The I-75/I-24 Interchange Disaster - And Response (4)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

We all waited a couple of years for the grand new interchange  of I-75/I-24.  Little did we know what a disaster it would become. 

To go right on 75 North, you must get in the left lanes. To go left to I-24, you must get in the right lanes, and that's where the deaths will occur.  The overpass from the right lanes onto I-24 West has created a small mountain which brings the tractor trailers to a complete stop when traffic is heavy.  Once stopped, everybody has to stop since three lanes merge into one.

To make matters worse, traffic in the left lanes to go right onto 75 North continue to run at 75 mph.  That is until somebody realizes the logical choice of right lane turns right is wrong, they stop in the 75 mph lane and wait until someone lets them cut into the right lanes turning left onto I-24 West. It is quite a surprise to many drivers running 75 mph to suddenly find that four out of six lanes are at a dead stand still. 

There is no logical fix for this disaster. Maybe a few signs at Cloud Springs Road saying '4 right lanes ahead must  completely stop, sometimes'. 

An officer working one of the rear-end collisions was hit by another driver who had no idea that everybody must stop on the interstate highway.  The officer wasn't seriously injured, but it was close. What will it take to change this disaster before someone is killed?

Harry Presley

* * *

In response to Mr. Presleys letter, I totally agree.  I kept waiting for the merge lane from 75 north to 24 west to be made into at least two lanes, since it seems that there is plenty of room on the merge mountain.   But, no, three lanes still go down to one lane with the added bonus of an entrance lane coming from East Ridge being added at the last moment.  Did anyone have a piece of paper and a pencil to draw this mess out before they built it?  Well, at least I won't have to worry if there is ever a serious incident at Sequoyah, because there is no way that you could ever evacuate this city in less than four days with the 24 to Lookout Valley disaster, the Ridgecut disaster, the 24/75 ongoing disaster and the Ooltewah Collegedale mess leading to the Whiteoak Mountain mess.  Well done, TDOT.   

Steve Petarra

* * *

The right lane to go left design is NOT a problem to anyone who looks at the signs. It is well marked. It follows the Federal guidelines.

When I-24 is widened, as is now in progress, the congestion problem will be eliminated.

I LIKE the new design!

John L. Odom

* * *

One improvement that I see is that bridges aren’t randomly falling down in the middle of the interstate, but otherwise there is no improvement to the traffic congestion on Chattanooga area interstates.  Another suggestion for signage to be added as motorists approach from all directions is, “Welcome to Chattanooga – Free 2-hour Parking!”
 
Robert Maner

* * *

When the plans were finalized and revealed for the split, I recall reading about the grade the DOT was giving the interchange. Before the construction, the split was given an "F." Afterward, it was to be a "D." Or maybe it was a "C," I'm not sure. So my expectations were very, very low. Unfortunately, I was right. All the money, materials and headaches for minimal improvement is such a shame.

Sam Taylor


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