All lanes on Highway 127 on Signal Mountain expected to re-open
The wait is nearly over! After months of road repairs on U.S. 127/Signal Mountain Boulevard, drivers soon won't have to wait at a stop light when going up or down the mountain.
This week, contractors are wrapping up the emergency repairs they began over the summer. During a weekly routine inspection in June, Tennessee Department of Transportation crews discovered settling pavement and hired a contractor to start repairs immediately.
"It makes it take a little bit longer, some days it's backed up, other days it moves pretty quickly," said Jessica Stack.
Drivers like Stack have shared one lane for two directions of traffic since late July.
"I live up here in the Palisades area, I work downtown and so I go up and down the road mostly every day," she said.
The road she and many others rely on needed repairs. TDOT contract crews from GeoStabilization International worked on a slope stabilization project on a section of U.S. 127 (Signal Mountain Boulevard) in Hamilton County near log mile 16.05.
This marks the second slope stabilization repair that TDOT has completed on U.S. 127 since late July 2018. Crews also successfully completed repairs to the slope near log mile 15.97 in October.
They've spent the last four months stabilizing a slope along a 260-foot section of the road. Crews used soil nails in the ground and built a concrete retaining wall.
"Basically it stabilizes the slope, and some of the soil nails can be as long as forty feet long," explained Jennifer Flynn, with TDOT.
While they worked, a traffic signal directed traffic, making for longer commutes for some drivers.
"Some days you don't know if it's going to be backed up and sit through two or three light cycles or if you're going to get right through, but it really hasn't been too bad," Stack said.
A major step in the project this week was the removal of the temporary traffic signals, with flaggers are now assisting with traffic.
Next, crews will pave and install pavement markings and guardrail before the weekend.
"It's just nice to know they've done the work and the road has been stabilized because I think that area of the road has been a concern for a while so it's nice to know it's done," Stack said.
Some days, commute times are longer than others, but drivers say the repairs are worth the wait.
"It's been longer than I think anybody wanted it to be, but it's fine, it's good that it's fixed," she said.
Once the two lanes reopen this week, the road will remain in this two-lane configuration until next spring, when the next phase of the project begins.
Next spring, GSI will repair a third site near log mile 16.14 that was targeted by TDOT geotechnical engineers as one that would benefit from the soil nail repair method that was used at the other locations.
In the meantime, TDOT maintenance crews will place pavement at the third site to seal any cracks that could cause problems during the winter, and they will continue to regularly monitor the area for any changes.