Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The city of Chattanooga recently completed two projects in East Brainerd near Hamilton Place Mall and is planning to start two more projects this summer.
Crews from the city recently resurfaced Igou Gap Road and added an additional turn lane into the mall and an additional lane at the entrance of Walmart off Gunbarrel Road.
“We tried to time those projects so they would be through before the holidays,” said city traffic engineer Dennis Malone.
Upcoming city projects in the area include widening Gunbarrel Road from Preston Circle to Standifer Gap Road. The first phase of that project will be from Preston Circle to Hamilton Run Drive, said Malone.
“We’re looking to do the first phase of that construction next summer,” he said.
A finished design has not yet been completed but Malone said he anticipates the project will widen the road to include two inbound lanes heading toward Shallowford Road, a continuous turn lane, one outbound lane and sidewalks on both sides of the roadway.
According to him, growth in the East Brainerd area and the recently announced expansion of the Waterside development necessitate the roadway’s expansion.
“The only way to be able to handle the traffic we anticipate coming from the [Waterside] complex is to widen Gunbarrel,” said Malone.
A second project the city aims to get under way this summer is the extension of Goodwin Road from Gunbarrel to Jenkins roads. Currently Goodwin is accessible only from Gunbarrel and is more of a local road, only granting access to the few surrounding businesses and homes as it extends just past Walmart.
“This project will connect [Goodwin] all the way through to Jenkins at Batters Place Drive and the entrance to the new East Brainerd Elementary,” said Malone.
In an effort to create the least amount of construction-related traffic as possible, he said the city is attempting to complete these projects after the Tennessee Department of Transportation finishes the widening of Shallowford Road but before the state begins work on widening East Brainerd Road. According to TDOT regional communications officer Jennifer Flynn, the entire Shallowford Road widening project is scheduled for September 2013 completion. The East Brainerd Road project will likely be funded by the state in 2014, allowing work to begin.
Malone said the widening of Gunbarrel Road should alleviate some of the traffic currently on Shallowford, and the extension of Goodwin Road will ultimately alleviate some of the traffic on Gunbarrel and Igou Gap.
He said there will most likely not be any public meetings regarding these projects but people can expect to see more related information before construction begins.