published Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Multiple TDOT projects in the works for Bradley County

Construction continues at exit 20 on Interstate 75 in Bradley County, Tenn.
Construction continues at exit 20 on Interstate 75 in Bradley County, Tenn.
Photo by C. B. Schmelter.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Tennessee Department of Transportation projects on tap for Bradley County include an overhaul of Interstate 75's exit 20, a new interchange on APD-40 and improvements on Durkee Road, Benton Pike and Georgetown Road.

"We've got our share of TDOT projects as we speak," Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis recently told the Rotary Club of Cleveland. "We have urged, worked, begged and pleaded with the state for the last 15 years to do something about exit 20, and if you've gone through there lately, they're finally doing something about exit 20."

Work at the exit 20 site now involves the construction of a new concrete bridge and grading, drainage and paving, Jennifer Flynn, community relations officer for TDOT, noted in a news release.

APD-40 southbound toward I-75 has been reduced to one lane from exit 20 to the end of the project, Flynn said. The designated right turn lane on APD-40 will be closed for road widening work, and the I-75 northbound ramp has been reduced to 16 feet, she said.

The estimated completion date for the project is November 2015.

Officials recently discussed preparations for construction of the new APD-40 interchange that will provide access to a planned industrial park, said Jimmy Isom, manager of engineering for Cleveland Utilities.

A phased approach to the project will give TVA and Cleveland Utilities the time to adjust positioning of transmission lines while moving forward with access to the industrial area, he said.

Isom said consultants on the project also agreed to make changes in the street lighting materials used for the new interchange. The interchange plans originally called for materials that were non-standard for Cleveland Utilities and did not match the street lighting on the rest of APD-40, he said.

Benton Pike and Durkee Road are undergoing widening and other improvements to provide safer industrial access to Cleveland's new Whirlpool facility, officials said.

Grading, drainage and paving work is underway, Flynn said. Estimated completion for the Benton Pike/Durkee Road project is July 2014.

Davis said a proposal to widen Georgetown Road has undergone its study phase, and acquisition of easements will be the next phase of the project.

TDOT officials have said they plan to increase the number of lanes from two to five and add bike lanes, curbing and sidewalks on Georgetown Road.

Those changes are expected to mirror recent improvements made to Dalton Pike, Davis said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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