Danger zones on Interstate 24 still a problem one year later - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Danger zones on Interstate 24 still a problem one year later

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Exactly one year ago on December 30th 2013, Channel 3 Eyewitness News brought you a story about a Tennessee Department of Transportation  study that pointed out the most dangerous portions of Interstate 24, one of the state's most dangerous roads.

The study found the Ridge Cut, a portion near Rossville Boulevard, and the stretch between Belvoir Avenue and South Moore Road are considered "danger zones" for drivers. Your chances of being in a crash are more than twice the state average when driving on these particular sections of interstate. The results of that study were supposed to help determine how to make the roads safer for travelers.. So we wanted to follow up for you since the study, what kind of action have officials taken in the last year to make the interstate through Chattanooga safer?

According to the study all three of the danger zones identified on I-24 are close together, within a 3-mile-stretch. Officials say while some work has been done to increase safety but it will likely take several years before drivers see any big changes.

In the study, 3 out of the top 10 most dangerous driving areas in Tennessee are on Interstate 24 in Chattanooga between mile marker 180 and 184.

"There is more than 114,000 vehicles per day who use that stretch of I-24 so it's carrying a lot of capacity and the design is from he 1960's and there is not a lot we can do about that at this moment," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Region 2 Communications officer.

Flynn insists that fixing this stretch of highway is still a priority but it will take a while and cost a lot.

"With our finances the way they are we just don't have that on our books right now," said Flynn.

The 3 areas needing special attention were highlighted in the study based on the number of crashes there being 2 to 3 times higher than the state's average.

"I think drivers really underestimate going into that curve also going down by East Ridge, it's easy to loose control I can see why it's a high risk area," said driver Regina Hembrick.

Channel 3 wanted to know what has happened in a year. Flynn says TDOT workers have fixed potholes, maintained signage in the area .And T-dot recently launched live camera feeds online for all to see.

" We have repaired all of the concrete ramps there at Moore road and the other areas near Rossville blvd. We've come in and made permanent repairs there,." said Flynn,

"You know it's just too many cars out there at the same time," said driver John Butler.

Right now there are no improvement projects planed for the problem areas in the immediate future. Flynn says TDOT will continue to do what they can to maintain safety. Some of best ways that you can stay safe is to just be careful, wear your seat-belt, don't drink and drive, no texting and pay attention.

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