I-75 bridge railing collapse: Four things you should know while traveling

I-75 bridge railing collapse: Four things you should know while traveling

April 2nd, 2019 by Staff Report in Breaking News

Traffic is shifted right onto Interstate 75 North following a railing collapse on the Interstate 75 South ramp to I-75 South Monday, April 1, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The ramp from 1-75 North to I-24 West will be closed during the repairs.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Emergency bridge repairs on Interstate 75 South at the I-24 split continued this morning. 

The damage occurred Monday morning after the side of the ramp collapsed, tumbling onto the I-75/I-24 ramp headed to Chattanooga. 

Here's what you need to know this morning:

What's traffic like around the split?

The left lane of the bridge heading south on Interstate 75 remains closed; traffic heading in that direction has been moving slowly. All other lanes are open.

For the latest traffic information, visit smartway.tn.gov.

What caused the partial collapse?

Officials from the Tennessee Department of Transportation are working to find out what caused the rail to fall. 

On Monday, Joe Deering with TDOT said officials are reviewing video footage to see if an oversized truck may have caused the damage.

The bridge was built in the 1950s and was last inspected in 2018. Officials said they were confident the bridge is structurally sound.
 
What's being done to fix it?

TDOT crews have worked to install a temporary fix. A more permanent repair will be done over the next three to four weeks, according to TDOT officials.

Will this speed up the interchange overhaul?

A major overhaul of the interchange, one of the region's busiest, was already planned for later this year.

Construction on the project is expected begin this summer and will cost an estimated $65 million. It is part of former Gov. Bill Haslam's IMPROVE Act. Monday's incident, however, is not expected to expedite that process. 

So while traffic is almost back to normal now, motorists can look forward to more delays in the future.


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