U. S. 27 Project in Downtown Chattanooga Running 6 Months Behind

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The massive construction project on U.S. 27 through downtown Chattanooga will not be finished on time.

The contractor has asked TDOT for an extension to complete the project.

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The $126 million dollar TDOT project on US 27 Downtown started back in December of 2015. It is the most expensive project ever undertaken by TDOT to date, and was supposed to be completed by Jan 28th of 2020.

That’s not going to happen.

The contractor has cited several reasons with causing the delays, and they’re asking TDOT for an extension.
The company will be charged $3,200 per day for unfinished work past that completion date.



“They’re asking for – for several reasons, one is the traffic out there, the traffic control, things of that sort, extreme weather, and then also some unforeseen site conditions associated with one of the retaining walls,” said Joe Deering, Region 2 Director for TDOT.

TDOT is evaluating that extension request from the contractor, Dement Construction Company, to determine how many of those additional days were beyond the control of the contractor. The damages assessed to Dement Construction , will be based on that determination. But the bottom line is, no matter how high those damages are, this project will not be finished until the fall of 2020.

“We build weather days into our contract time and so, the way the specifications read, we only give time for what is called “extreme weather”. Extreme weather is actually defined in our specifications, and that’s weather that exceeds what would be your normal weather patterns,” said Director Deering.

This begs the question: could this happen with the I-24/I-75 split design/build project as well?

“Where the liquidated damages or the damages on the downtown project is thirty-two hundred dollars a day, it’s 30 thousand dollars a day for the first 30 days on that project and a HUNDRED thousand dollars thereafter,” said Deering.

Ashley Henderson asked, “So they’re probably going to be on time?”

“We hope so, and they hope so,” said Deering.

TDOT plans to have its response to the extension request completed by mid-January.