published Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Hearing set on intersection as Dalton Pike work nears end

  • photo
    Traffic travels down Dalton Pike Wednesday in Cleveland, Tenn. The road is being widened and the project should be completed in 2012.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- After decades of planning, public hearings and construction work, 2012 will bring the end of a project to widen a section of Dalton Pike south of Cleveland.

But as one long-sought project nears the finish line, planning goes on for another.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing Jan. 31 at Ocoee Middle School on widening the intersection at 25th and North Ocoee streets.

TDOT PROJECTS

Other area projects with contracted 2012 completion dates:

Bledsoe County: Lantana Road bridge repair over Beaver Dam Creek, September.

Marion County: I-24 at exit 152 bridge construction, September.

McMinn County: State Highway 30 widening project from Athens city limits to east of County Road 609, May.

Polk County: U.S. Highway 411 improvements from Benton to state Route 30, November; bridge rehabilitation over Brush Creek on U.S. Highway 64, May. Traffic signals have been installed at both ends of the bridge. May.

Sequatchie/Van Buren counties: Widening of state Route 111, October.

Source: Tennessee Department of Transportation

That meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. will include a presentation and a question-and-answer session. The public may ask questions or comment on any aspect of the widening.

According to the notice to Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, the project includes four 11-foot travel lanes, two 11-foot left-turn lanes and one 11-foot right-turn lane.

The intersection project is not yet funded for right-of-way acquisition or construction, TDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said.

The $15.4 million Dalton Pike widening includes five 12-foot lanes with curbs and guttering and 5-foot sidewalks on each side from near Gilliland Road to McGrady Drive. The section along McGrady Drive will have six 12-foot lanes to accommodate more turning lanes.

"Most of that project is in the county," Rowland said Wednesday. "But it is important to the safety of the city's visitors and shoppers."

Highways Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn., is the contractor for the widening, and the contract completion date is June 2012.

The project included moving utility lines; acquiring dozens of homes, two small stores and a church property; and straightening several curves that have been accident scenes for years.

Work was in progress Wednesday on building a new Waterville Baptist Church just south of the construction zone.

The widening affected city-owned Waterville Golf Course.

"It almost changed the entire back nine," course manager Jimmy Tatum said.

For now, nine holes are open, and Tatum said he hopes the rest will be ready by midsummer. That depends on the construction and the weather, he said.

Another project winding down in the new year is installation of two concrete box bridges over Greasy Creek and Branch Creek. Work continues on both the Georgetown and Hopewell ends of the project.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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