As Antioch roads close to prepare to Ikea, neighbors feel trapped

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Many neighbors are anxiously awaiting the upcoming Ikea store in Antioch, but before the retailer moves in, several road improvements need to be made.

The intersection of Old Franklin Road and Cane Ridge Road is closed through mid-August. The roads are being widened and a traffic signal will be installed in place of the four-way stop.

“I think we’re going to need a helicopter to get out,” said Billie Jean Tidwell. She’s lived in Antioch for over 40 years and says it’s now difficult to leave her neighborhood. “I’m delighted by the project but I have very limited access to get out of where I live.”

(Photo: WKRN)

The road improvements to Cane Ridge and Old Franklin should be complete by mid-August, before Metro Schools are back in session.

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There are other road improvements to be made as well. Before the Swedish furniture outlet store agreed to come, the city had to agree to give the store an exit of their own off Interstate 24.

An interchange will be built on I-24 at the Hickory Hollow Parkway exit. That should be complete by fall 2019, but no road closures are expected for that part of the project.

But the interchange isn’t just for Ikea alone. The store is one building in a 300-acre development called Century Farms.

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Community Health Systems, Dunkin Donuts and HCS’s CareFirst are all slated to open in the development.

(Courtesy: IKEA)

People who live near the development went to a meeting with councilwoman Jacobia Dowell Tuesday night at the Southeast Community Center.

There, Metro Public Works and the Century Farms developer explained the road improvement project.

“It’s short-term pain for long-term gain,” said resident Ken Thomas. He was worried about emergency vehicles knowing how to get back to his neighborhood during the road closures.

“They explained that part of their planning process is to make sure emergency services knows the proper route to get into the communities,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t slow response time at all.”

Inside the development, there will be two roundabouts and three connector roads. There will also be various improvements to Cane Ridge and Old Franklin Roads including sidewalks.

The entire project is slated to be complete by Summer 2020.