How long will Highway 27 be under construction? Try five years - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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How long will Highway 27 be under construction? Try five years

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Traffic travels northbound past barrels on U.S. Highway 27 near the Manufacturers Road exit. Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press. Traffic travels northbound past barrels on U.S. Highway 27 near the Manufacturers Road exit. Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

CHATTANOOGA (Times Free Press) -- Chattanooga motorists traveling on U.S. Highway 27 will likely have to maneuver around orange cones and construction crews for at least the next five years as workers rebuild, revamp and expand the downtown thoroughfare.

Tennessee Transportation Commissioner John Schroer said Thursday the work is overdue and will finally complete the upgrade of U.S. 27 all the way from Interstate 24 in Chattanooga to Interstate 40 in Rockwood, Tenn.

"Roads are critical to moving goods and attracting business and when we are behind the curve we lose business," Schroer said after a meeting with the Downtown Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. "Highway 27 might be a little behind the curve and should have been done before now. But we have limited resources and we're doing it now because we know this is an important road for Chattanooga."

The Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded its second-biggest contract ever last year to Wright Bros. of Charleston, Tenn., for $102 million to rebuild U.S. 27 with new exit and entrance ramps from Olgiati Bridge north to Signal Mountain Road. The three-year project will be followed by up to three more years of work south of the Olgiati Bridge.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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