Shallowford Road Widening Back On Track

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 9/11/2013 7:44 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF)-- Shallowford road between Gunbarrel and Jenkins Road has been a mess for more than a year and a half.
A contract to widen that roadway was signed in 2011, and the work was supposed to be done in less than a year.
But that's not what happened.
The project has become a sore point for residents, businesses, and the governmental agencies themselves.

Traffic is heavy most of the time on Shallowford Road---especially on the 8-tenths of a mile under construction for months.
Drivers say if you think its bad now, you should have seen a year ago.

LARRY GROHN, CITY COUNTIL, DISTRICT 4 "Every week I hear..wanting an update, wanting to know what's going on...and sharing their frustrations with me..it's very frustrating when you have a project that goes on this long."

So what exactly is the holdup?
There may be many reasons for the delay in a project that was supposed to be completed a year ago, but two are obvious.
TDOT says 65 inches on rain fell on that area so far this year, halting work ---and a dis-connect on moving utility lines.

JENNIFER FLYNN, TDOT "We discovered that the utilities had not been relocated as we were originally told..so we had to wait for that to happen...and it ended up being about 8 or 9 months something like that before we could actually get started on the project itself."

According to the agreement Chattanooga/Hamilton county provided 20% of the funding, and was supposed to move utility lines, while TDOT acted as the agent and hire a contractor, and has no money invested in the project.

But Chris Delong, who lives nearby, and has a construction background, questions everything he has been told.

CHRIS DELONG, EAST BRAINERD "Its gone into the absurd. You know when you talk to the people responsible, whether it's the state or the general contractor there's always an excuse."

Delong says the prolonged worked has stressed most people in his part of town.
With a halt to the rainy weather, and underground utilities finally moved, the 3.4 million dollar project is back underway.
So how long now?

JENNIFER FLYNN, TDOT "THANKSGIVING. That's the new target date ..on or before November 28th."

The city of Chattanooga did not respond to our request for information about moving the underground utility lines so the project could continue.


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