RTA lands $1.6M grant for Lebanon transit project

Construction of Hamilton Springs Station slated for spring 2015

The Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee has received a $1.6 million federal grant via the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization to fund the completion of transit-oriented development Hamilton Springs Station in Wilson County.

Located in Lebanon, Hamilton Springs Station will be the Midstate’s first transit-oriented development and the Music City Star commuter rail system’s seventh regional station. The station is currently in the design phase with construction expected to begin in the spring of 2015.

Nashville-based design firm Lose & Associates developed the Hamilton Springs Specific Plan for the effort.

Phase I of the 396-unit luxury apartment community Hamilton Station opened last fall creating an additional need for ridership, officials said in the release.
“The progression of this project has been extraordinary,” Mike Wrye, Lose & Associates vice president, said in a release. “Hamilton Springs addresses several issues including unprecedented growth in the area, mass transit, and livability all in a single community with a rail station at its core.”

The addition of the train station will create a new point of access to the existing Music City Star rail line and increase ridership significantly, officials said.  Of note, Lebanon’s population is among the fastest growing in Tennessee, with a 33 percent increase since 1990.

Hamilton Springs is the first community in Middle Tennessee that has planned, designed and constructed a traditional neighborhood “village” with residences and businesses centered by a train station. It emphasizes the use of transportation modes other than cars, which is a key feature of TODs.

A project of custom homebuilder Jack Bell and brother Rick Bell, Hamilton Springs is located west of downtown Lebanon on property fronted along Highway 70 and extending to Old Horn Springs Road.

“The RTA board and I are pleased to partner with Jack Bell Builders and the MPO on our region’s first transit-oriented development,” RTA General Manager Lora Baulsir said in the release. “We are looking forward to opening the new station.”