SmartWay cameras are designed to scan busy roads across Tennessee and deliver real-time images to computer screens and mobile devices so motorists know when to detour.
Lately, 11 of the 60 cameras in the Chattanooga area have been on the blink - either inoperable or showing frozen displays of traffic.
State transportation officials blame the economy.
"The cameras are all inoperable for various reasons, but they haven't been repaired because the company that was contracted to do repairs went bankrupt," Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said.
Since Friday, six of the 11 malfunctioning cameras have been fixed.
Those cameras were inoperable because of telephone problems and returned to service when AT&T fixed the telephone line, Ms. Flynn said.
The remaining five cameras require repairs, she said. TDOT is negotiating with a new company, which may repair some or all of the failed devices before a new contract is completed.
"We invested so much money, we aren't just going to leave them not working," she said.
The $3.8 million camera project, which started here in 2006, is part of TDOT's SmartWay program.
The outages are an inconvenience for motorists.
"If I get held up in traffic south of Tennessee, like in Dalton, I can pull up the traffic cameras on my iPhone," said Antonio Salter, of Antioch, Tenn., who commutes through Chattanooga at least twice a week.
"If there was trouble, I could find out exactly where it is, see the damage and decide if I needed to divert," he said.
The cameras also are online at the TDOT Web site, which includes a statewide map that pinpoints problems.
Plans are to add more cameras as well as 16 message boards across the area, including one in North Georgia, Ms. Flynn said.
The boards will be placed on Interstates 75 and 24, U.S. Highway 27 and state Route 153. Four signs already have been placed along I-75 and Highway 153, she said.
The message board in Catoosa County, Ga., will advise motorists heading toward Tennessee.