published Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Paving almost finished on Signal Mountain route


by Cliff Hightower
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Just weeks after road crews started laying down asphalt, five miles of paving on U.S. Highway 127 has been completed.

“They are done with the asphalt,” said B.J. Daughty, Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “They are not done with the project.”

The only roadwork left is for contractors to put in rumble strips and stripe the road, and that should be completed within the next few weeks, she said.

The project started June 13 and is ahead of schedule, Daughty said. The project called for the contractor to be completed within 50 days and the deadline was July 31, she said.

About 7,300 vehicles a day travel the road, which is the primary route to and from Signal Mountain.

The project cost is $927,090, with federal money covering 90 percent of the job. But the paving does not address problems that caused an area of the road to crumble and fall down the mountainside in 2009.

Signal Mountain Mayor Bill Lusk said he has been reassured those concerns would be addressed at a later date. Overall, he said, the recent paving caused few headaches for those who live on top of the mountain.

“For all intents and purposes, it is complete,” he said. “They made it about as painless as possible.”

Daughty said it is not unusual for paving projects to be completed earlier since contracts are usually made longer to allow for any weather problems and give contractors time to maneuver resources needed for the projects.

“It really doesn’t take that long,” she said.

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