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Staff photo by Kim Sebring / Traffic moves on a portion of Apison Pike leading into the heart of Collegedale. The third stage of widening a 3.4-mile stretch of the road will begin next month

The third stage of widening a 3.4-mile stretch of Apison Pike will begin next month, Collegedale Public Works Director Eric Sines reported at the City Commission's meeting Feb. 3.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation-led project will begin in mid-March to create a five-lane thoroughfare with sidewalks, bike lanes and greenway connections from Ooltewah-Ringgold Road east to Layton Lane by the Collegedale Municipal Airport.

The first phase of widening began in 2014, connecting I-75 from the Volkswagen exit to Old Lee Highway. The second phase widened Apison Pike to Ooltewah-Ringgold Road in September 2017.

A fourth and final phase will ultimately make the 0.9-mile stretch of Apison Pike from Layton Lane to East Brainerd Road into five lanes, including a center turn lane, and install bike lanes and sidewalks.

Gov. Bill Lee included the third phase in his Tennessee Department of Transportation's 2020-2023 plan for infrastructure projects. In December 2019, TDOT awarded the contract to Charleston, Tennessee-based Wright Brothers Construction Co. Inc. for roughly $93.2 million.

Major construction will include a bridge that will span the railroad tracks, and throughout the stretch, TDOT will focus on grading, drainage, construction of new bridges, traffic signals and paving.

At a pre-construction meeting on Jan. 31, Sines noted that TDOT will work with schools, McKee and other organizations to minimize traffic for drivers during shift changes and when schools are in session.

TDOT is eyeing a completion date of July 2024 for this phase, Sines reported. Contractually, TDOT must finish the project on or before June 30, 2025. City Manager Ted Rogers reminded the commission that these dates are all subject to change.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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