Williamson County needs to spend millions it doesn't have on roads

Jul 17, 2017

Credit Williamson County

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Williamson County officials received some sobering news earlier this month from a new study on road funding projections in coming years.

The county hired a consulting firm to study road needs just in the unincorporated areas, and the tentative estimate is $378 million dollars’ worth of improvements. County Planning Director Mike Matteson says one of the factors contributing to that very large number is the county’s anticipated growth.

“Some models are indicating that Williamson County as a whole could receive approximately 350,000 additional residents by the year 2040, of which 100,000 to 120,000 are projected in the unincorporated portions of the county. So that’s significant.”

A lot of that money would be spent upgrading into major thoroughfareswhat until recent years were country roads. 

“The major corridors include Arno Road, Clovercroft Road, Lynewood Way. Those are some of the key roads there. Sneed Road also.”

A major obstacle is the fact that the county doesn’t have a dedicated source for road funding. The consulting firm has been tasked with studying several possible funding sources, user fees, developer fees, or perhaps even new taxes.

Word of that $378 million price tag comes at a particularly bad time. County commissioners just diverted significant funding from its roads funding to pay for new schools.