Chattanooga's Highway 27 upgrade adds new retainer walls along with extra lanes, ramps and bridges

The first concrete wall construction for U.S. Highway 27 near Cameron Hill is underway by the Dement Construction Company on the morning of Jan. 31, 2017. The exact location is within the clover loop at the Fourth Street ramps near AT&T Field.

Dement Construction Co., has begun erecting the 1,500-foot long wall that will reach up to 65 feet high along the widened and upgraded Highway 27 and its clover loop taking shape in downtown Chattanooga.

The highway wall is the largest among 31 retaining walls and nine multi-phase bridges included in the four-year construction project. The new wall will be taller than the height of the triple-stack walls that were installed on the completed U.S. 27 North project north of the Olgiati Bridge.

The 2.3-mile upgrade of Highway 27 from Interstate 24 to the Tennessee River will add a couple of additional travel lanes in each direction, modify the interchanges at West Main Street, Martin Luther King Boulevard, and East 4th Street, and add a connector distributor road and a dedicated ramp to 4th street on U.S. 27 North.

Originally built in the 1950s and 1960s, the portion of U.S. 27 from Interstate 24 to the Olgiati Bridge is being reconstructed to improve road safety and capacity for the nearly 70,000 vehicles that travel the highway every day. Jennifer Flynn, public information officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, said the $126 million project is on schedule for completion by June 2019.