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State Route 397 (Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway) - Williamson County

Existing Route Improvements and Proposed Western Extension

Project Description

State Route 397, the Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway in Williamson County, is the primary transportation concern of the city of Franklin.  Due to huge demands on current and future traffic, local and state officials have requested for TDOT to improve the existing route and study the feasibility of extending the Parkway to the western portion of Williamson County.  This action would create a complete loop around the city, avert traffic away from downtown Franklin and provide motorists access to other major routes in the area.

The Division of Project Management at TDOT oversees the development of this massive undertaking in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the City of Franklin and other coordinating agencies and resources.

The project encompasses two separate development processes: the improvement of the existing route and the development of the proposed western extension.

The Existing Route

The Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway serves as a partial perimeter highway on the east side of the city of Franklin. The route terminates on the southern end at U.S. 31 (Columbia Avenue) and at U.S. 431 (State Route 106) on the northern end. The route is currently a two-lane facility of the principal arterial class with an existing Right-of-Way width that varies between 250 and 300 feet. The existing route was also studied by the Citizens’ Design Team and recommendations for concepts in design were approved by Commissioner Nicely on April 10, 2007. The existing route will be improved in two sections:

Section 1. U.S. 31 (Columbia Avenue) to S.R. 96 (Murfreesboro Road). Funding on this section is currently not available.

Section 2. S.R. 96 east of Franklin to U.S. 31 (S.R. 6) north of Franklin. The Right-of-Way phase of work has been underway since March 2010.  Construction began on this section in September of 2011 and is expected to be open to traffic in the spring of 2014..

To view both sections, see Existing Mack Hatcher.pdf

The Western Extension

Mack Hatcher Presentation  (pdf)

TDOT announced on Friday, December 2, 2005 the preferred alignment selection for the Mack Hatcher Parkway Western Extension. The route, identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement as Alternate G, and, at 7.5 miles, is the shortest of the six alternatives previously identified. The limits begin at the Columbia Highway (State Route 6) south of Franklin and end at Hillsboro Road (State Route 106) north of Franklin.

TDOT has asked the City of Franklin and their consultants, Wilbur Smith and Associates to design the northwest quadrant of the western extension. They began design work in the late summer of 2007; the design public meeting was held on November 13, 2008. The department gave approval to Franklin to manage the right-of-way phase of work.  That work was completed in the Spring, 2011.