New bridge would connect schools, create sports complex opportunity
Mayor Rick Graham is declaring his support for a Maury County proposal to build a bridge and school access road to connect the new Battle Creek Elementary and Middle Schools in south Spring Hill through a City-County joint funding agreement.
The two new schools opened in August off Mahlon Moore Road, where there remains safety and traffic access concerns. Drivers use Mahlon Moore Road to access Battle Creek Middle School, and traffic must flow through the Whispering Woods neighborhood via Hummingbird Lane to access Battle Creek Elementary. The City of Spring Hill is currently having two traffic signals installed on Kedron Road at the intersections of Mahlon Moore and Hummingbird. However, a bridge crossing Rutherford Creek and a school access road is still needed to connect the neighboring schools and alleviate many of the safety concerns.
County Commissioner and Budget Chairman Scott Sumners made a proposal earlier this month to the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen on how this project could be built to benefit the City and County: Maury County would fund the estimated $380,000 cost of the bridge design from its adequate facilities fund, and deed 84 acres of surrounding property to the City. The City’s contribution would be $1.2 million over a two-year period toward the construction of the bridge and roadway. The County would fund the balance – beyond Spring Hill’s contribution – of the cost of construction for the bridge and associated roadway. In exchange for the land deal, the City would accept the future maintenance of the bridge and roadway.
“This is truly a win-win for everyone involved, and a great opportunity for Spring Hill to advance another of our long-term goals,” Mayor Rick Graham said. “This bridge would rightfully address parents’ safety and traffic concerns with getting in and out of the new schools. It also would give us the land to create a sports complex to build things like soccer fields that are so needed in our fast-growing community. Our contribution to this project effectively amounts to us purchasing 84 acres for only $1.2 million. We will probably never get another opportunity like that again.”
The Maury County School District, which owns the 84 acres at 3451 Mahlon Moore Road, plans to eventually build out the property as a K-12 campus. About 45 of the 84 acres are in a floodplain.
“Constructing ball fields on it is about all that can be done with that type of land anyway, and a sports complex is a recreational facility that Spring Hill is badly in need of,” Mayor Graham said. “Currently, our kids have to leave Spring Hill to play at this kind of facility. Look at Port Royal Park, where we have our football/soccer fields. It’s our crown jewel, and the entire park is in a floodplain.”