The signs of change are going up all across the Knoxville area starting today. Although the signs will not be utilized by motorists until May 1, Tennessee Department of Transportation crews are installing new signs that will aid motorists during the scheduled I-40 closure in downtown Knoxville.
"Because there are so many signs to install before the I-40 closure in May, we must begin early installation where possible," said TDOT Region One Director Fred Corum. "We don't want to confuse motorists in the interim before the closure, so no conflicting information will be placed on the signs. Even if someone takes the detour route, they should still be able to get to their destination."
More than 200 individual signs will be produced and erected between March and late April. The signs will be installed in phases. The first group of temporary ground mounted directional signs will be going up this week followed by detour signs that will be attached to existing overhead signs on I-40, I-75, I-275, I-640 and on other secondary roadways.
Beginning May 1, the one-mile section of I-40 located between James White Parkway (Exit 388) and Hall of Fame Drive (Exit 389) will close for 14 months of reconstruction as part of the final phase of the SmartFIX40 project. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2009. This accelerated construction process will save almost 23 months of construction time for motorists.
Interstate 40 through Knoxville currently carries an average of 103,000 vehicles per day. During the closure, the segment of I-40 will be widened to six through lanes and four auxiliary lanes will be added. In addition to interstate improvements, work will include the construction of nine bridges, 14 retaining walls and three noise walls. Additionally, two existing bridges will be demolished, 12 side roads will be completed and seven new ramps will be constructed.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.