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Interstate 124 - Chattanooga

Downtown Chattanooga map - AARoads

Interstate 124 was fully completed by the late 1980s and signed as such until that time. Apparently confusion among drivers between "I-24" and "I-124" led officials to remove Interstate 124 signage in favor of just signing the route as just U.S. 27.1

Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 north
U.S. 27 north departs Interstate 24 west for Interstate 124 through central Chattanooga. The pair leave via a tri-level stack interchange and quickly approach Exit 1 to Main Street. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Northbound reassurance shield for U.S. 27; there are no Interstate 124 shields signed as of 2000. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Exit 1 loops onto Main Street west of its intersection with Carter Street. Main Street becomes part of U.S. 41 & 76 east of Broad Street (U.S. 11-41-64-72) nearby. Westward, Main Street ends almost immediately at Riverfront Parkway, a four-lane roadway straddling the Tennessee River area northward to Riverside Drive at the Tennessee Aquarium. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Downtown points of interest including the Chattanooga Convention Center and Trade Center should use Exit 1A; motorists bound for University of Tennessee Chattanooga, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital are directed onto Exit 1C (4th Street). Photo taken 06/18/05.
Exit 1A onto Martin Luther King Boulevard departs Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 north at the 12th Street under crossing. Martin Luther King Boulevard leads east from Riverfront Parkway to the intersection of 9th and Chestnut Streets in downtown. 9th Street continues the street east to Broad Street (junction U.S. 11-64). Photos taken 06/18/05.
Northbound travelers quickly approach the Exit 1C interchange with 4th Street. 4th Street spurs east from Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 to junction Tennessee State Secondary 58 (Market Street) in downtown. Market Street travels north-south from the central business district to North Chattanooga. The Tennessee State Aquarium resides along 2nd Street between Chestnut and Market Streets. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 northbound at the Exit 1C ramp departure onto 4th Street east to Tennessee State Secondary 58 (Market Street). 4th Street continues east from Market Street to Georgia Avenue south of the Veterans Bridge. Photo taken 06/18/05.

The sharp curves ahead sign posted at the Exit 1C partial-cloverleaf interchange refers to the S curve Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 make between 4th Street and the Tennessee River bridge. Situated to the right of the freeway is AT&T Field, home of the Minor League Chattanooga Lookouts baseball franchise. Photos taken 06/18/05.
Drivers entering the freeway from 4th Street west form the third northbound lane of Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 as they cross the Tennessee River Bridge. U.S. 27 sees three interchanges in north Chattanooga within the next 1.25 miles. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 124 ends silently as U.S. 24 crosses the Mayor Peter Rudolph "Rudy" Olgiati River Bridge, a 1959 span refurbished and expanded in 2003. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Continue north beyond Interstate 124 on the U.S. 27 freeway
Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 south
U.S. 27 continues as a freeway into the unsigned stretch of Interstate 124 at the Tennessee River. A modern six-lane bridge carries travelers high above the Tennessee River between the Manufacturers Road ramps and Exit 1C (4th Street to Tennessee State Secondary 58). Interstate 124 carries just four lanes south of the span, but construction is planned to widen the entire 1.5-mile freeway into six lanes. Until that completion, Exit 1C consists of an exit-only lane from the bridge south end. Photo taken 06/18/05.
U.S. 27 southbound reassurance marker at what could also be Interstate 124's first sign. Interstate 124 last saw actual signage in 1999. Photo taken 06/18/05.
4th Street spurs east from the Exit 1C partial-cloverleaf interchange directly into downtown. 4th Street intersects Tennessee State Secondary 58 (Market Street) in three blocks. Points of interest in the downtown area include the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Downtown Chattanooga high rises come into view as Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 south depart the Tennessee River and bypass a nearby hill. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Exit 1C leaves Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 south for 4th Street east to Tennessee State Secondary 58. Tennessee State Secondary 58 follows Market Street south to junction Interstate 24 and Alton Park Boulevard; the highway north crosses the Market Street Bridge into North Chattanooga. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 south next enter a three-quarter cloverleaf interchange with Martin Luther King Boulevard (Exits 1B/A). Martin Luther King Boulevard travels west a short distance to its end at Riverfront Parkway. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Martin Luther King Boulevard east continues from the Exit 1A loop ramp shortly to 9th and Chestnut Streets in downtown Chattanooga. 9th Street east becomes part of U.S. 11 & 64 as the tandem turn east from Broad Street toward the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 meander southwest toward the tri-level stack interchange with Interstate 24. Interstate 24 stays south of downtown, joining the central Chattanooga area with East Ridge and north Georgia. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Diagrammatical overhead posted for the Interstate 124 ramp partition into Interstate 24 west and east. Interstate 24 east ends at Interstate 75 within seven miles; control cities for the eastbound off-ramp use those of Interstate 75. Interstate 24 west sees Birmingham for the connection to Interstate 59 south near Wildwood, Georgia. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Riverfront Parkway becomes 20th Street and passes underneath Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 ahead of the junction with Interstate 24. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 124 ends; U.S. 27 south merges onto Interstate 24 east for 1.5 miles to Rossville Boulevard. Travelers using the eastbound on-ramp are provided with a slip ramp onto Interstate 24's eastbound collector/distributor roadway for access to U.S. 11-41-64-72 (Broad Street) and parallel Williams Streets. Interstate 24 westbound otherwise circumvents Lookout Mountain en route to Tiftonia in west Chattanooga and junction Interstate 59 in ten miles. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Lookout Mountain rises on the southwestern horizon as travelers depart Interstate 124 & U.S. 27 south for Interstate 24 west. An abandoned railroad line passes under both freeways at the stack interchange. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Scenes Pertaining to Interstate 124
Beyond the U.S. 27 Business Market Street bridge in the foreground is the U.S. 27 & Interstate 124 Tennessee River crossing. The Interstate 124 designation officially ends at the bridge. U.S. 27 continues as a full freeway northward another 20 miles to Bakewell. Photo taken 08/23/03.

Sources:

  1. "Where Do Our Interstate Highways Terminate?" The Chattanoogan, July 9, 2004.

Page Updated January 7, 2010.