UPDATE: According to Hamilton County dispatch, I-24 East reopened at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. A look at TDOT Smartway map indicates the southbond lane of the Moore Road overpass is closed.
Tuesday afternoon press release from TDOT follows:
A truck hauling an oversized piece of construction equipment struck the concrete outer beam of the Moore Road bridge over I-24 East near mile marker 184 in Chattanooga this afternoon, causing considerable damage to the beam.
I-24 East beneath the Moore Road bridge was closed to traffic and a TDOT bridge inspection team conducted a thorough inspection to assess the extent of the damage. As a result, TDOT engineers have determined that the beam needs to be removed. Crews with Dement Construction Co. are mobilizing equipment to the site to perform this work.
Traffic on I-24 East is currently being detoured off at Exit 184and back onto I-24 East. Moore Road is also currently closed to traffic. TDOT is working closely with the City of Chattanooga’s traffic signal systems engineer to coordinate traffic signals in the area.
I-24 East and Moore Road will remain closed until this work is complete. Upon completion, I-24 East will be reopened, and Moore Road will be reopened but narrowed. Crews will work throughout the night to accomplish this work and reopen the interstate and Moore Road as quickly as possible.
On Tuesday afternoon an eastbound dump truck hauling a trackhoe on Interstate-24 clipped the Moore Road bridge forcing TDOT to close one entire side of the interstate.
Traffic was being diverted off the interstate at the Moore Road exit, then back on several hundred yards later at the entrance ramp just west of McBrien Road. Currently, no cars are being allowed to traverse the Moore Road bridge.
According to our friends at NewsChannel9, TDOT has no timetable in which to open traffic on I-24 East.
Traffic along Moore Road in East Ridge was snarled as vehicles were re-routed off Moore at Anderson Avenue. Traffic coming from the north side of Moore was also being detoured away from the bridge.
One Chattanooga police officer said the accident happened at about 2:45 p.m.. Workers were busy inspecting the bridge from I-24 to make sure that it had not been compromised and clearing debris from the interstate before allowing eastbound I-24 traffic to resume traveling under the Moore Road overpass.
East Ridge News Online will update this story when more information is available.