The portion of the freeway between I-24 and the Oligiati Bridge is actually NOT up to federal interstate standards. Interestingly, the part north of Signal Mountain Road that IS interstate-standard never held the I-124 designation. My guess is that non-standard downtown portion was the biggest reason the I-124 designation was phased out (in the early 00s, I believe - the last sign disappeared around the time the Oligiati Bridge was expanded).
Very boring. It's a slightly bigger Jetta. Very disappointing, from an enthusiast's point of view.
Not to defend the politicians, but I doubt they are really as "surprised" as they say. They are just trying to save face, or just simply not willing to admit the truth. Most of these people aren't brave enough to come out and say, "I knew we were going to get our butts beat". The parties as a whole would probably frown on anyone saying that. So for the most part, I would just chalk this up as another lie that politicians try to force-feed us. They all stink - when you go to the polls, you just have to pick the least smelliest.