UPDATE: Work temporarily halted on Hixson Pike bridge over SR-153
TDOT says the estimated project completion date is May 2018.
UPDATE: Lanes on the Hixson Pike bridge over SR-153 are now reopen for drivers. TDOT officials say they have temporarily postponed construction for the holiday season.
Construction on the interchange started in January of 2017, and crews have been working for months to expand the bridge and re-pave the roads. Cones have now been pushed to the side and signs have been taken down.
TDOT officials say the construction project is on time, but there will be more lane closures to complete in the new year.
Construction on the project is set to wrap up in May of 2018 and all lanes will be back open.
PREVIOUS STORY: Starting Wednesday, January 24, the outside lanes of the Hixson Pike bridge over Highway 153 will be closed to replace part of the bridge.
The driving surface (bridge deck), barrier walls and overhangs will all be replaced on both the southbound and northbound lanes. On Wednesday, the closures will be set up after 9 a.m. to allow for the morning rush. There is an average of 30,000 vehicles travelling over the bridge on a daily basis.
According to TDOT officials, these closures will be in place until November 2017. Jennifer Flynn, TDOT community relations officer, says the goal is to have all lanes open by Thanksgiving. At that time, if there is further work to be done, road closures would restart after January 2 to accommodate the holiday shopping season.
There may also be lane closures on Highway 153 for work under the Hixson Pike bridge. If those are needed, the closures will take place at nighttime on Sundays through Thursdays and on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Crews will assist with traffic flow.
Flynn says "we understand that this project will cause headaches, but it must be done because the bridge deck and rails are in need in replacement."
Once the project is finished, there will be more room on the bridge when the new rail is constructed.
The cost of the entire project is over 1 million, and is scheduled to be completed on or before May 15, 2018.