UPDATE: This weekend road crews will start the next phase of the widening project on U.S. 27 South. 

Lane shifts will have the biggest impact for drivers getting on 27 South at 4th Street and MLK Boulevard. 

Drivers will have to yield to traffic instead of merging onto 27 South. 

Road crews are getting ready for the second phase of the project where they will work on the inside lanes between the north side of the Olgiati Bridge to I-24. 

"Traffic will be moved to the right and that will free up the area in the middle of the road for the contractor to start working on phase two," TDOT Spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said. 

The change will allow crews to perform grinding, paving and stripping for the next phase. 

This is weather permitting. 

In about three weeks, crews will do the same thing to the north bound lanes. 

This pattern will remain for about the next year. 

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PREVIOUS STORY: Starting Friday night, you'll see some changes on Highway 27 as TDOT prepares to enter Phase 2 of the 27 expansion project.

On Friday, July 7 at 7 pm through Saturday, July 8th at noon, there will be a temporary double lane closure on the southbound lanes from north of the Olgiati Bridge to the south end of the project.  This will allow the TDOT contractor to do some paving for the next phase of the project. 

Following that, the southbound lanes will shift from 4th Street to ML King Boulevard. The inside "third" lane will be closed from 4th Street to the I-24 junction.

Here's how this impacts you -- you won't have the acceleration or merge areas from the on-ramps at 4th Street and ML King. During and after this work, the ramp traffic will be using yields instead of merges onto 27 South. 

Each evening between Monday, July 10 and Thursday July 13, from 7 pm to 6 am, there will be a temporary left lane closure on 27 South in this same area to place concrete traffic barriers for Phase 2. This is the first part of the switch to that phase. Then, the TDOT contractor will be working in the middle lanes of 27 in both directions. 

At least one lane will remain open in each direction. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will assist with traffic control as necessary. The entire project is estimated to be complete in July 2019.