Knoxville - James White Parkway Closes
Knoxville, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced today that James White Parkway will close to traffic on Sunday, December 17. James White Parkway is scheduled to reopen in September 2007. During this timeframe, several existing bridges and ramps will be demolished and six new bridges and four new ramps will be constructed comprising more than two miles of new roadway.
As part of the SmartFix40 project, the current westbound entrance ramp to I-40, which has caused numerous accidents over the years, will be relocated. When complete, the ramp will be located on the north side of I-40 instead of the current south side location. The relocation of the ramp to the north side will allow for a safer flow of traffic onto I-40. During construction, eastbound and westbound motorists on I-40 will be able to use the new Hall of Fame Drive to get downtown.
“When complete, the reconstruction of James White Parkway will make the traffic flow safer and much more efficiently through downtown Knoxville,” said Gerald Nicely, Commissioner for TDOT. “This new traffic pattern and associated bridge and ramp construction has been needed for sometime.”
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam noted, “The new Hall of Fame Drive will provide good traffic flow for the Downtown area and when this construction is finished, the gains will definitely outweigh the pain.”
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, 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.