The Tennessee Department of Transportation is having to pump the breaks on plans to expand East Brainerd Road from two lanes to five.

Contractors with the East Brainerd widening project could be up to 6 months behind schedule.

Contractors will soon be done with phase one of relocating utilities in the East Brainerd widening project, it's one of many challenges TDOT said has delayed completion.

Drivers who rely on the road like Donna Hale have anticipated the original June 2017 completion date.

"I think once they get finished with it will be a blessing but right now it's not,” Hale said.

But, TDOT Director of Operation’s Ken Flynn tells Channel 3 the project is behind schedule.

"Right now we're probably looking at a 4 to 6 month delay probably because of the things we've run into during the first part of the project," Flynn said.

Earlier this year weather and a water main break caused delays to the project but Flynn said the biggest challenge has been relocating and redesigning plans for utilities.

"Utilities are a big factor in all that, so they've kind of buried them everywhere out there so we've had a real mess trying to get them back out and get them relocated so that we can do our project," Flynn said.

One contractor recently requested a one year extension that would've pushed back the project back a full year, but Flynn said TDOT did not feel like the request was warranted and will continue pushing to meet deadlines.

The majority of the project is in City Councilman Larry Grohn's district, he said he is also holding those involved accountable.

"I know they are working very hard to get this project done with the least disturbance to traffic as possible,” Grohn said.
Flynn said once contractors move power lines, they plan to construct a temporary road to re-route traffic, which they hope will speed up the entire project.

We’ll update you as more information become available.