Transportation

Polk County US-64 Rockslide Update For November 23

Monday, November 23, 2009 | 05:40 pm
A blast helps dislodge a large boulder at the top of Little Frog Mountain in Polk County.
A blast helps dislodge a large boulder at the top of Little Frog Mountain in Polk County.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Construction crews with Blalock & Sons and Dyno Nobel (blasting subcontractor) set off a series of explosive charges this morning to dislodge an outcrop of large boulders that were positioned immediately above the main slide area.  The boulders, ranging in size from 3’ to approximately 15’ in diameter, were dislodged with the blast and harmlessly fell down the slope to the roadway below.  Construction crews continued assembling the 275-ton crawler crane on the west side of the slide in preparation of scaling operations that are set to begin on the west side of the slide area this week, weather permitting.  The contractor plans to suspend work on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day but will resume work on Friday.

Video of the slide is available on the TDOT web site at http://www.tn.gov/tdot/US64rockslide/.

Bredesen Announces Aeronautics Grants for Six Tennessee Airports

Friday, November 20, 2009 | 02:00 pm
NASHVILLE — Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $211,568 have been approved for six Tennessee airports.
 
“Our local airports are vital to the economy and travel system of Tennessee,” said Bredesen.  “Investing in our airports helps keep them competitive and efficient at meeting the needs of businesses and travelers.”
 

Polk County US-64 Rockslide Update for November 19

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 03:54 pm
Construction crews with Blalock work along the side of Little Frog Mountain to continue removing debris from the mountainside.
Construction crews with Blalock work along the side of Little Frog Mountain to continue removing debris from the mountainside.
Vegetation and Debris Removal Continues
 
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – US-64 in Polk County continues to be closed at mile marker 17.6 due to a major rockslide near the Ocoee 2 Dam. A portion of Little Frog Mountain slid into the roadway on November 10, 2009. The project to remove the rockslide debris and repair the roadway is underway and expected to take at least eight weeks.
 
Today, construction workers with Blalock & Sons continued removing vegetation and debris from the upper reaches of the slide area in preparation for scaling (removal of loose rocks and debris), drilling, and trim blasting operations to occur as early as next week. An 80-ton hydraulic crane was used to pull some of material to the base of the slope where it will be loaded into dump trucks and hauled to an off-site dump location.
 

Governor’s Highway Safety Office Launches Special Rural Roads Enforcement on Highway 28

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 02:32 pm
“Operation 28” Buckles Down on Belts and Speed
 
NASHVILLE – Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole joined local and state law enforcement agencies today to launch a special enforcement effort along Highway 28 in Marion and Sequatchie Counties called Operation 28. Since 1996, 40 people have died and more than 600 have been injured in crashes along a 30 mile stretch of Highway 28 in Marion and Sequatchie Counties. Operation 28 is part of a special high visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement effort across the state. Law enforcement agencies in Tennessee will be cracking down on those not buckled up, particularly along on rural roadways. 
 

US-64 Rockslide Update For November 18

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | 02:03 pm
TDOT Geotechnical Engineers and Charles Blalock & Sons Construction employees inspect the side of Little Frog Mountain to identify loose rock and debris that will be removed before the first blasting operations can begin.
TDOT Geotechnical Engineers and Charles Blalock & Sons Construction employees inspect the side of Little Frog Mountain to identify loose rock and debris that will be removed before the first blasting operations can begin.
Live Time-lapse Camera Now in Place
 
CHATTANOOGA  – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is now providing a live look at the work to clear a major rockslide along U.S. 64 in Polk County. A live time-lapse camera is now available on TDOT’s U.S. 64 Rockslide web page (http://bit.ly/1Tlc8m). 
 
On Tuesday, November 17, crews with contractor Charles Blalock & Sons, Inc. worked to mobilize equipment to the site while TDOT geotechnical engineers and representatives from Blalock spent the majority of the day ascending and investigating the upper reaches of the rock slope around the perimeter of the slide area. The inspection was conducted to identify critical areas of the rock slope where the contractor will first need to remove loose rock and unstable debris.

Work Begins On Emergency Clean-up of U.S. 64 Rockslide

Monday, November 16, 2009 | 09:14 am
A Geotechnical Engineer examines the rock slope on U.S. 64 near the site of the rockslide
A Geotechnical Engineer examines the rock slope on U.S. 64 near the site of the rockslide
U.S. 64 Expected to Remain Closed for at Least Eight Weeks
 
NASHVILLE – Work is now underway to remove a major rockslide along U.S. Highway 64 in Polk County, Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has awarded a $2.1 million emergency repair contract to Sevierville, Tennessee based Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc. The rockslide buried portions of U.S. Highway 64 at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 closing the major east-west corridor through Southeast Tennessee just east of Chattanooga. TDOT originally estimated at least three weeks for clean-up, but after a closer look at the slide area the removal process will likely take at least eight weeks.
 

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office Reminds Rural Drivers Click It or Ticket

Friday, November 13, 2009 | 07:38 pm
Tennessee Buckling Down on Rural Motorists to Boost Seat Belt Use and Save Lives
 
NASHVILLE – The Governor’s Highway Safety Office is working to save lives by reminding rural drivers that wearing a safety belt is the single most effective way to prevent deaths and injuries during a traffic crash and it’s also the law in Tennessee. GHSO is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and state and local law enforcement to conduct a special high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign in November.
 

TDOT Breaks Ground on First Better Bridges Project in Nashville

Thursday, November 12, 2009 | 09:53 am
Project Funded through Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Bond Program of 2009
 
NASHVILLE – TDOT today launched the largest bridge replacement and rehabilitation program of its kind in state history.  During a groundbreaking ceremony in Nashville on Thursday, Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely joined state and local officials to break ground on the state’s first project funded through the Better Bridges Program. Work is now underway to replace the aging Murfreesboro Road Bridge over Mill Creek. TDOT’s Better Bridges Program is a four year program approved in 2009 by the Tennessee General Assembly that will utilize bonds to pay for the repair, replacement or rehabilitation of more than 200 structurally deficient bridges in the state. TDOT announced 111 bridges included in the first year of the program on September 11, 2009. 
 

US-64 in Tennessee Closed Due to Rockslide

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 01:40 pm
TDOT workers inspect the massive slide that closed US64 in Polk County on November 10.
TDOT workers inspect the massive slide that closed US64 in Polk County on November 10.
TDOT Crews Assessing Damage, Roadway Could Be Closed for More than a Week
 
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – U.S. 64 in Polk County is closed at mile marker 17.6 due to a major rockslide near the Ocoee 2 Dam. A portion of the mountainside slid into the roadway at approximately 6:00 a.m. ET this morning. Another slide occurred this afternoon at approximately 1:00 p.m. ET further complicating removal efforts.  Fortunately, TDOT Geotechnical employees on site were able to alert personnel to the possibility of another slide and all people were evacuated before the second slide occurred at 1:00 p.m. 
 

I-81 Emergency Bridge Repairs Begin This Weekend in Greene County

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 09:19 am
I-81 to Close While Repairs are Made
 
Knoxville, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Transportation will perform emergency bridge beam repairs to the I-81 northbound and southbound bridges over U.S. 11E at exit 23 in Greene County over the next two weekends. TDOT crews will close the I-81 northbound bridge on Saturday, November, 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET to begin repairs and will reopen I-81 north by 10:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, November, 15. TDOT crews will make repairs to the I-81 southbound bridge the following weekend beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 21 until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 22. During each closure traffic will be diverted down the off ramp at exit 23, across U.S. Highway 11E and back on to I-81.