Portions of Upper Station Camp Creek Road will be widened and turn lanes will be installed at the entrance to the new Liberty Creek school campus, Sumner County Board of Education members learned during a recent study session.
Other planned infrastructure improvements leading to the yet-to-be-built three-school campus include a traffic signal at Long Hollow Pike and Upper Station Camp Creek Road as well as improvements to Hunters Lane and Latimer Lane, Jim Harrison of Civil Site Design Group said during a presentation on Aug. 6.
The Sumner County Commission purchased 265 acres on Upper Station Camp Creek Road for a school complex, related sports fields and a park in February of 2015.
An elementary school and a high school that will include an annex for middle school students were initially planned to be open for the 2021-22 school year in Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 includes a middle school to be built at a later date.
Director of Schools Del Phillips told school board members in June that the project had been delayed.
During the Aug. 6 meeting, Phillips said he wanted school board members to know that planning was being done for infrastructure improvements. He did not give an updated timeline of when the new schools may open.
Schools Spokesperson Jeremy Johnson said he expected the project to be bid this fall.
A traffic impact study was completed in February of 2018, according to Harrison. The study identified how much traffic will be generated by each school, existing traffic on the two-lane roads that lead to the campus, needed improvements to intersections and the type of improvements needed.
The elementary school – planned for the western part of the campus near Hunters Lane, is expected to open with 550 students. The high school – planned for the eastern portion of property near Upper Station Camp Creek Road – is expected to open with 600 high school students and around 400 middle school students.
Harrison said that all right-of-way has been acquired for Phase 1 of Upper Station Camp Creek Road improvements. Those improvements include:
*New turn lanes along Upper Station Camp Creek Road turning into the campus.
*The installation of school zone warning signals and signage to reduce the speed of traffic during the morning and afternoon school start times.
*The widening of portions of Upper Station Camp Creek Road from 19 feet to 24 feet with shoulders.
*The installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Long Hollow Pike and Upper Station Camp Creek Road at the entrance to the Creekside subdivision.
Phase 1 improvements also include a realignment on Hunters Lane to replace a 90-degree curve in front of the current entrance to the school campus property with a new intersection.
In addition, new turn lanes will be added at the existing Hunters Lane/Latimer Lane intersection and at the Latimer Lane/Long Hollow Pike intersection.
Phillips said that a connecting road will run through the campus from Upper Station Camp Creek Road to Hunters Lane.
Some board members asked if a traffic light would be put up on Long Hollow Pike at Latimer Lane, as well as if any improvements would be made at the intersection of Upper Station Camp Creek Road and Liberty Lane.
Harrison said that the traffic study didn’t show a need for those improvements, but added engineers would again assess the situation before the middle school campus is built.
For area residents who missed the school board presentation, Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt is holding a Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Ocana Community Club to discuss the road improvements.
Holt said on Monday his office has been working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding a traffic signal at the Long Hollow Pike/Upper Station Camp Creek Road intersection.
“The first time we applied, they turned us down,” said Holt. “And now they finally warranted the light.”
Holt said he hopes to secure both state and federal funding for the signal so that the county doesn’t have to bear the full cost.
“Our hope is to get an 80-20 match,” he said.