TDOT addresses new Signal Mountain exit congestion - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TDOT addresses new Signal Mountain exit congestion

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

TDOT officials say they are working to tweak the current phase of the Highway 27 project that has caused traffic backups around the Signal Mountain Rd. exit.

Currently, drivers wanting to get to Dayton Blvd. or Signal Mtn. Rd. must use the same exit. The high volume of traffic using the temporary exit -- especially during rush hour -- has created many driving delays.

TDOT said traffic should improve by March 31st, when the current phase of the reconstruction project is expected to be completed. But some drivers who get caught in traffic due to the construction are saying they've already lost their patience.

"The highway alone has been a disaster," said Chattanooga resident, Niki Keck. "I feel like it's very accident-prone with all the construction."

Traffic jams have become Keck's 'new normal' on her daily commute. She said her drive time has doubled since the new Signal Mtn. Rd. exit opened last Sunday.

"It's a shame because there was a pretty straight way going into North Chatt from here, but now [the construction] has made it kind of complicated."

"You get through one light, and then the other one catches you," said Red Bank resident, Sue Berry.

Berry takes Dayton Blvd. to Signal Mountain twice each day. She said the 3.5 mile trip now takes her 30 minutes.

"You'll sit through a light three or four times because the backup of traffic," she said, frustrated.

"We wanted to make sure we were addressing as many of those concerns as possible," said TDOT Commissioner, John Schroer.

That's why TDOT officials were in town Thursday, addressing complaints from motorists about the recent construction traffic headaches.

"We think we can make some tweaks to the project," said TDOT's Chief Engineer, Paul Degges.

Degges said they are looking at making a few changes to the temporary exit, so drivers will have more time and more space to get on the ramp.

Different traffic signal times will also be adjusted to help with the rush hour congestion, said TDOT Construction Manager, Ken Flynn.

"We're having to force traffic through an area, and just kind of make it work for right now," Flynn said.

The new, permanent ramp is yet to be built. Once the new lanes open, the current exit ramp will be a single left-turn towards Dayton Blvd.

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