TDOT Announces Details of I-40 Widening Project
June 6, 2004 - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has announced the detailed construction plans for the future-widening project of I-40 through downtown Knoxville.
The segment of I-40 that will be widened has three times as many accidents as any comparable section of interstate in Tennessee, according to TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely.
The project involves extending Hall of Fame Drive from Summit Hill Drive to Broadway and widening I-40 downtown. TDOT and Mayor Haslam have held numerous public meetings about the projects.
"I have met with dozens of citizens about this project and listened carefully," said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "It is important to all of us to make this segment of I-40 safer. We're going to get it done as quickly as possible for the sake of everyone involved."
TDOT has chosen to use a fast-fix method that would begin construction in spring 2005 and then reroute a portion of I-40 to I-640 in January of 2008. This will close a small section of I-40 entirely, allowing uninterrupted, around-the-clock work to proceed for about 14 months. The goal is to shave at least two years off the project by doing this, considerably reducing the long-term impact it will have on drivers, according to Nicely.
The closure on I-40 will stretch from James White Parkway to Broadway, about a half mile in length. TDOT Chief Engineer Bill Morre said that TDOT engineers are still working out the plan for traffic moving into the downtown business district during the I-40 closure. A number of improvement projects are underway on nearby roads to prepare them for the increased levels of traffic.
For more information about the I-40 widening project visit the TDOT Web site at www.tennessee.gov/tdot.