published Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Details on Bradley County Exit 20, APD 40 plans released to public

Officials are considering the expansion of Cleveland's southernmost I-75 interchange, exit 20, in an attempt to minimize congestion.
Officials are considering the expansion of Cleveland's southernmost I-75 interchange, exit 20, in an attempt to minimize congestion.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A public hearing Thursday focused on two interchange projects for the south side of Cleveland and Bradley County, but the one located near residential areas received the most attention.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation conducted the dual-purpose hearing at Cleveland Middle School.

One project will widen Exit 20 on Interstate 75, adding east and westbound lanes, and reconfiguring the entrance and exit ramps to handle more traffic.

The second interchange project on APD 40, almost halfway between I-75 and U.S. Highway 11, would provide access to a proposed industrial park.

Meridith Krebs, representing TDOT consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff, noted the arrival of Volkswagen nearby in Hamilton County, plus Wacker Chemical, Amazon and Whirlpool projects in Bradley County.

Exit 20 has the worst rating for carrying traffic, she said.

Most questions, however, focused on the APD 40 interchange. Concerns ranged from protection of Brymer Creek to potential truck traffic through neighborhoods.

Many questions were directed at city officials since Cleveland is developing that project.

“You are going to cause a bunch more noise in my house,” said Stan Richardson.

Scott Medlin, TDOT’s project manager, and Krebs said environmental, noise and archaeological studies have been done on the APD 40 interchange.

The project also has been funded, Medlin said, unlike the Exit 20 work.

TDOT hopes state Department of Environment and Conservation will approve its environmental plan by spring 2012, Medlin said.

Depending on funding and permitting, both projects could be under construction in 2013, Medlin said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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