Managing editor

Center connect

Center Street will be closed until March while work on the Collierville Center Connect Project continues.

This streetscape improvement project, partially funded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, is the result of years of visioning and long range planning. 

Center Connect is a two-phase streetscape improvement project that among a variety of improvements will update sidewalks, crosswalks, streetlights, bike lanes, curb and gutter, landscaping and utilities for parts of Center Street. 

As part of this project, Center Street will be reduced to one-way traffic (southbound only) at the intersection of South Street for construction, from Jan. 9 to March 1. 

A detour will be posted at Keough Road for northbound traffic.

In 2012 and 2013, the Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded the Town of Collierville two grants for Phases 1 and 2 for improvements to Center Street. The combined construction cost for both phases is $2.6 million and TDOT could reimburse the town up to $1.6 million per the terms of the grant. 

The project’s goal is to add 44 new on-street parking spaces will be created to the north of the South Street Intersection, maximizing parking space through curb cuts, rebuilding and adding sidewalks to make them ADA compliant and connect to a future greenbelt trailhead, creating a four-way stop at the South-Center intersection to slow down northbound motorists, add a bus stop in front of Laurelwood Apartments, add new landscaping, irrigation and concrete streetlight poles.

The new and improved Center Street will serve as a new gateway to Downtown Collierville and will work in synergy with the state’s existing investments around Collierville. 

Center Street will create a direct link from the town’s historic square to US Highway 72 and as part of the project, Center Street and US Highway 72 will also eventually tie into the greenbelt currently under construction along Nonconnah Creek. 

The Center Connect project will also improve safety for students living near Collierville Middle School on Quinn Road south of Collierville’s town Square. In conjunction with other sidewalk connections being planned, Collierville Center Connect will improve pedestrian and biking options for students that are within 1½ mile of Collierville Middle School so that one day biking and walking could be options for students.

“This project is the cumulative product of community involvement from citizens who provided input to the Downtown Small Area Plan, a commitment from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to support the downtown and fund infrastructure improvements, implementation efforts by the town staff, and TDOT, which helped to greatly reduce Collierville’s total cost,” said Jaime Groce, Collierville’s town planner. 

The town’s strategic investment in infrastructure in the downtown area is helping to more fully implement the vision of the new Downtown Collierville Small Area Plan, which received awards from the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning Association in 2010 and the American Society of Landscape Architects (TN Chapter) in 2011.