I-75 Widening Project in Hamilton County Completed Ahead of Schedule

Friday, August 13, 2010 | 05:00am
Improvements at Ooltewah Interchange at Exit 11 Included
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely announced today the early completion of the $52 million I-75 widening project in Hamilton County. The newly widened section of interstate was fully opened to traffic back on July 1, 2010, nearly six months ahead of schedule. Since that time, crews have been working to put the finishing touches on the project and completed their final work on August 12, 2010, over four months ahead of the scheduled December 31, 2010 completion.
“The Ooltewah-Collegedale area is one of the fastest growing areas in southeast Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “The extra interstate lanes and improved interchange at Exit 11 will improve traffic flow and the overall efficiency of this stretch of I-75.”
The project, which included widening the section of I-75 from one mile south of Exit 11 to one mile north of Exit 11 to four lanes in each direction, also included the construction of new interstate bridges over Wolftever Creek and Lee Highway (SR-2/US-11) and major improvements to the interchange at Exit 11 for safety, more capacity and better traffic movement. As part of the interchange improvements, traffic traveling south on Lee Highway accessing I‑75 South toward Chattanooga now has a dedicated loop ramp that allows them to enter directly onto I‑75 South from the right lane instead of having to turn left across northbound traffic as in the past. Hunter and Mountain View Roads were also realigned during the project. As a result, an additional 350 ft. was added to Lee Highway, allowing more room for drivers. Additional lanes were added on Lee Highway, Hunter Road and Mountain View Road near their shared intersection, and new signals were installed throughout the project area.
“To successfully complete a project of this magnitude is always a great accomplishment, but to do it early is even more impressive.” Region Two Director Bob Brown added. “I am particularly happy that the new interchange was open and functioning before the school year began, because the close proximity of the high school always results in increased traffic volume in this area when school is in session.”
Contractor Bell & Associates began work on the 2.6-mile project on November 8, 2007.  The contractor had a contract completion date of December 31, 2010, but they were able to get all lanes constructed and completely open to traffic by July 1, 2010 - nearly six months early. Because of the early completion of the project, the contractor will receive a $1.8 million incentive bonus. Once the contractor opened all lanes to traffic, all that remained to do was some minor finishing work, final clean up and demobilization.

Jennifer Flynn
TDOT Community Relations Officer

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