Hamilton County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a plan to extend Apison Pike to the new Enterprise South exit on Interstate 75.
"We will probably have a firm onboard to do the design-build project in early fall of this year," said Jennifer Flynn, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which pushed the plan. "We don't know exactly how long the project will take, but probably 18 months to two years from the time it begins."
The road will open direct interstate access to Enterprise South industrial park, home of the new Volkswagen plant.
Ms. Flynn said she did not have a cost estimate, but she said the project likely would cost several million dollars.
Before the commission's vote, County Commissioner Bill Hullander, chairman of the commission's Roads, Waste, Energy, Transportation and Zoning Committee, noted that no county money will be tied up in the project.
The project will be paid for with 80 percent federal money and 20 percent state funds, Ms. Flynn said.
She said the contractor hired to design and build the road extension likely will work nights to avoid disrupting traffic.
Also on Wednesday, the commission passed a resolution to provide a tax break to Chattem Inc. for the company's $35.5 million expansion.
The commission passed another resolution authorizing Mayor Claude Ramsey to submit an application for a $750,000 grant for improvements at Chattem. The company will provide a $353,000 local match to the grant, the resolution states.