain closed between Clayton Arnold Road and Lioncrest Lane, but would also see the entire intersection of Critz Lane and Paddock Park Drive temporarily closed for the construction of the roundabout to be completed.
While he would not swear by it, Manners told town staff that a completion date of August 2020 would be likely.
“We’ve offered to bring $400,000 to the table, and I think there’s been some questions as to how we came up with that number,” Manners said. “For us to do this site, there would be some initial traffic things that we would be required to do that would cost around $400,000. Rather than us throw that out there, we would rather put that money to the final use, and put forth towards this project and achieving everybody’s long term goal of getting this road project completed.”
Mayor Corey Napier and Dilks had both previously called the improvements to Critz Lane the single-most important road project of 2019, again citing its major safety and traffic flaws.
The next meeting of the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8 at the town community center at 1555 Thompson’s Station Road West Thompson’s Station, TN 37179.