Interstate 24 Interchange at SR-15 (Exit 134), Rural Interchange Improvement, MonteagleMarion/Grundy County
This project is a Rural Interchange Improvement Program project proposed in the Governor’s FY23 budget. The intent of the Program is to modernize and rehabilitate interchanges which have largely remained unchanged since construction in the 1960s. The location overlapped a TDOT project that was under design to replace the SR-15 bridges over I-24 in Monteagle with similar twin structures.
The project is within Monteagle and provides access to Sewanee and Winchester to the southwest. The interchange also offers a detour route north to Pelham along US 41, which parallels I-24. Exit 127 at SR 50 is 7 miles to the northwest and Exit 135 is 1.5 miles to the east. This interchange is the last westbound exit before descending approximately 800-ft along steep grades. A rest area is present to the west and an eastbound truck inspection station is to the east.
The project team has re-evaluated the bridge Transportation Investment Report from 2020 with additional focus on interchange configuration, ramp terminal operations, multimodal users, maintenance concerns, SR-15 operations, and crash history. Several recommendations are being developed to realize the vision of the Rural Interchange Improvement Program, preparing the interchange for decades to come.
SR-15 (US-41) Modifications
The existing SR-15 roadway, beginning to the west, is 3-lanes with shoulders which widens out to 4-lanes and a grassed median though the interchange before tapering back to a 3-lane curbed section which continues east. In early 2010’s the roadway between US-41 (Dixie Highway) and Dubose Street was 5-lanes prior to being restriped to remove one lane in each direction and provide a bicycle lane and additional buffer to the sidewalks.
SR-15 will be reconstructed, including curb and gutter, throughout the interchange area. The pair of bridges will be replaced with a single bridge, and the railroad bridge to the north will be demolished. Intersection control alternatives are the I-24 ramps are being evaluated.
Mountain Goat Trail
The Mountain Goat Trail will be extended for the limits of the interchange project, starting near Moss Circle and continuing to US-41 (Dixie Highway), along the north side of SR-15. The trail will be further extended east to Dubose Street by the town with a Multi-Modal Access Grant as a separate project.
- An auxiliary lane is being considered to connect the merging lane entering I-24 eastbound from the rest area and the SR-15 exit loop ramp.
- An auxiliary lane is being considered to connect the merging lane entering I-24 westbound from SR-15 loop ramp and the rest area exit ramp.
- These lanes will allow traffic to better match speed and complete lane changes over a longer distance.