Highway 66Great Smoky Mountains Parkway Project
Tennessee Highway 66
Great Smoky Mountains Parkway Improvement Project
If you’ve ever driven from I-40 to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg in the last 15 years, you have come to expect congestion along State Route 66, The Great Smoky Mountains Parkway. The Tennessee Department of Transportation was able to accelerate funding to improve this important route with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The entire project from I-40 to downtown Sevierville will widen the existing highway from 4-lanes to 6-lanes improving congestion and enhancing safety for the traveling public.
(general location map) [Adobe PDF file]
Phase One and Phase Two of the Highway 66 improvement project are complete. (project phase map) [Adobe PDF file]
Phase Three was awarded in February 2012 to Simpson Construction Company, Inc. It is estimated to be completed in late Spring/early Summer 2016. The current contract amount is $35,891,190.67.
Highway 66 serves as the main artery into the popular tourist areas of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg which are the Gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Over 9 million people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, making it the most visited national park in the country.
The speed limit through Phase 3 is now 35 mph.
It will remain in effect for the duration of the project (late Spring/early Summer 2016).
- Phase 3 - Boyds Creek Highway (SR-338) to Douglas Dam Road (SR-139):
TDOT met with the prime contractor on the week of October 5 to begin the process of adding additional time for the added work to the project. The majority of this work is due to the additional 860 meters of 72” reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) that was completed in late July 2015. This work was slowed due to the depth and volume of trench material (rock/dirt) that had to be removed to install the new pipe. The remaining work consists of filling the existing defective 72” corrugated metal pipe (CMP) with concrete to prevent any future maintenance issues. We are anticipating this work being complete in November 2015.
Short duration traffic stops should be expected daily throughout the project as crews move equipment and materials in and out of the work zone (and patch potholes). If you have any questions regarding the project, please call us at 865.429.4509. As always, please use extreme caution and reduce speed through the work zone.
- Q. Why is the state of Tennessee building this project?
- A: If you have ever attempted to travel to the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg area, especially on weekends over the last 15 years, the congestion experienced has been daunting. What should be a 45-minute drive to Gatlinburg from I-40 turns into a two hour drive with traffic often bumper to bumper along this major artery. City officials and Chamber representatives have been supportive of this project for almost two decades and until the ARRA* money became available in 2009, funds for the $40 million dollar price tag for Phase One were not available.
- Q: When was it initially planned?
- A: Planning for this project has been underway for nearly twenty years. City officials have encouraged TDOT since the area experienced its growth spurt in the 1990s to widen this major route from I-40. When ARRA funds became available to TDOT, it was one of the first projects put on the table for funding.
- Q: What is being done to improve the road?
- A: There are three phases to this project which will be widened from four to six lanes. There will also be new sidewalks and other enhanced safety features when completed.
Phase 1 (completed in November 2011) goes from Nichols Street to Boyds Creek Highway
Phase 2 (completed in November 2012) goes from I-40 to Douglas Dam.
Phase 3 (goes from Boyds Creek Highway to Douglas Dam (map); (scheduled for completion late Spring/early Summer 2016.)
- Q: Why was the section from I-40 to Douglas Dam Road (SR-139) done before the section between Boyds Creek Highway (SR-338) and Douglas Dam Road?
- A: There had been a lot of economic growth in the area of Highway 66 and I-40. Large retail developments have located near the I-40 interchange causing congestion resulting in traffic backing onto the interstate during peak travel times.
- Q: How many lanes of traffic will be maintained during construction?
- A: Two lanes of traffic will be maintained during construction. There will be times temporary lane closures will be necessary to complete the project. When lane closures are required they will be scheduled during off peak travel times.
- Q: What is the speed limit through the construction zone?
- A: The speed limit within the construction zone is 35 MPH. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Sevierville Police Department will be monitoring traffic through the project.
*ARRA-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress in February 2009 to help stimulate the U.S. economy by putting people back to work.
Phase I of the Improving 66 project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project widened State Route 66 in Sevier County from just north of Nichols Street to Boyds Creek Highway from 4 lanes to 6 lanes in each direction.
Total project length: 4.189 miles
Completed: November 2011
Estimated Cost: $38.6 million
Contract Awarded: July 8, 2009
Work Began: July 15, 2009
All lanes opened November 18, 2011 (12 days early and just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend)
Phase II of the Improving 66 project will widen State Route 66 in Sevier County from State Route 139 (Douglas Dam Road) to just south of the I-40 Interchange from 4 lanes to 6 lanes in each direction.
Total project length: 1.951 miles
Completion: November 2012
Estimated Cost: $23.3 million
Contract Awarded: August 2010
Work Began: September 2010
Phase III: of the Improving 66 project widened State Route 66 in Sevier County from State Route 338 (Boyds Creek Highway) to State Route 139 (Douglas Dam Road) from 4 lanes to 6 lanes in each direction.:
Total project length: 2.223 miles
Estimated Completion: Late Spring/early Summer 2016
Estimated Cost: $35.7 million
Contract Awarded: February 2012
Work Began: March 2012
Phase III: Materials Placed on Site to Date: Some quick facts about what the contractor has placed so far (through February 20, 2015):
138,385 cubic yards of dirt moved on the site equaling around 13,839 truck loads
26,306 tons of graded solid rock to plug sinkholes and bridge over weak subgrade soils
5,123 cubic yards of concrete used for the concrete box culvert extension and bridge construction
810,556 pounds of steel bar reinforcement used for the concrete box culvert extension and bridge construction
12,803 feet of new storm drain pipe installed
2,106 feet of new 72” diameter concrete storm pipe installed to replace the failing metal pipe along southbound SR-66.
I-40 Exit 407 Diverging Diamond Interchange Project
TDOT Project Manager7345 Region Lane
Knoxville, TN 37914
Knoxville, TN 37914
Resident Construction Engineer526 Winfield Dunn Parkway
AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, Inc.
Sevierville, TN 37876