East Ridge/I-75 improvements: Highway access work to kick off in three months

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 1/18/17. Motorists travel on and past the I-75 East Ridge exit on January 18, 2016. The interchange will be reworked removing the clover leaf design streamlining access to Highway 41 and Camp Jordan Parkway.

Orange construction barrels will be popping up soon at the East Ridge exit on Interstate 75 for a project local leaders see as a straight shot to prosperity.

Work is expected to begin in April to untangle the entry/exit ramps on the east side of Exit 1 and build a direct connection to a realigned Camp Jordan Parkway.

City leaders say that's the next step toward unleashing the development potential for the area around Bass Pro Shops.

"It's going to allow access into Camp Jordan much more easily than what we've seen in the past," East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert said.

"What we believe will be several restaurants and a couple hundred thousand square feet of additional retail" are expected once the new entry is in place, Lambert said.

"It's