Motorists frustrated, Signal Mountain urges patience for Highway 127 slope work
The work is now underway, and several drivers on Signal Mountain say they are frustrated by how it's proceeding, and how long it takes to get through the area.
The Town of Signal Mountain addressed the issue on Wednesday on its Facebook page.
The post says, "We have been receiving a lot of comments about the traffic pattern with the TDOT roadwork on the front side of the mountain. In particular, there have been comments regarding long wait times at the lights. We contacted TDOT and they sent an inspector up who found that everything is working properly.
He explained the timing of the lights and how they work. The timing pattern is set for 4 minute green per direction, with approximately an additional 45 seconds to clear out the que traveling. During that 45 seconds, all lights are red. There are also signs posted stating that you should not experience a wait time of more than 9 mins.
One issue that the inspector noted was that when the light turns green, the driver in front doesn't proceed in a timely manner, causing the light to think no vehicles are waiting and it will cycle back to the other light. Therefore, if you are the lead driver, please be alert and prepared to proceed when the light changes.
We would ask that everyone please have patience and drive safely as this project continues."
The Signal Mountain Police Department says it has heard from frustrated motorists, too - and points out on their Facebook page that they have no control over how TDOT handles the project:
A post on their Facebook page says, "Folks, we have NO CONTROL or jurisdiction over the work project going on on the main road up and down the mountain. That is a TDOT run and TDOT control project so if you have problems with it you need to contact them and voice your concerns. Our administrative staff has been bearing the brunt of your anger today on the phone and they have no way to address the problem.Thanks in advance."
Depend on us to keep you posted.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) says contract crews will begin work later this week to stabilize a section of U.S. 127 (Signal Mountain Boulevard) in Hamilton County at log mile 16.1 near the Signal Mountain welcome sign and Shoal Creek Road.
Starting Tuesday night, between 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. EDT, TDOT maintenance crews will be setting up the work zone between log miles 15.9 and 16.2. During this nighttime work, there will be times that crews will have to temporarily stop all traffic as they set up concrete barrier rails.
Once the work zone is established, TDOT says crews from GeoStabilization International, LLC (GSI) will start work to make permanent repairs to an area of the roadway that has shown some signs of instability. Barring unforeseen circumstances, TDOT says the repairs are expected to take approximately eight to ten weeks to complete. During the repairs, the road will be reduced to one lane and traffic will be controlled with a temporary signal.
During the work, TDOT says loose material will be removed from the area and the slope will be stabilized using soil nailing. Soil nailing is an on-site soil reinforcement technique where soil nails are placed into the natural ground at relatively close spacing to increase the strength of the soil mass. As the bars are being drilled, grout is inserted into the hole to ensure that the soil nail stays put. A steel reinforced concrete wall will be constructed that encompasses the soil nails to form a retaining structure along with means to drain water from the slope behind the wall. The upper portion of the retaining structure will be backfilled with new material and the roadway will be rebuilt.
TDOT says the work will be done using crews from GSI under a statewide on-call maintenance contract for soil nailing and slope stabilization.
Message boards will be placed at each end of the work zone notifying the public of the one-lane condition. Those who regularly travel on U.S. 127 should anticipate the extra time it will take to get through the work zone.