27, 2006 - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
announced today that Summit Hill Drive including two new bridges between
Hall of Fame Drive and Central Avenue is now open for traffic. The
ramp from James White Parkway to Summit Hill Drive will remain closed.
After an eight-month period of demolition and reconstruction, the
new bridges that span First Creek and James White Parkway have been
widened from three to six lanes and have been lengthened to accommodate
the wider James White Parkway construction underneath.
Local motorists will see a marked change in these new bridges,
said Ray Bell Construction spokesperson Jeff Walker. These
bridges are a vast improvement and will be able to accommodate much
The old bridges were demolished on February 26, 2006 and reconstruction
This construction is part of the SmartFix40 project which is currently
underway in downtown Knoxville. This accelerated construction process
involves completely closing a roadway to allow around-the-clock
work that is uninterrupted by traffic in order to dramatically reduce
the time it takes to complete the project, thereby reducing the
long-term inconvenience to motorists.
During the SmartFix40 project, James White Parkway will be closed
for nine months beginning in December 2006, and I-40 through traffic
will be rerouted onto I-640 for 14 months starting in the spring
of 2008. Local traffic will have access to downtown at all times.
More than two years of traffic delays, lane closures and motorist
frustrations will be avoided by allowing construction crews the
opportunity to work without restriction from moving traffic while
traffic is rerouted from I-40. I-40 through downtown carries an
average of 103,000 vehicles per day.