The widening of US 27 to three lanes in each direction begins at Manufacturers Road (Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River) and goes 1.62 miles to SR 8 (Signal Mountain Boulevard). Additional acceleration and deceleration lanes will be added in some areas that will improve traffic flow. The alignment for entering and exiting traffic will be improved substantially, resulting in a more efficient and safer roadway for vehicles regularly traveling this route. The completed project will also enhance traffic flow to and from the downtown Chattanooga and Red Bank areas as part of the master plan to reconstruct the US 27 Corridor. The completed roadway will have new high-mast lighting for better visibility through the busy section, and a new Chattanooga SmartWay ITS System (traffic cameras) will be included to assist with monitoring traffic incidents that may occur. When complete, the entry into downtown Chattanooga will be a much improved section of highway that will benefit all motorists and area residents.
This section of US 27 was originally constructed in the 1950s, and traffic volumes and speeds have increased substantially since then. Large commercial vehicles that use this corridor need adequate and efficient access to the interstate. The general area has seen considerable population and business growth, and the existing highway system is not conducive to efficient movement of people and goods. The current roadway and bridges have served their purpose well, but they are reaching the extent of their useful life and improvements are needed.