For at least a decade making improvements to the Wilcox Tunnel has been a top priority for city engineers.
Leaders hope a public meeting will help get the project going.
WDEF News 12's Caitlyn Jones reports.
The narrow, corroded, and dripping drive though Missionary Ridge isn't the easiest, but locals say it's convenient.
Fire trucks and city buses can't fit through, and it doesn't meet several safety requirements.
According to Public Works Administrator Lee Norris, updating the Wilcox Tunnel is a complicated process.
"Well it was built in 1931 so it was build to 1931 standards," said Norris.
They need a solid plan and money.
Public Works has applied for a 70 million dollar federal grant, but before they can get that an environmental study of the area has to be complete.
Reporter: "So when will this project start?"
Norris: "I have absolutely no idea."
Reporter: "When would you like it to start?"
Norris: "As soon as we get the design finished and everybody agrees to what we're going to do. As soon as we have those agreements in hand I d like to start as soon as possible.
One option is to abandon the tunnel all together and build a new one.
Another alternative would be to build an adjacent two lane tunnel and make the necessary improvements to the current one.
Those that make the drive through every day say it would be worth any road closures and construction.
Mike Rowlings says, "I mean who wouldn't want it done. If it's necessary then yea."
In Chattanooga...Caitlyn Jones...WDEF News 12