Interstate 640 Reconstruction

Knox County

Frequently Asked Questions

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TDOT plans to make improvements along I-640, from the I-40 interchange (east of Knoxville) to the I-40 interchange (west of Knoxville). The proposed project includes two phases to repair or remove substandard pavement along the 10-mile corridor.

Roadway deterioration occurs naturally over time due to age, weather, and traffic demands. In recent years, the underlying concrete sections have continued to shift, and the joints in the concrete continue to reflect through the flexible asphalt pavements. As water makes its way through the cracked asphalt sections, the typical freeze-thaw cycles experienced during the winter months increases the number of potholes that are formed and impacts the overall condition of the roadway.

Over the past few years, TDOT has paved long patches of I-640, filling any reflective cracking with joint sealers and filling potholes as they are formed, in an effort to extend the life of the pavement.  

I-640 is currently an asphalt surface. Due to age, weather, and traffic demands, the surface is severely deteriorated and requires replacement in some areas. The project, which includes two phases, will include both resurfacing and reconstruction throughout the 10-mile corridor.  

Due to the size of the corridor, the I-640 project has been divided into two separate phases.

  • Phase 1, between I-75/I-275 and I-40 (west of Knoxville), included resurfacing by removing one layer of asphalt and replacing it with two layers of asphalt and a binding layer.
  • Phase 2, between I-40 (east of Knoxville) and I-75/I-275, will include rubblizing the existing roadway and using the material for a structurally sound based for the new roadway.

Phase 1 was awarded in March 2021. The work was completed using traditional methods, allowing I-640 to remain open during construction with nighttime lane closures. That phase is now complete.

Phase 2 had a contract awarded in April 2022. Construction activities will begin in mid to late June 2022.  

Phase 1 is complete.

Phase 2 construction will begin in mid to late June 2022.

No, I-640 will remain open, but lane closures are expected for both phases of construction.

During Phase 1, at least one lane remained open in each direction Sunday through Thursday, between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. On Friday and Saturday, nighttime lane closures took place at times  between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Traffic control plans for Phase 2 are still under development.

Predominantly, all ramps will remain open, but motorists should be aware of changing road conditions in the project area.  

For Phase 1, the contractor was allowed to work overnight between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Plans for Phase 2 are still under development.

Yes, the work zone is expected to be noisy, specifically during the rubblization process of Phase 2.

Noise impacts can occur on any project involving the construction of a highway due to typical construction activity; however, the reconstruction of I-640 will require contract crews to break up thick concrete throughout the project area. The equipment needed to perform this work and the work itself will be loud. Prior to the work, TDOT will provide construction schedules to give local communities advance notice of the expected additional noise in specific areas of the corridor.  

The primary focus of the project is to improve the roadway surface. No additional lanes will be constructed for this project.

Yes, existing damaged or deteriorated entrance/exit ramp sections along I-640 will be repaired.

Yes, drainage repairs and additional drainage are part of the project.

Phase 1 was awarded to Rogers Group, Inc. in March 2021 at a cost of $13.8 million.

Phase 2 was awarded to Rogers Group, Inc. in April 2022 at a cost of $21.1 million.

An email group has been set up for project updates. Visit the I-640 project home page to sign up.