CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Cleveland planners would like the Tennessee Department of Transportation to consider ways to reduce congestion at a three-way intersection just yards from exit 25 off Interstate 75.
Cleveland Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization members recently wrote to TDOT's strategic investments division about the intersection of Georgetown Road/State Route 60 with Candies Lane and Ridgeway Drive.
"The Candies Lane/Ridgeway Drive intersection with the State Route 60 and the I-75 access ramps together create a choking point for traffic in both the northbound and southbound directions," said the letter, signed by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland in his role as MPO chairman.
The Candies Lane/Ridgeway Drive intersection actually falls between two proposed TDOT project areas that will impact SR60 between the I-75 interchange and the intersection with Freewill and Eureka roads.
Rowland said Cleveland planners have considered relocating the Candies Lane intersection farther north to improve traffic flow.
However, the complexity of the intersection and its proximity to exit 25 prompted the MPO to ask TDOT for an operational evaluation study.
The state has unveiled plans to widen the ramps at exit 25 to two lanes and provide dual left lanes onto I-75 southbound from Georgetown Road.
Bart Borden, vice president of Cleveland Utilities' electric division, called the prospective improvements "a great example of TDOT responding to the needs of the community."
Signal timing has been changed along the SR 60 corridor as it transitions from 25th Street to Georgetown Road near exit 25, but Borden said recently those changes can only do so much. The nearby intersections themselves must be revamped as well, he said.
To the north of Candies Lane, TDOT has proposed to widen Georgetown Road from South Davis Circle down to the Freewill Road/Eureka Road intersection near Hopewell Elementary School.
That project calls for adding three vehicle lanes plus bike lanes, curbing and sidewalks.
When completed, that section of Georgetown Road will resemble the improvements at Dalton Pike, the eastern end of the S60 corridor in Bradley County, said TDOT officials.
Property acquisition discussions for that project are expected to occur this fall, said Scott Medlin, TDOT project manager.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at email@example.com.