TDOT officials looking to improve Interstate-24 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TDOT officials looking to improve Interstate-24

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's home to crashes, back-ups, and heavy traffic.
Thursday night the Department of Transportation held a public meeting to discuss ways of fixing the Interstate-24 corridor.

TDOT officials released the results of a study, highlighting the problems and possible solutions.

Bottom line -- the corridor has been an issue for years.
TDOT is hoping to cut down on drive times and increase safety.

"It's backed up certain times of the day and you have to avoid the ridge cut and then the traffic dumps off onto the local streets," said Chris Carson.

It's an everyday inconvenience as Chattanoogans travel on I-24 during peak hours.

"It's just a bad situation. Anything as simple as a flat tire or a car breaking down can cause a back-up that can be several miles," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Spokesperson.

Flynn says road designs have changed since Interstate-24 was built.

"Part of the problem is the old design; it was built back in the 60s. There are things that could be improved," said Flynn.

Improvements like extending on-ramps, adding truck climbing lanes and improving alternate routes in the event of a jam.

"What we're looking at here are realistic projects we can do short term and we're also looking long term, like what are our solutions for the future," said Flynn.

She says they plan to take the 185 mile interstate in small pieces, so they can improve specific problem areas individually.
     
The I-24/I-75 interchange is a priority.

She says improvements won't happen overnight, but they will be done right.

"We've been in the planning stages, but it will be totally redesigned and be a lot better when it's done," said Flynn.

Carson says he just hopes it doesn't make matters worse, in the short term.

"I know sometimes when we get a construction job going, it makes the situation a lot worse for a period of time. So I just hope they're doing a lot of planning so that it doesn't temporarily make it a lot worse," said Carson.

The study isn't over yet and it isn't too late to voice your opinions or suggestions. You can do so by Clicking Here.

A final study will be presented to TDOT in January of 2014, then TDOT will make a decision on which projects they take on.

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