UPDATE: TDOT to begin work to fix flooding problems at the Cummings Hwy. exit
Sep 10, 2018 2:48 PM -04:00
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: Drivers will no longer have to dodge floodwater on Cummings Highway whenever there is heavy rain. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) plans to make drainage repairs, which will begin Wednesday.
Emily McCurdy, an employee at the Waffles House on Cummings Highway, says the issue is out of control.
“Cars come flying down the freeway here off of 41, and they have to stop instantly because they can’t see the water,” McCurdy said. “Kind of puts a damper on the whole situation; you think somebody’s going to get hurt.”
With the frequent flooding, comes detours for homeowners.
“When it rains hard, we just go the back way," homeowner Allen Randall said. "We don’t even go that way, and most of the folks in the neighborhood know that. It probably takes 10 or 15 minutes to get back out to Cummings Highway. It’s just an aggravation.”
TDOT crews and first responders nearby say a majority of their time is spent helping drivers escape from flooded water.
But that may change with repairs scheduled to start soon. TDOT crews will spend $484,000 to fix a drain they say collapsed.
They say the drain isn't theirs, but aren't sure who it belongs to.
“Our drainage systems are working properly within our right of ways, but when we get off right of ways, then there’s the problem,” TDOT spokesperson Jennifer Flynn said. "We’ve been left with that problem to deal with and this is our fix."
Though everyone has to wait about two months for the problem to be solved, some say it will be worth the wait
PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Department of Transportation will soon begin working to fix drainage issues at the I-24 West ramps at Exit 174 to U.S. 41 (Cummings Hwy.) in Lookout Valley.
The area is known to flood anytime there is heavy rainfall. This requires interstate ramps and U.S. 41 to be closed until the water goes down.
TDOT said Talley Construction will install drainage structures to help with the problem.
The $484,000 project is expected to begin Wednesday, September 12 and be completed by November 15.
Wednesday, Talley Construction will put out construction signs. The work will begin once this is done.
"During the project, the contractor will perform excavation work on the interstate ramps and on Cummings Highway, after which they will install drainage structures," a TDOT spokesperson explained.
TDOT said at least one lane in each direction will remain open while crews work. Talley Construction plans to work six days a week, but TDOT said they will work more if need be.
Drivers are encouraged to be alert to changing conditions in the work zone. TDOT asks that drivers be mindful of working crews.