published Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Downed utility lines keeping W Road closed between Chattanooga and Signal Mountain

A motorist passes a sign that reads “W Road Closed” as he turns onto Anderson Pike from Taft Highway on Monday.
A motorist passes a sign that reads “W Road Closed” as he turns onto Anderson Pike from Taft Highway on Monday.
Photo by Jenna Walker.
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A week after Tropical Storm Lee swirled through the region, work is continuing to clear downed lines and damage on the W Road, one of two arteries between Chattanooga and Signal Mountain.

Hamilton County spokesman Mike Dunn said the road would open for a few hours during this morning's rush hour "to convenience citizens," but it will close again today from 9:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. for further work.

"The telephone company has gotten their lines off the road, but they still have to string them on the poles," Dunn said, adding that the power company had reset poles Friday.

On Monday afternoon, Harold Austin, director of the Hamilton County Highway Department, said road workers were stalled in reopening the W by telephone and cable lines still down on the road.

"We're waiting on cable and phone companies," Austin said. "We've talked to both companies this morning, and they told us they'd try to get them out today. They've just been so busy they couldn't get to them, they said."

All electric lines are repaired along the W Road, he said.

Jim Weigert, spokesman for Comcast, said the cable company's lines were already cleared from the road, and customers along the road have service again with a "temporary" fix.

"But we're not in the way [of reopening the road]," Weigert said.

Cathy Lawandowski, spokeswoman for AT&T, said the phone company had not been notified of a problem.

"AT&T had not been notified that its facilities were preventing work along W Road heading up toward Signal Mountain. AT&T is currently investigating the W Road area and will determine what next steps, if any, are necessary," she said.

Austin said AT&T had been notified.

In the meantime, county road crews have been working on the sections of the W Road they could get to, and they have cleared all the "big stuff" trees that were downed, Austin said.

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about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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