The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced Friday Summit Hill Drive including two new bridges between Hall of Fame Drive and Central Avenue is now open for traffic, however, the ramp from James White Parkway to Summit Hill Drive will remain closed.
After an eight-month period of demolition and reconstruction, the new bridges that span First Creek and James White Parkway have been widened from three to six lanes and have been lengthened to accommodate the wider James White Parkway construction underneath.
The old bridges were demolished on February 26, 2006 and reconstruction began immediately.
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, James White Parkway will be closed for nine months beginning in December 2006, and 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 from moving traffic while traffic is rerouted from I-40.
I-40 through downtown carries an average of 103,000 vehicles per day.