State Route 128Hardin County
Proposed improvements to State Route 128 in Hardin County include the widening and reconstruction of the existing roadway.
The proposed design for SR 128 is a four-lane divided facility with a 48-foot wide median. It consists of two 12-foot travel lanes in each direction with a 12-foot outside shoulder. There will be median openings at side road intersections and evenly-spaced openings between each side road. The right-of-way required for this roadway will vary based on the terrain, but will be a minimum of 250 wide.
A few years ago, after a determination from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), TDOT revised the environmental study area for the SR 128 improvement project. This revision affected the beginning (southern) end of the project, which was changed from Pyburns Drive to the far side of the Tennessee River, downstream of the Pickwick Dam, to a point along SR 57. This change gave the study area the required "logical termini," as well as "independent utility." Funding was provided to study and document the environmental effects of the extended project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It required preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and followed the process defined in the Tennessee Environmental Streamlining Agreement (TESA). This method requires official concurrence at four points in the process from the multiple governmental agencies with oversight of the environmental study and document. The extended project has gone through the first and second concurrence points. At the first concurrence point, the Purpose and Need for the project was agreed on. At the second point, concurrence was obtained on the different alternates to be studied. At that point, it was decided not to precede to the third and fourth concurrence points on the extended project limits.
Although crossing of the Tennessee River was a part of the extended project study, TDOT has no immediate plans to construct a new bridge. Currently, all Build Alternatives are on new alignment from SR 57, across the Tennessee River, to near Pyburns Drive. From Pyburns Drive to SR 226 (Airport Road), the alignment is the same on all of the Build Alternatives and generally follows the existing roadway. Therefore, FHWA has determined that an environmental study and document can be completed on the original limits from Pyburns Drive to SR 226, since construction of this section of the roadway leaves all Build Alternatives viable on the section from SR 57 to Pyburns Drive. Also, since the project generally follows the existing roadway and has minor impacts, it was determined that the type of environmental document should be a Categorical Exclusion (CE). A Categorical Exclusion can be completed more quickly and economically than an Environmental Impact Statement.