Emergency road repairs and yard sale causes heavy traffic on Signal Mountain
Construction is underway for the crumbling U.S. Highway 127/Signal Mountain Boulevard. The project comes at a crucial time for organizers of the "World's Longest Yard Sale," which is also happening this week.
This emergency road repair caused major backups for drivers going up and down the mountain.
Hundreds of people rely on the road for daily commuting, but this week there are also hundreds, if not thousands hoping to shop along the highway.
For some people like Brenda Harbin, it's an annual tradition.
"Oh gosh, this is our 17th or 18th year," Harbin said.
Every year, Harbin and her three friends make matching shirts and shop till they drop all weekend.
"Oh, you just find a lot of treasures. Someone else's junk is another person's treasure, is how the saying goes," she said.
However, this year these bargain hunters were met with construction signs, traffic lights and heavy traffic on their way up the mountain.
"You know coming up here it was like whoa, 'What's going on?' But it wasn't bad though," she said.
TDOT began emergency road repairs last week. Officials identified several potentially hazardous crack in the road.
A team of engineers will place soil nails in the ground and use concrete to build a retaining wall.
"Basically it stabilizes the slope, and some of the soil nails can be as long as forty feet long," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT.
Once the soil nails are set, TDOT will build up the road and resurface, then guardrails will be replaced.
"It's not in an area, where the vendors are usually set up, it is on the way up to the signal mountain portion of the world's longest yard sale," Flynn explained.
Not where vendors are, but where drivers rely on, to get to them. For Brenda and her "squad" it'll take a little more than traffic to stop the fun.
"You've got to expect that when you come to something like this. We are just laid-back and ready to face whatever," she said.
The construction will last for 8 weeks. Parts of Taft Highway will be reduced to one lane for the yard sale, which runs through Sunday. This is between Shoal Creek Road and Palisades Road, almost near the top of the mountain.
- Mountain Creek Road/Morrison Springs Road to the W Road to Highway 127.
- Roberts Mill Road to Sawyer Road, Right on Sawyer Road, Right onto Wilson Avenue, Right onto Key-Hulse Road, Left onto Fairmount Pike to Highway 127.
- South on Highway 127 S and Rankin Avenue.
- Highway 27/Suck Creek Road to Whitwell, Highway 28 to Dunlap, South on Highway 127.