GDOT: Alabama Hwy Construction Update

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) ongoing Alabama Highway widening and reconstruction project in Ringgold will take longer than expected to complete and will cost $1.5 million more than originally expected.

Work on the project initially began in July 2017 with a projected completion date of December 2020. Officials with GDOT now say the construction timeline has been pushed back almost 10 months.

As far as the current construction and future detours go, GDOT officials have urged drivers to be as safe as possible when traveling through the construction zones and detours.

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Click HERE For Weekend Road Closures

Thursday, February 20
Grand Opening of the Medal of Honor Museum –  W Aquarium Way between Broad Street and Market Street will be closed on Thursday, February 20th from 3PM until 10PM for set up and preview functions.


Friday, February 21
Southside Social Weekend Closures –  Chestnut Street between W 17th Street and W 19th Street will be closed every Friday and Saturday night from 9PM until 2AM.  This closure will be in effect through December 19, 2020
Saturday, February 22

Grand Opening of the Medal of Honor Museum –  W Aquarium Way between Broad Street and Market Street; also Broad Street between Shuttle Park South and W Aquarium Way, will be closed on Saturday, February 22nd from 8AM until 2PM for Grand Opening events.  

Mardis Gras On Station Street –  Station Street between Market Street and Rossville Ave will be closed Saturday, February 22nd at 6AM until Sunday, February 23rd at 2AM for Mardis Gras on Station Street event.

Southside Social Weekend Closures –  Chestnut Street between W 17th Street and W 19th Street will be closed every Friday and Saturday night from 9PM until 2AM.  This closure will be in effect through December 19, 2020.  

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Just What Is Hands Free Tennessee?

Most people have heard of “Hands Free Tennessee” but might not be clear on everything included in the law. If so, here you go…

WHAT IS the Tennessee Hands Free Law?

PC0412 makes it illegal for a driver to:

(a) hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their body,

(b) write, send, or read any text-based communication,

(c) reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt,

(d) watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device, and

(e) record or broadcast video on a cellphone or mobile device.

Is distracted driving a problem in Tennessee?

In 2018, there were over 24,600 crashes involving a distracted driver in Tennessee. On average, that is sixty-seven crashes every single day. A recent study listed Tennessee as having the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation – nearly five times the national average. Your phone can wait – your safety can’t.

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Will This Rain Ever Stop?

I guess luckily the answer to that question is yes as forecasters are calling for a cooler but dry weekend. In the meantime, slick roads are resulting in accidents a plenty on our roadways. Please pack a little extra patience before your next commute! Here are some tips for driving in the rain:

Slow down. Wet pavement causes tires to lose traction and vehicles become more difficult to handle.

Avoid standing water on roadways. Not only can you hydroplane and lose control, but you can impair your vision and other drivers’ visibility by splashing through puddles. Moreover, standing water often shields potholes and debris from view and it can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s brakes.

Increase your following distance. Slick roads, wet brakes and reduced visibility can lead to collisions. Give other vehicles plenty of room and brake early with reduced force.

If your car begins to hydroplane, do not brake or turn the wheel abruptly as this may cause your vehicle to go into a skid or spin. Take your foot off the gas and keep the wheel straight until your car reclaims traction. Brake gently if needed.

Don’t use cruise control. It can cause your car to accelerate when hydroplaning and reduces driver attentiveness.

Grip the steering wheel with both hands to maximize vehicle control. This means putting down your cell phone (remember, texting while driving is still illegal in 35 states) coffee, makeup, shaver, sandwich or anything else that takes your hands off the wheel and eyes away from the road.

Keep your windshield wipers in tip-top shape. Winter cold can wreak havoc on your blades, so get them checked before rainy seasons arrive.

Defog your windows. Precipitation can cause your windshield to quickly fog up, so use the front and rear defrosters to maximize visibility.

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And You Thought YOUR Commute Was Bad

  • Here are some of the worst traffic tie ups in US history, according to Forbes.com
  • Bethel, New York: August 1969.  This three-day tie-up over August 15-18, 1969 is historic for more than just traffic. With more than 500,000 attendees descending on Max Yasgur’s famous farm for the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, the New York Thruway became a stranglehold for more than 20 miles, with many motorists eventually abandoning their cars and hoofing it to enjoy “three days of peace and music” (and rain and mud and more than 10 times the anticipated crowd). Performers had to be flown to and from the site in helicopters to avoid the crippling congestion.
  • Chicago, Illinois: February 2011.  A near-record 20.2 inches of snow fell on the Windy City on February 1, 2011 in a late-winter blizzard that hit the hardest during the evening rush hour. The most unfortunate commuters were those on the otherwise idyllic Lake Shore Drive headed northbound from downtown Chicago. A series of weather-related accidents slowed, and then halted traffic and buried motorists for more than 12 hours in drifting snow that reached almost as high as the cars’ windshields.
  • Interstate 45, Texas: September 2005.  With Hurricane Rita approaching Houston residents were told to evacuate on September 21, 2005, with as many as 2.5 million of them packing evacuation routes, creating a massive 100-mile queue on Interstate 45. The congestion reportedly lasted for as much as 48 hours, leaving motorists stranded for as long as 24 hours along the 300-mile route from Galveston to Dallas. Though crippling, the mass evacuation is said to have probably saved many lives.
  • New York City, New York: September 2001.  In the days following the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, New York City was virtually locked down, with bridges and tunnels closed to all but emergency vehicles, public transportation shut down and traffic at a halt across the city. What’s more, the nation’s air traffic was grounded, leaving thousands of travelers stranded across the U.S.

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TDOT Roadway Activity Report – February 13-19, 2020

DISTRICT 29

BRADLEY COUNTY Utility Work on SR-312 (HARRISON PK.) westbound from LM 7.73 to LM 7.73: A single lane closure of the westbound lane will occur between Nicholson Dr. SW and Conner Rd. Signage and flaggers will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area, be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 AM to 3 PM from 02/03/20 through 02/19/20.

BRADLEY COUNTY SR-308 Installation of signals at the intersection of Walker Valley Road (LM 6.3): During this reporting period, the contractor will be working on the shoulders of SR-308 to perform foundation work for the installation of new signal poles. Motorists are advised to use caution and watch for work vehicles entering and leaving the highway in the work zone.  Estimated project completion date is April 2020.

HAMILTON COUNTY I-75 at I-24 Interchange Reconstruction: Phase 1 traffic shifts have been implemented. Traffic should expect multiple lane shifts traveling through the interchange. Lane closures will occur Sunday nights through Thursdays nights between 9 PM and 6 AM at the following locations: I-75 NB at state line, I-75 NB MM 2, I-75 SB MM 3, I-24 EB MM 184, and I-24 WB MM 185. Traffic pacing will also occur for I-75 NB, I-75 SB, and I-24 EB. Additionally, there may intermittent shoulder closures at various locations for access to the median and roadside areas. The speed limit has been reduced to 45 MPH throughout the interchange.

HAMILTON COUNTY US-27 (I-124) Widening from I-24/US-27 interchange to north of the Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River, including widening the Olgiati Bridge: Work on this project continues with activities occurring on the west side of southbound US-27. Motorists should be alert for construction vehicles entering and leaving the area along the access ramps for east and westbound M. L. King Boulevard. The speed limit for the access ramp is 35 MPH. The southbound ramp from W. Main St. to southbound US-27 has been temporarily closed and will remain so until further notice. Detours are posted. Motorists should pay close attention to the detour signage posted. The speed limit on US-27 in the construction zone remains 45 MPH. Weather permitting; the contractor may implement temporary lane/shoulder closures on weeknights between the hours of 7 PM and 6 AM. At least one lane will remain open in each direction on US-27. RESTRICTIONS: I-124 (US-27)Northbound Exit 1C 4th St Off Ramp: No oversize/over dimensional loads; I-124 (US-27)Southbound Exit 1C 4th St Of Ramp: On oversize/over dimensional loads; I-124 (US-27) Southbound Exit 1A-B Martin Luther King Blvd. Off Ramp: No oversized/over dimensional loads; I-124 (US-27) Southbound On Ramps from Martin Luther King Blvd.: No oversized/over dimensional loads.

HAMILTON COUNTY Utility Work on SR-2 (BRAINERD RD.) westbound from LM 14.48 to LM 15.05: Nighttime shoulder and single lane closure of the westbound lane will occur between Eastgate Loop and 5916 Brainerd Rd. (Chickamauga Creek area). Arrow boards, signage and cones will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area and be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 PM to 5 AM from 02/10/20 through 02/19/20.

HAMILTON COUNTY Utility Work on SR-317 (BONNY OAKS DR.) westbound from LM 2.90 to LM 1.74: Nighttime single lane closure of the westbound lane will occur between Holiday Hills Drive and Jersey Pike. Arrow boards, flaggers, signage and cones will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area, be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 PM to 5 AM from 02/18/20 through 02/21/2020.

HAMILTON COUNTY Utility Work on SR-319 (HIXSON PK.) eastbound from LM 9.89 to LM 9.89: A single lane closure of the eastbound lane will occur between Gold Point Lane and Hideaway Lane. Arrow boards, signage and cones will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area, be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 AM to 2 PM from 02/03/20 through 02/19/20.

HAMILTON COUNTY Utility Work on SR-320 (E. BRAINERD RD.) eastbound from LM 0.70 to LM 1.0: Shoulder and single lane closure of the eastbound lane will occur between Walker Road and Vance Road. Flaggers, signage and cones will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area, be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 AM to 2 PM on 02/18/2020.

HAMILTON COUNTY Utility Work on SR-320 (E. BRAINERD RD.) westbound from LM 0.03 to LM 1.6: Nighttime shoulder and single lane closure of the westbound lane will occur between Brainerd Road and Walker Road, also between Hickory Valley Road and North Concord Road. Arrow boards, signage and cones will be present. Motorists should use caution through the area and be aware of personnel and equipment. 9 PM to 5 AM from 02/06/20 through 02/19/20.

HAMILTON COUNTY Cleaning of the McCallie Tunnel on SR-2 (US-64, US-11), the Stringers Ridge Tunnel on SR-8 (US-127), and the Bachman Tubes on SR-8 (US-76, US-41): The McCallie tunnel will be cleaned on Wednesday, night (2/19/20) between 8PM – 6AM. This will be supported by a flagging operation, allowing one way traffic alternatively. Additionally, the Stringers Ridge tunnel will be cleaned Wednesday night under a signed detour. On Thursday night (2/20/20) between 8PM – 6AM the Bachman Tunnels will be cleaned under a signed detour traffic control operation. Estimated project completion date is June 2020.

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The Dangers Of Texting While Driving

Would you ever drive the length of a football field at 55 mph blindfolded? Well that’s essentially what you’re doing when texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting behind the wheel takes a driver’s eye off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the time it takes to go from one end zone to the other. Dangerous? Incredibly. Deadly? You bet. Texting while driving has now replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teenage drivers. 

Teenagers are not the only ones guilty. According to a survey conducted by AT&T, 49 percent of American adult drivers admitted they text while driving. In that same survey, more than 90 percent of drivers know texting while driving is dangerous. So why are we still doing it? Experts believe we compulsively check our phones because every time we get an alert on our phone our brain sends out a signal that makes us feel happy. Drivers are saying they continue to do this because it’s a habit, like to stay connected and it makes them feel more productive. 

States are now enforcing strict texting while driving laws and public service like AT&T’s campaign It Can Wait are working hard to educate the public on the dangers and consequences.

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CDOT Upcoming Road Closures

Reminder: 629 Market Street

The Market Street closure started today at 1:00PM between 6th Street and 7th Street for crane installation. This closure is in effect until Tuesday, February 18th at 5:00AM. Detours are posted via Broad Street.  Ely Road at Hixson Pike

Beginning Monday, February 17th at 8:00AM through Friday, February 21st at 7:00PM, Ely Road will be closed between Bagwell Ave and Hixson Pike for repaving. Detours will be posted via Bagwell Ave.  

For the same duration, Hixson Pike at the intersection of Ely Road will see single lane closures both northbound and southbound to accommodate repaving. Please use caution when traveling through the construction zone and plan for potential delays.  

5200 Hunter RoadThe 5200 block of Hunter Road will be closed beginning Monday, February 17ththrough Friday, February 21st from 8:30AM until 1:15PM daily for sewer repairs. Detours will be posted.

Standifer Gap Road
Standifer Gap Road near the intersection of Shallowford Road will be closed beginning Monday, February 17ththrough Thursday, February 20th from 8:30AM until 4:00PM daily for excavation work. Detours will be posted.Jersey Pike at Norfolk Southern RailroadJersey Pike between HWY 153 and Bonny Oaks Drive will be closed beginning Monday, February 17ththrough Wednesday, February 19th for railroad grade crossing repairs. Detours will be posted.

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Upcoming Construction Road Closures

629 Market Street

Beginning Friday, February 14th at 1:00PM through Tuesday, February 18th at 5:00AM, Market Street will be closed between 6th Street and 7th Street for crane installation. Detours will be posted via Broad Street. Hampton Street

On Saturday, February 15th from 7:30AM until 5:00PM, Hampton Street will be closed between E 3rd Street and just before the Adult Emergency Room ramp for crane installation. Erlanger’s Emergency Room can be accessed via detour on Central Ave and Blackford Street. Detour signs will be posted. Erlanger Medical Center and Emergency Services are aware of the closure.

View CDOT’s map of event and road closures for full details of these activities and other projects underway.

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