I-69 corridor around Union City to be completed by 2020

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s a project the state has been working on since the 90s, and now one local county is on track to finish a huge part of that project in the next three years.

“This is the missing link that we need to address a lot of issues in and around Northwest Tennessee,” Rep. Bill Sanderson from Kenton said.

There really isn’t an easy way to get to Northwest Tennessee, but with the passing of the IMPROVE Act, that is going to change.

“We have passed the IMPROVE Act, and there are several projects that are now in the three-year plan and scheduled to be funded and scheduled to be complete within three years,” Rep. Sanderson said.

Over the next three years, the now bare strip of land is expected to be busy with traffic.

“When we complete these projects, it’s going to connect Highway 51 all the way up and around Union City and to the limited access Highway 51, and there will be a new shield put on there and it will be the new I-69 shield,” Rep. Sanderson said.

The project started as a free-trade corridor between Mexico and Canada, but it doesn’t just open up the roadway — it will help boost the local economy.

“It’s a game changer for us,” Discovery Park of America CEO Jim Rippy said. “It’s a tourism thing that we have never been able to have.”

The Discovery Park says one of the reasons they chose their location was because of I-69, and with two exits on either side, they won’t be hard to find.

“Either direction you’re going, if you see it you got an exit within a quarter of a mile to get off of and over to us,” Rippy said.

Sanderson also announced final approval of a one-time appropriation of $840,000 to the Port of Cates Landing.

The money will be used for the purchase of right-of-way land and for the long awaited rail spur, as well as the purchase of a 200-ton crane.

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