TDOT To Expand HELP Program In Four Urban Areas

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s HELP program is growing. TDOT was awarded a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant that will allow the department to add more HELP Operators and trucks, as well as expand the routes of the HELP program in West, Middle, and East Tennessee.

“In the 15 plus years our HELP trucks have been on the road, they have proven to be an invaluable resource for TDOT, other first responders, and the traveling public,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Expanding the program will help us maximize the efficiency of our transportation system and better serve the citizens of our state.”

The expansion of the HELP program will occur in phases, with the Chattanooga area being first. Three additional operators and trucks have been added, bringing the total number in the Chattanooga area to 17. The expansion route was deployed on June 1, 2016. One additional route was added on I-24 west of Chattanooga to the TN/GA stateline on I-24 to Exit 169 in Georgia, a distance of 9.0 miles. This extends service on this corridor where ADT is in excess of 70,000 vehicles per day.

In the Jackson area, six new operators and trucks are being added, increasing the total to 25. The expansion routes could be deployed as early as August 1, 2016 and they are:

·         I-40 and I-55 Mississippi River Crossings

·         Additional HELP truck on the I-240 Loop (some sections in excess of 150,000 ADT)

The Nashville area will get nine additional operators and trucks, bringing the total number to 33.  The expansion routes are currently estimated for deployment on or before September 1, 2016. The three expansion routes are:

·         I-24 east of Nashville, from Exit 57 (Harding Place) to Exit 78 (SR-96) in Murfreesboro - two additional routes (additional 23 miles)

·         I-65 south of Nashville, from Exit 78 (Harding Place) to Exit 65 (SR-96) - one additional route (13 miles)

In the Knoxville area, three additional operators and trucks will be added, bringing the total to 17.  The expansion route is estimated to be deployed in 2017. One additional route will be added to extend approximately 4.0 miles on I-40 west of Knoxville from mile 373 to mile 369 (Watt Road) and an additional 4.0 miles east of town to Exit 398 (Strawberry Plains Pike). This extends service on this corridor where ADT is in excess of 104,000 near the existing route, to 72,000 vehicles per day near Exit 398.

As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.


Signal Mountain Lions Labor Day BBQ Fundraiser Is Sept. 5

Chattanooga Veterans Art Fundraiser Is Saturday

Upcoming Road Closures Announced


The Signal Mountain Lions Club is gearing up for its Labor Day, Sept. 5, BBQ Gala and Raffle. The fun will begin at 11 a.m. at Althaus Park behind the Country Club with pulled pork lunch, hamburgers ... (click for more)

Ketamine Media and Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness are partnering with the WanderLinger Art Gallery to raise funds to support mental health treatment programs in the Chattanooga area. The ... (click for more)

Here are upcoming road closures: 1008 McCallie Ave. The eastbound lane at 1008 McCallie Ave. will be closed on Saturday. Turning north and southbound onto Central Ave ... (click for more)



Happenings

Signal Mountain Lions Labor Day BBQ Fundraiser Is Sept. 5

The Signal Mountain Lions Club is gearing up for its Labor Day, Sept. 5, BBQ Gala and Raffle. The fun will begin at 11 a.m. at Althaus Park behind the Country Club with pulled pork lunch, hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, and funnel cakes provided by the Lions and home-baked cookies and bakery items offered by the Signal Mountain Middle High School Leos, who are affiliated ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Veterans Art Fundraiser Is Saturday

Ketamine Media and Revitalist Lifestyle and Wellness are partnering with the WanderLinger Art Gallery to raise funds to support mental health treatment programs in the Chattanooga area. The gallery will have artwork by local veteran artists and non-military artists, as well as a few informal discussions with vets who have found a creative outlet through various means, on Saturday ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Strong Storm With Lightning Strikes Keeps Firefighters Busy On Saturday Night

The weather made way for a very busy Saturday night for the Chattanooga Fire Department. As a result of severe thunderstorms, Green Shift companies responded to many calls across the city, including wires down, flooding, motor vehicle crashes and several residential fires believed to be caused by lightning strikes. One of the residential fires occurred in the 4000 block of Caine ... (click for more)

Man, 79, Killed In Wreck Near Soddy Daisy On Friday Afternoon

A 79-year-old man was killed in a wreck on Highway 27 near Soddy Daisy on Friday afternoon. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Phillip Morris was going south when he veered across the median and struck a vehicle heading north. The driver of the other vehicle was 28-year-old Tera Denton, who suffered unknown injuries. (click for more)

Opinion

Rest In Peace, Larry Wallace

Athens and Tennessee lost a great friend and a long-time public servant when Larry Wallace passed away Saturday afternoon. The 1962 McMinn County High School graduate started his lifetime law enforcement career with the Athens Police Department in 1964. He joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1967 and was appointed as a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of ... (click for more)

Election Day Observations - And Response

Congratulations to all the winners in Thursday's election. And also thanks to all who ran, it takes a lot of courage to enter the arena of politics. I didn't vote for Weston in the primary but I certainly did in the general election. I think he will do a wonderful job. Sabrena, I voted for you but I would imagine your career is over after one of the dumbest political stunts I ... (click for more)