Traffic crashes increase near Highway 27 project
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The multi-million dollar Highway 27 project is in full swing, and causing traffic issues.
"It backs up a lot of the traffic, and it's really hard to figure out where the ramps are," said Dayna Lerum, who drives the stretch of highway to and from work.
Tennessee Department of Transportation's newly launched widening project is causing back-ups, confusion, and fender benders.
"I'm always breaking, breaking," said driver Samuel Davenport, "you've always got to pay attention, early in the morning it's kind of hard."
Tuesday morning a four-car pile-up slowed traffic heading into downtown.
Evening rush hour brought another crash.
There have been at least three this week alone.
"We can't construct a $102.5 million project without moving traffic around," said Jennifer Flynn, spokesperson for TDOT.
Flynn says the plan is working about as well as can be expected.
Traffic studies went into designing the construction plans, and modifications could make things worse.
Flynn says drivers slowing down and paying attention will make all the difference.
"We may have to get some troopers out there to watch traffic and see how it moves in the morning," she said.
But Flynn warns, this is only the beginning. The project is expected to be complete in October 2014. Until then, she's asking for the public's patience.
"One of these days we'll look back on this and think, wow, I can't remember when it wasn't like this," she said, "because it's going to be a much wider and safer corridor."
Eventually Twitter updates on the Highway 27 project will be available for drivers. That way if there is an accident, drivers can avoid it all together.