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 (in the 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 projets 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The outdated James White Parkway Interchange is being replaced by a safer high-speed three-level directional interchange.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 involvedquestions 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 in a bright sunny 84 degree day. (Didn't help that I started to catch a sinus cold the night before. :-p)

Comments

Love those ECHM shirts in the bottom photo :)

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…