The bridge guardrail fell in the path of an oncoming car on interstate

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – TDOT officials quickly arranged a news conference this afternoon as they worked to restore traffic around the I-24/75 split.

That railing not only blocked traffic, it damaged one vehicle and injured the driver during the 11:30 A.M. incident.

Traffic from all three directions was impacted as officials assessed the damage.

Chattanooga Police Lieutenant Danny Jones explained the lone injury from the collapse.

“As one of the cars got here on scene, they located a blue vehicle that had actually run into the fallen piece of the bridge. At that time we went ahead and administered first aide to the driver and then we transported the driver to the hospital.”

That bridge was built in the 1950’s, as the interstate highway system was just beginning. The fabled I-24/75 split is a legendary bottleneck in the south.

But TDOT Regional Director Joe Deering says a major change is in the works.

“Then we’re going to begin an emergency bridge repair. As you guys probably know, we already have this interchange under construction for the design build that we’re doing, we’re reconfiguring the interchange here, so we’re going to be calling on that contractor to ahead and do an emergency bridge repair, to get that bridge back open to two lanes.”

Deering says that’s going to happen late this evening or possible early Tuesday morning.

The Split is has been the scene of hundreds of vehicle crashes over the years.

The cause of the falling concrete railing is not known yet, but a TDOT spokesperson stresses it was not a “Collapse”.

“We’re going to put the concrete barrier rail up to where you see the gap in the rail up there right now, and that will close it down to one lane up there.”

Deering says the ramp to 75 south won’t be open in both lanes until that work on a farbricated barrier is done in three to four weeks.

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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