Northbound traffic travels on Interstate 75 approaching the I-24 split . TFP photo by Dan Henry
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: Relief is on the way for drivers who use the I-75/I-24 split in Hamilton County and struggle with daily traffic issues.
It's part of TDOT's more than $2 billion, three year transportation improvement plan that spans from 2018-2020.
TDOT has talked about improving the area for years and the project is a go for next year.
The plan is to build flyover ramps to alleviate traffic and reduce wrecks. That's something drivers say can't happen soon enough.
Chattanooga police said over the last year and half, there have been more than 600 crashes in the area.
"I think it will be good in the end, but, you know, at first, when people have to have that traffic change, I think that could make it a little bit complicated," Heather Sheperd, a Chattanooga resident said.
She's joined by more than 100,000 other drivers who travel through the split each day.
"It may work. It may not work, but how are they going to pay for it and how really good is it going to do? Would a bypass be a better option?," Tony Walker, a Cleveland resident said.
If you're filling up in Tennessee, you'll be paying for the project.
It won't be cheap. TDOT expects it to cost $65 million.
Part of the reason why the project is able to happen now is because of the governor's Improve Act.
That funds long-neglected road and bridge projects by raising the fuel tax for the first time in 30 years this July.
Gas will go up six cents a gallon and diesel prices will increase 10 cents a gallon over the next three years.
Other drivers see the change as a chance to improve safety in the busy area.
"It means not as much traffic and it'd be safer because you have a lot of wrecks when you got a lot of traffic," Archie Reeves, a Chattanooga resident said.
TDOT officials said they have not started the bidding process.
It's unclear when the project will start or how long it will take. They hope to have a contract in place by June of next year.
Channel 3 will continue to gather those details as TDOT lays out their timeline.