A hilly stretch of Dietz Road will close to through traffic Monday for up to three months so construction workers can lower it and improve drivers' sight lines.
Talley Construction Co. of Rossville will be paid $400,479 by Catoosa County to lower an 800-foot section of Dietz Road south of Cloud Springs Road.
"It should be open by Thanksgiving," county projects administrator Christal Thomas said. "Our goal and Talley's goal, I'm sure, is to get in and out as soon as possible."
Signs alerting drivers to the road's impending closure to through traffic went up about a week ago, she said.
"That's the key word, 'through traffic,'" Thomas said. "Local residents will have access at all times."
Service providers, such as Meals on Wheels for senior citizens and emergency vehicles, she said, also will be able to access the section of Dietz during construction.
The project will include removal of a large rubber speed hump, or speed table.
Talley Construction Co. was the sole bidder for the project, which is being funded through special purpose local option sales tax money, a levy of 1 cent per $1 of sales. A handful of potential bidders showed up for a pre-bid conference in June.
A good-sized crowd came Thursday night to a neighborhood meeting about the road work, Thomas said. Among them was County Commissioner Bobby Winters, who represents the area.
"After it's all completed, I think everybody will be really content," Winters said. "I think the people that drive so much on Dietz Road will appreciate that they can see and getting rid of that [speed] table."
"I just wish we had the money to sidewalk it, but that's so much money," Winters said. "Maybe in the future."
Winters said he hopes the weather cooperates with the project.
"Let's hope we have a lot of pretty days to get in there and get this job done," he said.
Contact Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or 423-757-6651.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.