Highway 27 project making progress - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Highway 27 project making progress

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Back in May crews demolished the Dayton Boulevard overpass near the Red Bank-Chattanooga city limit border to make way for a wider, safer one as part of the Highway 27 widening project. This is the ramp off Highway 27 north onto the major thoroughfare.

Traffic was blocked for a night, but it marked a milestone.

"These beams that were set for the Dayton Boulevard ramp are the last ones that will be set on the entire project," says Jennifer Flynn, spokesperson for the local office of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

They were set in early August, but it wasn't easy. Before workers could even lay down the beams Flynn says the biggest challenge was getting equipment to the work site because some assembly was required.

"We had to bring in a crane in pieces. It took about eight trucks to bring this monster crane," explains Flynn.

The ramp only required four beams, but each weighs a whopping 113,000 pounds. While part of Dayton Boulevard narrows to one lane in each direction for a short distance, traffic has improved a bit.

Rhianna McGill takes Highway 27 to Chattanooga from Soddy-Daisy at least once a week. She says you just have to plan ahead as much as possible.

"I leave at least 30 minutes ahead of time so I have enough time to get to my destination," says McGill. "Other than that, I haven't really had any problems."

She says it'll be worth it when it's all over. She doesn't mind trading a little hassle for extra lanes.

While the bulk of the worst traffic problems is behind us, Flynn warns that one more wave is ahead as all the big pieces of the whole project are tied together later in the year.

"Shifting traffic around. Traffic that's been going on one section of pavement will be moved over to a new section," adds Flynn.

She says the new ramp and overpass will take around another month to complete, depending on weather and other factors. She also says East Elmwood Drive is now back to two lanes open.

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