A reshaping of the dangerous and congested I-24/I-75 interchange in Brainerd will include widening existing roads and ramps and increasing ramp angles to provide 55 mph design speed, TDOT officials said.
The work that is expected to cost between $65 million and $70 million or more also reconfigures I-24 ramps to enter and exit I-75 from the right side, shifts the interchange to the west and modifies the nearby welcome center area traffic circulation.
Officials said it will be done as a Design-Build project.
Officials said, "Instead of the usual processes that TDOT uses in developing a project, a Design-Build team will be selected for the project. Design-Build refers to a project method that combines all or some portions of the design and construction phases of a project — including the design, right-of-way acquisition, regulatory permit approvals, utility relocation and construction — into a single contract. The winning Design-Build team will take care of all aspects of the project. We should have the Design-Build team on board by the end of the year."
It is expected that approval of the Design-Build contract would be next Oct. 26 with an order to proceed with construction on Nov. 2.
The project stretches between the Georgia state line and East Brainerd Road Interchange on I-75 and between Belvoir Road and the I-24 Interchange and I-75 Interchange on I-24.
The project will also include new bridges for Spring Creek Road, McBrien Road and Moore Road over I-24 as well as Interstate bridges. Retaining walls will be required along I-24 and between I-75 and the Welcome Center area.
Only minor design work, such as resurfacing and restriping, is anticipated on North and South Terrace with the exception of slope mediation on North Terrace near the Belvoir Road Intersection.
Officials said, "The project’s primary purpose is to provide present and future congestion relief, reduce the high crash rate and to address the deficiencies of the existing interchange."