Contractor on US-27 installs speed monitoring devices - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Contractor on US-27 installs speed monitoring devices

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If you've driven through the US-27 work zone you've probably seen cars flying down the highway. However, have you seen the new devices near the MLK Boulevard exits? They’re new speed monitoring devices the contractor installed on Sunday as a reminder for drivers to slow down.

Highway 27 through downtown Chattanooga has been under construction for nearly two years now, it's the largest TDOT project to date.

The speed limit is 45-miles-per-hour, but TDOT said drivers constantly barrel through at a high rate of speed. It’s why these new devices were put on the side of the road.

"Just as an awareness mechanism to let people know what speed they are going through the project,” Jim Floyd with Volkert said.

The $126 million dollar widening project on 27 started in 2015. Volkert is the lead contractor, Floyd said they went to TDOT to see how they could improve safety in work zones.

"We want to do whatever we can to protect the public as well as our workers on the job,” Floyd explained.

Safety is what it's all about, a traffic study on the two-mile stretch found that a driver going 65 miles-per-hour in the 45-mile-per-hour zone only saves about a minute.

A small difference in time, that can make a big difference on the roads.

Since the project started on 27, one worker has been hurt. Last spring, a driver going too fast on the highway flew off the road and into a work zone.

"We were very fortunate no one was seriously injured, but anything we can do to make more people aware of their speed going through the project and keep everyone safe that's what we want to do,” Floyd said.

He added that, during peak hours people tend to obey speed limits because there are more drivers out. However, when traffic thins out - they see more speeding through work zones.

Last year, in Tennessee, 18 people died in work zone crashes. A startling number TDOT says could've been prevented. 

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