While 10 months may still be a long time away, the state project to widen East Brainerd Road is finally moving forward following years of gridlock.
"I've told people so many dates on this I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it," said Hamilton County Commissioner Larry Henry. "I anticipated that road to be complete by 2006. They've convinced us Dec. 7  is the day on the final plan and construction will start shortly after the first of the year in 2012."
East Brainerd Road will become four traffic lanes and a continuous turn lane all the way past Ooltewah-Ringgold Road to accommodate a new multi-use development planned for that area. The road was originally going to be widened to its intersection with Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
"It's a big item for East Brainerd to get that road completed on out to Ooltewah-Ringgold [Road]," Henry said. "I know we're going to have a lot of traffic congestion with that road being completed. [TDOT] would rather do it in phases. Gov. [Bill] Haslam, when he was in town the other day, I had an opportunity to bend his ear, and they're going to do that all together and just get it done and completed."
Henry said the road's curves and sight distance issues will be addressed and corrected.