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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
James White Parkway Bridge To Be Demolished
SmartFIX40January 5, 2007 - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced that the James White Parkway Bridge, which spans from Willow Avenue to the Norfolk Southern Railway, will be demolished at approximately 7:30 a.m. Sunday, January 7, 2007.

James White Parkway was closed to traffic on December 17, 2006 for nine months, for reconstruction.

The approximately 800 foot James White Parkway Bridge will be demolished using explosive charges placed below ground and a few feet above ground in the bridge piers. The demolition will not affect the bridge sections directly over Willow Street or the Norfolk Southern Railway. Those sections of the bridge will be removed by heavy equipment prior to the demolition activity. Jackson Avenue will be closed until debris from the demolition is removed. Construction crews will begin the clean up as soon as the implosion is complete.

“Placing the explosive charges at ground level will be like knocking the legs out from under the bridge. The entire bridge structure should lean and fall very near its current footprint,” said Jeff Walker, spokesperson for Ray Bell Construction. “By using this method we hope to minimize flying debris.”

Law enforcement will establish a 1,000-foot safety perimeter around the bridge site that will close several local streets adjacent to the bridge for several hours before and after the blast.

This bridge demolition 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.

As part of the SmartFIX 40 project, 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 form moving traffic while traffic is rerouted from I-40. I-40 through downtown carries an average of 103,000 vehicles per day.


For Immediate Release
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