One more lane open on Hixson Pike for start of school

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Good news for those traveling on Hixson Pike, a plan is in place to help ease traffic for the first day of school — this, after a water main broke near the intersection of Hixson Pike and Lupton Drive.

Traffic had previously been reduced to two lanes.

But now instead of just two lanes, the city has opened up a third lane in hopes of alleviating rush hour traffic.

Tuesday contracting crews prepared the road for the start of school by placing metal plates over the maintenance holes.

“During all arrivals and departures, we’ll have two lanes open going northbound, and one lane going southbound. There will be an additional officer on site during all arrivals and departures to help the school patrol officer and have both driveways flowing as smoothly as we can,” Ben Taylor of the Chattanooga Department of Transportation said.

The end is near for all those affected by the construction and lane closures.

“They’ve finished installing the pipe which is 600 feet,” Tennessee American Water’s Daphne Kirksey said. “The next step is they’re doing testing which will take all this week. It includes testing for bacteria, making sure that the pipes are clean. They’re going to flush the pipes, and they’ll also be testing for pressure.”

Kirksey said they hope to have the project and the paving done in about three weeks.

“We’ve been all aiming for the deadline of school starting,” Taylor said. “Unfortunately, the weather hit us, so we’re behind, but they know the importance of all the folks dropping off their kids, so we’re all going to work together to get them in and out.”

“We just thank everyone’s patience. Hopefully once this repair is done, that will prevent future breaks here at this spot which does have a big impact on traffic, and ask everyone to be really safe an alert as they drive through this,” Kirksey said.

The Department of Transportation will close that extra lane during non-peak hours so crews with Tennessee American Water can continue their work.

So pay close attention when driving through this area, or take an alternate route.

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