DOT Project Will No Longer Require Closure Of Walnut Avenue Bridge In Dalton

Monday, January 29, 2018

After a meeting with a group of Dalton city leaders, the Georgia Department of Transportation has agreed to revise plans for the renovation of the Walnut Avenue bridge span over I-75. The new plan will allow the bridge to remain open to traffic during the bridge renovation and also moves construction to the summer of 2019 when traffic to and from nearby Dalton State College will be at a minimum. The DOT project will raise the bridge higher over the interstate to allow larger cargo to be transported on I-75.

 

The original plan called for construction work to take place over the course of five weekends in late summer or early fall.  That plan would have required the bridge and interstate interchange to be closed to all traffic.  On Jan.

5, City Administrator Jason Parker and Public Works Director Benny Dunn and a group of city leaders were joined by State Senator Chuck Payne at a meeting with managers of the DOT project.  Also attending the meeting were Assistant Director Andrew Parker from Public Works, Director of Tourism Brett Huske, and Dalton Convention Center General Manager Doug Phipps. At that meeting, Dalton leaders expressed the community’s concerns about the impact the bridge closure could have on the community.  The Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that closing the bridge on five consecutive weekends could have an economic impact of as much as $400,000 on the community.

 

Public Works Director Benny Dunn proposed a different plan that would allow the bridge to remain open, and DOT leaders were receptive. DOT Project Manager Clayton Bennett worked with the Dalton Public Works group to develop a plan that would raise the bridge and effect the other renovations while leaving one lane of travel in both directions open. The DOT also agreed to schedule the work sometime in 2019 between May 31, and Aug. 15, to coincide with Dalton State College’s summer term when traffic on nearby College Drive should be at a minimum. The new plan should be able to be completed with two weeks of work.

 

“When we scheduled the meeting with GDOT we were hoping to get the weekend closures reduced down to possibly two and having the other work done through a staging process,” said Mr. Dunn.  “We were extremely pleased when the GDOT rep, Clayton Bennett, said he could do ‘all’ the rehab work under traffic without having any bridge closures.  GDOT will incur some extra construction costs by doing the work under traffic, but it will absolutely benefit the City.  We are so thankful for GDOT’s willingness to work with the City and with the support we had from Senator Chuck Payne.”

 

“That bridge is a lifeline for residents, businesses, Dalton State College, and tourism in general,” said Mr. Parker. “The change to the plan ensures that lifeline will stay open. We really appreciate the willingness of DOT to meet on fairly short notice, and their flexibility in considering options. Considering how far along in planning they were, we were surprised and very thankful for the changes.”

“I'm extremely proud of and thankful for our delegation that met with the DOT to make these vital changes to the original plans and I also want to thank citizens who made comments as requested by DOT,” said Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock. “DOT is also to be commended for their willingness to listen and revise plans according to our community's wishes and needs.”

The Walnut Avenue Bridge is currently at a height of 15’11” over the interstate.  The renovation project will use hydraulic jacks to lift the bridge span to a height of 17’ over the interstate to adhere to new standards and allow for the transportation of oversized cargo loads on the interstate.


Troopers Chasing Car Stop It From Driving Over Chickamauga Dam The Wrong Way

Man Trapped In Car For Several Hours In Hixson Ravine

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report


A vehicle started going the wrong way on Highway 153 during a police chase early Saturday morning. The Tennessee Highway Patrol was able to stop the car from driving over Chickamauga Dam. ... (click for more)

A man was rescued from a vehicle early Saturday morning after being trapped for several hours in a Hixson ravine. Authorities said he was trapped for about two hours at 5900 Gann Road. ... (click for more)

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, CHRISTOPHER DEWAYNE 5700 ROPER ST APT M14 EAST RIDGE, 37412 Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Troopers Chasing Car Stop It From Driving Over Chickamauga Dam The Wrong Way

A vehicle started going the wrong way on Highway 153 during a police chase early Saturday morning. The Tennessee Highway Patrol was able to stop the car from driving over Chickamauga Dam. Both the driver's vehicle and a state trooper patrol vehicle were damaged in the incident. It happened shortly after 1 a.m. with the chase beginning at the Ridge Cut and leading to Highway ... (click for more)

Man Trapped In Car For Several Hours In Hixson Ravine

A man was rescued from a vehicle early Saturday morning after being trapped for several hours in a Hixson ravine. Authorities said he was trapped for about two hours at 5900 Gann Road. Emergency personnel from Dallas Bay were finally summoned to the scene. The front windshield had to be cut out so he could be freed. The man was able to walk out on his own. However, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Jim Morgan - My Coach And Neighbor

Upon Jim Morgan's death, my mind and heart flooded back to my memories of growing up in Chattanooga. I thought I would share my fond memories of such a great man. A few thoughts for one of the sweetest and finest men I ever knew: I remember Jim Morgan "Coach" not just as one of his wrestlers, but as a close family friend, teacher and neighbor. While Coach was my ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It seems there has been quite an increase in calls from telemarketers and I asked my man Cleo if he had any idea how to stop them. “What works if you are male -- Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with XYZ Company." You wait for a second and, with a real husky voice, ask, "What are you wearing?" If you are a female try this: Cry out in surprise, "Judy? Is that you? Oh my ... (click for more)

Sports

Williams, Cornelius Lead UTC Past Furman, 73-53

Freshmen Eboni Williams and Abbey Cornelius led UTC to a 43-20 first-half lead over Furman on Saturday at McKenzie Arena. Chattanooga wound up winning 73-53 to stay undefeated in Southern Conference play at 3-0. Williams came off the bench to score 13, while the 6'2" Cornelius from Knoxville had eight in the first stanza. Williams left with a shoulder injury late in the game ... (click for more)

Hendricks, Kurtz Lead Baylor Past McCallie

It’s still the most intense high school rivalry in Hamilton County and there have been plenty of athletic contests between the two schools that went down to the wire or determined on the final play, but that was not the case at Baylor’s Jimmy Duke Arena and Austin Clark Court Friday night when McCallie stopped by for a visit. The Blue Tornado struck first with a 3 from Tanner ... (click for more)