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 The outdated James White Parkway Interchange is being replaced by a safer high-speed three-level directional interchange.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

North Carolina Continues to Move Forward with Rail

2023 and the first half of 2024 have seen continued growth in North Carolina's passenger rail system.  From increased daily trains from Raleigh to Charlotte, federal funds for studying additional corridors, and receiving a historic grant to begin the construction of high-speed rail between Raleigh and Richmond, the last 18 months have been a flurry of activity at NCDOT's Rail Division.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As ridership and routes increase - the engine of North Carolina passenger rail trains will become a more common sight. (Adam Prince) Increased Passenger Train Service: On July 10, 2023, a fourth Piedmont round-trip rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte commenced.  The four Piedmont trains plus the daily Carolinian (to Washington, DC, and New York) bring the total of trains serving the two cities daily to five. The current daily Piedmont and Carolinian schedule between Charlotte and Raleigh (NCDOT) The result was over 641,000 passengers utilized pa

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w

US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway

The communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway can all be found along US Route 101 within southern Humboldt County.  The former surface alignment of US Route 101 in Garberville and Redway once crossed the Garberville Bluffs along what is now Redwood Drive via a corridor constructed as part of the Redwood Highway during the 1910s.  US Route 101 through Benbow, Garberville and Redway was modernized by 1935.  US Route 101 would eventually be upgraded to freeway standards in Benbow, Garberville and Redway by extension of the Redwood Freeway during 1966-68.  As the cover photo the original grade of US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway can be seen at the Garberville Bluffs during 1934.  US Route 101 can be seen in the communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Humboldt County .   The history of US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway Benbow, Garberville and Redway lie on the banks of the South Fork Eel River of southern Humboldt County.  D