Exit 20 bridge work bids set for the spring
by By DAVID DAVIS Managing Editor
Jan 13, 2013 | 2176 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A semi-trailer makes a left turn Jan. 4 onto the bridge across Interstate 75 at Exit 20. Tennessee Department of Transportation is scheduled to go to a construction letting in the spring. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
A semi-trailer makes a left turn Jan. 4 onto the bridge across Interstate 75 at Exit 20. Tennessee Department of Transportation is scheduled to go to a construction letting in the spring. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
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Delays and detours are in the future of Bradley County motorists as major road construction on the east and west sides of Cleveland begin, while construction ends on Dalton Pike on the south end.

Exit 20 bridge replacement is currently scheduled to go to a construction letting in the spring, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The right of way and environmental permitting processes are currently under way. Building two new bridges will take approximately 2 to 21⁄2 years with construction to be made in stages.

No lane reductions are planned, however, temporary traffic shifts will take place to accommodate construction of the new bridges.

TDOT is proposing the northern portion of the new single bridge over I-75 be constructed first, then switching the traffic to the newly constructed portion. Once the traffic shifts to the new section, the Cleveland Utilities electric distribution line will be relocated to the north side of the new bridge. Moving the lines is necessary for proper horizontal and vertical safety clearances. Work on the entrance and exit ramps will take place concurrently with the bridgework.

A separate project, but geographically related to Exit 20, is the new interchange across APD-40 located about midway between I-75 and South Lee Highway. The interchange will connect Spring Branch Industrial Park, and the southeast and northeast quadrants of Exit 20 and APD-40 to the interstate.

The interchange is currently in the right of way appraisal, utility coordination phases and environmental permitting processes.

According to TDOT, the project is scheduled for a late Summer 2013 construction letting. The project will take approximately 2 years to complete.

About 13 miles north, Exit 33 onto Lauderdale Memorial Highway (SR-308) is being considered for a signal study.

On the east side of Cleveland, Benton Pike intersection realignment with Michigan Avenue Road, widening of Durkee Road and intersection improvements at Waterlevel Highway (SR-40) are all part of the State Industrial Access road improvements to ease traffic to and from the new Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike. The project is currently in the right of way acquisition and utility coordination process. It is currently scheduled for a Spring 2013 construction letting.

Two other major ongoing projects include widening Dalton Pike and bridge replacements on Spring Place Road.

- April is the projected completion date on the Dalton Pike widening project from near Gilliland Road to U.S. 64. The contractor has opened traffic throughout the job with one lane in both directions. There will be lane shifts as, due to temperature constraints, final paving will not be placed until next spring.

The two-lane highway is being widened to a five-lane highway with sidewalks, curbs and gutters on either side. All driveways and side streets along the 2.7‑mile project were lowered or raised to match the proposed SR-60 grade.

Drivers should expect delays at the intersection of Dalton Pike and McGrady Drive/Treasury Drive.

According to TDOT, the contractor will continue pouring concrete for sidewalks and driveways at various locations along the project. Minor grading behind sidewalks, as well as sod placement, is under way.

- October is the completion date for work on Spring Place Road near the Tennessee and Georgia state line.

The project includes replacing two concrete box bridges over the Conasauga River Overflow and the Conasauga River on Spring Place Road between the state line and Ladd Springs Road.

Detour signs and message boards posted in Georgia and Tennessee assist motorists. Major delays are expected.

Local traffic is permitted at all times to access businesses and residential property within road closure area. Traffic is not permitted in the active work area that is adjacent to the Conasauga River bridges.