Tractor-trailers cause frequent delays, crashes on Ridgecut
A jackknifed tractor-trailer on I-24 caused delays for some drivers Monday evening. It also prompted a response from Mayor Andy Berke.
On Twitter, Mayor Berke wrote “The Ridgecut has another tractor-trailer incident. Please use caution and find other routes beside 24 West into the city.”
In a statement to Channel 3, Mayor Berke said he wants to urge drivers to use caution whenever they're behind the wheel.
Nick Austin with FreightWaves says the Ridgecut is a major artery for tractor-trailers, which can cause some big problems.
"On any given day, even if there's not an accident, there's almost always delays,” he said. “Because you have to slow down so much in that area."
Austin says I-24 is the main way tractor-trailers bring their cargo from other cities.
"A lot of freight a lot of trucks go through Chattanooga from Atlanta to other places and vice versa, so every day there's probably thousands of semi-trucks going through that area, through the Ridgecut,” he said.
Location is a big part of the problem.
"The first thing probably is the grade of the road itself,” he said. “Because you're sort of going up the mountain, it's a ridge and they have to slow down a lot."
But he also says people need to drive more carefully. Trucks don't have the same reaction times as cars, so cars that follow too closely or weave in and out can cause wrecks.
"A lot of the times it's not necessarily automatically the fault of the truck drivers. Sometimes it is, but in a lot of cases, it's not. It's because of the other drivers on the road,” Austin said.
He says rerouting to surface roads and local highways is a possible solution, as long as it doesn't cut into the bottom line.
"If they have major delays because they're taking slower secondary routes a lot of the time going through certain areas, instead of the faster interstates, that could cut into business,” Austin said.