Skip to main content

New SmartFix40 Construction Photos!

On Saturday, October 11th, I had the opportunity to tour the SmartFix40 construction site in Knoxville, TN. The tour was arranged by Billy Riddle and HB Elkins as part of the Fall 2008 Knoxville Road Meet. For all 53 photos from the tour of the project, I have a flickr set (surprised?). The group was able to tour the entire construction site and it was certainly an unbelievable project to see up close and personal. The SmartFix40 project began May 1st and is scheduled to be completed on June 30, 2009. A little over one mile of I-40 in the heart of Knoxville has been completely shut down, as TDOT rebuilds from the ground up the over 40-year-old freeway.
   In the photo above, I am looking Eastbound towards I-40 (far left). I am standing on the onramp to I-40 East from James White Parkway. The ramp on the far right is the onramp to I-40 East from Hall of Fame Drive. The entire I-40/James White Parkway interchange has been redesigned and completely rebuilt to modern safety and interstate standards. The onramp to I-40 East (which I have above) from James White Parkway will actually tunnel under Hall of Fame Drive. (photo below) All of this action occurs at the centerpiece of the project, the Hall of Fame Drive bridge over Interstate 40. This bridge is the landmark piece of the project and has been featured in many posters promoting the SmartFix40 project. The total redesign of the James White Parkway exit is massive. The redesign has eliminated left exits and entrances...expanded accel/decel lanes...all in the same right of way space that the highway originally had. The exit ramp from I-40 West to James White Parkway is a great example. Because TDOT could not purchase additional right-of-way, the exit ramp begins east of Hall of Fame Drive and parallels I-40 West for close to a half-mile if not longer. A massive over 700-foot retaining wall was built as part of the ramp system. This retaining wall (built with technical engineering I won't pretend to understand) is only second in the state. The design of this structure has piqued the interest of numerous DOT's throughout the country that are studying the engineering for similar projects in their respective states. The outdated James White Parkway Interchange is being replaced by a safer high-speed three-level directional interchange. In addition to the interchange improvements, total bridge rebuilds, I-40 is being widened to six lanes. One of the larger bridge projects is rebuilding the I-40 viaduct through the heart of Knoxville's historic 4th and Gill district.
This is an amazing project...something that has been in planning for over 25 years. Being able to see this construction site up close and personal..and to be able to ask the engineers involved questions about it...really made this tour worthwhile. TDOT has been very involved with the local residents during this project, and their field office averages a number of visitors per day. Thank you again to Billy and HB for coordinating this opportunity to take a look at one of the most talked-about projects in the United States. Of course, finally here's the group photo...I'm the fool with the long-sleeved t-shirt on a bright sunny 84-degree day. (Didn't help that I started to catch a sinus cold the night before. :-p)

 

Comments

Unknown said…
Love those ECHM shirts in the bottom photo :)

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages