With traffic on I-24 between Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tenn., becoming a growing problem, the state Senate Transportation Committee approved a feasibility study for a monorail system in Nashville last week by a vote of 31-0. If the bill passes through the state House of Representatives, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) would need to report the results by Feb. 1, 2015.
At present, I-24 is one of the most congested highways in the state—according to Sen. Bill Ketron, the measure’s sponsor—and is only projected to get worse. According to Ketron, the current population of Rutherford County, where Murfreesboro is located, sits at 290,000 but is expected to reach 600,000 by 2025 and continue expanding significantly beyond then.
Under the current bill, the 30-mile monorail would be built on the median of I-24 in Nashville, which would significantly reduce the amount of land the state would have to purchase.
Total costs for the project could reach as high as $1 billion. Ketron’s plan calls for a mix of public and private funding, while the senator hopes that the federal government would foot up to 90% of the bill.