Bradley County commissioners followed suit a week after the Cleveland City Council members approved “Cherokee Gateway” as the name of the north and south Local Interstate Connector roads.
Cherokee Gateway (LIC North) will tie Interstate 75 to an interchange across APD 40 at Pleasant Grove Road/SR 311. The interchange will be located about halfway between I-75 and U.S. Highway 11.
Under the terms of the proposal, the state will provide half of the funds for the project up to a maximum of $2 million, with the city and county each contributing $1 million for the project. The purpose of LIC North is to gain I-75 access to the northeast quadrant of Exit 20. It is a companion project to LIC South, which is needed to connect the proposed Spring Branch Industrial Park to APD 40 and Interstate 75.
The southern leg of Cherokee Gateway (LIC South) will connect Stone Lake and Harriman roads to I-75 via the new interchange. The South LIC is needed to connect the proposed Spring Branch Industrial Park to Interstate 75. The LIC project is being funded 50 percent by TDOT, with both Cleveland and Bradley County funding 25 percent each for the local share.
The southern leg has been of concern to McDonald residents because Harriman Road leads to Bancroft Road. Many residents did not want to see large commercial haulers travel to and from the industrial park on Bancroft Road.
Although Harriman Road cannot be closed to through traffic because local interstate connectors have to connect to a local road, the city and county can restrict industrial and commercial traffic from Harriman Road through a number of options such as highway signage, markings and other traffic-calming techniques to strongly encourage truck traffic to use Cherokee Gateway to access APD 40 and I-75. A truck turnaround is included in the contingency funds in the budget. The turnaround would give trucks a place to turn around rather than continuing south on Harriman Road to Bancroft Road.
Cherokee Gateway is under construction. Construction on the interchange will lag the start of Exit 20 modification which could be let for bid in spring 2013 based on available federal funding and right-of-way acquisition, coordination of all utility owners and environmental permits. The Exit 20 interchange project will be constructed in phases, with portions of the new bridge structure built to the south while maintaining traffic on the existing bridge.
The full construction project for the interchange modification will take about two years to build. The project will reconstruct the I-75 interchange with a new, six-lane overpass bridge, lengthen and widen all entrance/exit ramps, and install a new traffic signal system.