Benesch was selected by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to study three urban interchanges along I-124 in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. These interchanges provide access to the central business district of the city, as well as various tourist attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Convention Center, the Chattanooga Look-Outs baseball stadium and the corporate headquarters of Blue-Cross Blue-Shield of Tennessee. The system constructed in the late 1960’s has several operational deficiencies and no longer provides an adequate level of service for the community.
The final design resulted in major improvements to increase the vehicular capacity of I-124 while improving the safety and ease of access to the downtown core of Chattanooga. Benesch’s roadway and bridge engineers worked closely with TDOT to develop a design that met the project goals, but minimized the footprint of the impacts. The final design completely reconstructed the three urban interchanges, which resulted in nine new bridges, 41 retaining walls, and new ramp access points to 6th Street and Carter Street near the Chattanooga Convention Center. A project landscape committee worked closely with local stake holders to develop an overall landscape plan for the hardscapes of the project.
At the time of construction, this project was the single largest let project in TDOT’s history at $126 million. Benesch’s engineers are part of the project’s CEI team working closely with the contractor and TDOT to construct the project.