published Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

City tries to smoothe Amazon traffic flow

  • photo
    An employee works at an Amazon distribution center in Fernley, Nev. Contributed Photo

Chattanooga officials have taken steps to ease traffic congestion at Enterprise South industrial park as staffing has been ramped up at Amazon's distribution center.

With Volkswagen up to two shifts and more than 2,500 people at its nearby Chattanooga plant, the addition of Amazon's more than 2,000 workers prompted officials to take steps to smooth out traffic.

"It's all brand new and we're trying to make some changes that are helpful," said Steve Leach, the city's public works administrator.

Leach said officials came up with measures that are both short and long term.

Since Amazon's peak season is through the holidays, the city took action such as laying down traffic cones and putting up signs to direct vehicle flow especially in the afternoons from 4 to 6:30, he said.

"It will help employees make an adjustment to their commuting pattern," Leach said. "It gives priority to the flow coming out of Amazon."

Also, a police officer is helping motorists get through the traffic light more easily at the industrial park's entrance and exit at Volkswagen Drive and Bonny Oaks Drive, he said.

Bill Payne, city engineer, also said signs are directing workers down Discovery Drive, which connects with Hickory Valley Road and to another exit from the industrial park, onto Bonny Oaks Drive.

Long-term, Leach said, the city plans to add another lane leading to one of the traffic circles on VW Drive.

"That's one we'll have to build," he said. "It's a good problem to have."

Sanjay Shah, the Chattanooga fulfillment center's general manager, said city officials have been "incredibly supportive of Amazon and have helped us bring thousands of jobs to the area. We look forward to continuing to contribute to positive growth in the community."

Leach said city officials met with Amazon on Nov. 18 as the company was increasing hiring at a rapid rate.

Amazon has said it wants to hire 4,500 workers at its Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn., distribution centers by the end of this year for the busy holiday season.

Amazon is investing about $139 million in the two distribution centers.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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Echo said...

Enterprise South Motorists, a lot o' money and engineering was spent to make that easy. Come in on I75 exit 9. Use the BIG WIDE ROAD TO the 1st roundabout and follow it to the left. Go past VW. GO through the 2nd roundabout while being attentive and considerate. Go past the entrance to Amazon and down to the third roundabout and use it to make a "U-turn" back to the Amazon entrances. If you don't come charging into the roundabouts at warp speed, you can almost cruise stress free into work without barely using the brakes and no stoplights. Left, straight, left, right. Can all you NASCAR fans figure out how to make a right turn?

Also - GOING HOME why do people make left turns at the VW drive onto I-75 North? Do you see the EXIT RAMP on the right? Again, Can all you NASCAR fans figure out how to make a right turn?

November 30, 2011 at 6:45 a.m.

Let go of the hate echo.

November 30, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.
wgroover said...

Wow... So you are saying that Nascar Fans are morons... Why not just kill about 20 lines of the other garbage and just say, "Nascar Fans are morons" if that is what you are saying? Word o' the Day: pre·ten·tious /priˈtenCHəs/Adjective: Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.

So if everyone else is dumber than you in your mind- it must make you smarter somehow, right?

December 2, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
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