Highway 60, I-75 Exit 33 projects get MPO update

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 1/10/19

Transportation initiatives, including the long-sought Highway 60 widening project, dominated Wednesday's gathering of the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.In formal session, the MPO …

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Highway 60, I-75 Exit 33 projects get MPO update

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Transportation initiatives, including the long-sought Highway 60 widening project, dominated Wednesday's gathering of the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

In formal session, the MPO board considered developments related to an Interstate 75 interchange  project at Exit 33 and the ongoing plans for sections of Highway 60.

Project updates heard by board members included:

• Consider for adoption proposed amendment to the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan moving Project No. 83 Interchange Improvement at I-75 Exit 33 to 2016-2025; Planning Horizon and moving Project No. 101A;  and Widening I-75 from Exit 33 to McMinn County Line into the 2026-2040 Planning Horizon.   

There were no public comments regarding the proposals during a public hearing. They were approved by the board.

The vote changed the project’s short-term status from a road-widening project to a ramp-extension project.

MPO coordinator Greg Thomas said the Tennessee Department of Transportation decided to alter the time frame regarding a portion of the project.

“The project got re-examined by TDOT, and they’ve concluded the traffic issues would be solved there for the time being with the lengthening of the ramps at Exit 33,” Thomas said. “This moves the interchange project into the current phase of the long-range plan.”

TDOT representative Robert Rogers said during the MPO work session that TDOT had studied the widening project, determining that it has a below average statewide crash rate at this time

“But in the course of that study they identified this intersection because of the truck traffic and decided to lengthen the ramps to allow the trucks to get up to speed.” Rogers said.

The next item requests additional funds for a road-widening project on State Route 60, widening Georgetown Road from Near West Lake Drive to near State Route 306.

• Consider for adoption proposed TIP amendment 2018-03 to the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program to Add Funds to TIP Project No.06001, TDOT PIN#101430.01 SR60 Georgetown Road Widening From Near West Lake Drive to Near SR 306:

There were no public comments during a public hearing. The item was approved.

“This project has drawn a lot of local interest for a long time,” Thomas said. “What this is doing is updating the project with more money so we can see it through the construction phase.”

The MPO will meet at 11 a.m., following its 10 a.m. work session on the following dates: March 6, May 1, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 18 and Nov. 6.

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