The madness has begun and it's as bad as every feared it would be. The closing of one lane of the bridge over Fort Loudon Dam. TVA has undertaken a major repair of the bridge decking which is estimated to take up to three months. In the mean time drivers are forced to find alternate routs or sit in traffic for a long, long time.
For those of us who must travel the effected area, including Hwy. 321 and Broadway, will have to learn how to survive the chaos. Most importantly, don't block the intersection at 321 and Hwy. 11. If the traffic is already backing up, stop at the light. It will change again. Getting caught in the middle of the intersection will not make you popular with the other drivers trying to get through.
This thing is a real mess and will be for some time to come. It seems TVA and YDOT could have come up with a better plan. Like working at night and reopening during the day.
To contact TDOT, Tennessee Department Of Transportation, or TVA to express your concerns see the contact information below.
TDOT Commissioner's Office
T. Hairston, Jr., is TVA’s ombudsman for external
Contact by phone at
Lenoir City traffic clogged due to dam bridge work
LENOIR CITY - The closure of one lane across Fort Loudoun Dam is already living up to some of its worst expectations.
Resurfacing of the bridge road began Wednesday and is expected to continue until early August. Memories of the traffic jams might last a lot longer.
Flagmen and flashing lights alternated the right of way between two opposite lanes of traffic, which quickly backed up for miles in either direction on U.S. 321.
One line of traffic extended for miles south toward Maryville, the other winding north toward Lenoir City and Interstate 75 and creating congestion at a number of busy intersections.
U.S. 321 between I-75 and Maryville experiences high volumes of traffic because of a combination of commuters and tourists, Lenoir City Police Chief Don White said. Traffic between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. is especially heavy, he said.
The intersection of U.S. 321 and U.S. 11 near downtown Lenoir City was a specific concern.
"It's our job to keep that intersection open," said White.
Traffic on U.S. 321 toward the bridge was backing up the hill a half mile past U.S. 11 by 4 p.m. Wednesday, but the intersection was still open, according to Jessica Roysdon, manager of the Dairy Queen located at the intersection.
"People keep coming in one after another asking me if there is any other way to get to Maryville," she said.
Alternate routes to avoid the bridge include taking State Highway 72 from I-75 to U.S. 411 to Tellico Village and Maryville. From Maryville, drivers can take I-140 to I-40/75.