by Ashley Murphy
For lack of better writing, I will use my column this month to complain. If you don't like complaining, then don't read it. But my complaints are the same gripes that everyone else in Cleveland has. Or, at least, those that have travelled in the vicinity of Exit 20 at least once in their life.
Everyone said the problems started when they put the red lights up at the intersection. That's not entirely true. There have always been problems at this ramp. It was poorly constructed to begin with. Without the lights, the traffic would back up on the ramps and create problems for the interstate, instead of backing up the traffic on APD40. The lights did seem to make things worse, though.
Since the installation of the lights, getting off at Exit 20 northbound is backing up traffic into the interstate. I almost wrecked from the back up a couple of weeks ago. And the backed up traffic on APD40 can extend all the to Humphrey Bridge, close to the Cleveland exit from the bypass. At certain times of the day, the back up is worse, usually during the rush hours of morning and evening. I've often sat in the traffic for 15 or 20 minutes trying to get to work. This is highly frustrating, and I often feel sorry for my poor car after beating the steering wheel in frustration.
Just found out recently that plans to fix the interchange are in the works and crews will begin this construction the week of July 9th, 2012. I'm excited for this to finally be done, but at the same time, I'm dreading how much more congestion this will cause. Tennessee Department of Transportation is estimating 3 years until the construction is complete. There will be bridge widening, ramp widening, new ramp placements, etc.
I'll just be happy, when the mess is dealt with and fixed. Because, right now, it's like driving through Traffic Hell. I'm sure there is a place. If not, Exit 20 is definitely the first layer.