CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – TDOT has signed the contracts for the next big project on I-24.
This one will improve the exit and entrance situation on the stretch of interstate from the Highway 27 split through the South Chattanooga exits… specifically Broad and Market Streets.
And, as we told you last week, the plan includes a new interchange on the old Siskin property at the Tennessee River.
In a nutshell, the plan is to get rid of the old, looping entrance ramps to the interstate and replace them with a new elevated frontage road to allow traffic to merge onto I 24.
It is the next step as they wind down the long, overdue Highway 27 over the river.
TDOT’s Commissioner came to town last week for a private briefing on the project with local political leaders.
And that’s when Senator Bo Watson posted his enthusiasm for the new interchange at the Siskin property.
It will be the first exit in Chattanooga for traffic coming from Nashville and Birmingham.
And local officials say it will be a boom for Southside development and businesses.
The new layout will free up and connect a lot of former industrial property that the interstate runs through coming into Chattanooga.
“We’ve seen this area be blighted over the last decade plus. And now we have a chance to turn it into a place where people can live, where they can work, where they can see entertainment, and that will transform the area and have a huge benefit to the city.
Perimeter Properties is redeveloping the old foundries.
Partner Mike Mallen says “Improving access to the Historic Foundry District and South Broad Corridor will provide required certainty for development prospects and will move us closer to making our unwavering, long-standing vision for the former U.S. Pipe and Wheland site a reality.”
Work has already begun putting up construction signs. For the next few months, they will just be moving utility lines and not impacting traffic much.
The frontage road and most of the work will be on the south edge of I 24 .
The project is scheduled to be finished August 31st of 2023.