PDF of TDOT’s proposal to close a section of Gum Branch Road and extend East Christi Drive to provide better traffic flow to and from Highway 46.
The biggest changes in the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Traffic System Management proposal that don’t actually occur on Highway 46 involve closing a section of Gum Branch Road and extending the current East Christi Drive. Because of the tight turning radius and heavy amount of large industrial traffic that travels to and from Highway 46 on Gum Branch Road, also known as County Road 1843, TDOT’s plan proposes to close the current intersection of Gum Branch with East Christi Drive and the section of Gum Branch that passes in front of Cracker Barrel and the Hampton Inn. The plan would extend East Christi Drive from its current dead end at the Comfort Inn to rejoin Gum Branch Road just west of the Affordable Dentures office at 201 Gum Branch. The plan calls removing this section of Gum Branch Road the “most desirable solution.” The project is identified as one of the three “non-participating partnership improvements” in the TDOT plan, meaning the state would not pay for it and the city of Dickson will have to foot the projected $574,000 bill as part of its $2.8 million share of the project. It will require the city to acquire property and right-of-way for the extension of East Christi and would leave Cracker Barrel only with access at the rear of the restaurant. As an interim solution, TDOT proposes to widen the channelized northbound right-turn off Highway 46 onto East Christi Drive and modify the existing traffic signals to better facilitate traffic. TDOT has already begun survey work to begin the design phase of the $8.3 million proposed improvements to Highway 46.