(Times Free Press) - A new $80 million plan shows dramatic changes to U.S. 27, the arterial highway that pumps more than 70,000 cars per day through the heart of Chattanooga.

Under the plan released by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, not much will remain of the southern portion of the expressway -- the 1.5-mile stretch between Interstate 24 and the Olgiati Bridge -- that has roots dating back to the 1940s.

"Even when the design was built, it was below standard, but compromises were made in the design to allow for the fourth street interchange," according to Jon Van Winkle, city traffic engineer.

The overhaul of the southern portion of U.S. 27 will be massive when it's finished in 2016, said Ken Flynn, an engineer for the state.

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