NASHVILLE – State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mtn.) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road.
“Let us be clear – this is a priority project to us,” said Watson and Hazlewood in the letter. “We believe that moving forward with a long-term solution has reached a critical stage. Recent heavy rains and rocks falling onto cars and across the roadway have only served to heighten our uneasiness with this area of the road.”
In the letter, Watson and Hazlewood pointed out similarities between the current condition of the road with the section of Highway 68 which collapsed in Rhea County earlier this year. “The environmental circumstances surrounding the Highway 68 collapse appeared eerily similar to the area of Highway 127 leading up Signal Mountain,” they said.
Watson and Hazlewood also pointed to the inclusion of the road project as a key factor for their support of the IMPROVE Act passed by the General Assembly last year. “Highway 127 was discussed extensively with TDOT and the Administration during the Improve Act negotiations and we shared the concerns that the City of Signal Mountain and many residents had expressed to us regarding the potential failure of this vital transportation route,” the letter continued.
The letter concluded by asking TDOT for continued discussion on how to best move this project forward.
Senator Watson is Chairman of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee in the Tennessee Senate, while Representative Hazlewood is a member of the Finance Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives. The lawmakers represent Signal Mountain in Senate District 09 and House District 27.