Signs of Confusion?

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's official, as long as Mother Nature cooperates, we're less than a month from the opening of all lanes on I-40 in West Hills.

But we're going to have to deal with some more delays until then.

This week, TDOT is finishing the work at Papermill and Northshore and that means lane changes and long delays.

Another concern you may have, the lack of signs telling you which way is the right way to go.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford joins us with more on the "Papermill Puzzle."

After almost four years of I-40 construction, TDOT says they're finally nearing the homestretch.

But they also say these last couple months of finishing touches are the most difficult, especially as new signs and lanes pop up.

"Final pavement markings, sign, sign structures, there's some bridge joints and some grounding and grooving that still needs to happen," says Travis Brickey, TDOT spokesman.

As TDOT puts on the finishing touches to I-40 you've probably noticed new lanes that aren't open to drivers yet.

"When we go to get on the interstate it's changed and people don't know what to do, as far as when to get over, lanes blocked, and then you've got people cutting you off," Knoxville motorist Chelsea Taylor.

"People not paying attention and stopping and going and the change of lanes and not knowing where one lane starts and one lane ends, merging," says motorist Kristen Frye.

TDOT says as construction moves forward and new signs go up, there's bound to be some confusion.

"We have to barrel and use our construction controls on a way that they try not to get too confused, but you have to remember, we have to put them up some time and they're too large to cover sometimes," Brickey says.

But many drivers say it's getting too dangerous.

"I've lived here 12 years and I about had a wreck the other day coming off the interstate cause they've got Papermill so screwed up," Mandy Branch says the new routes often don't point you in the right direction soon enough.

"They've got kind of lines drawn on the ground and they're going over each other and you can't really tell which one you're supposed to be in. The signs aren't very clear," Branch says.

"Anytime you put up the overhead signs you know the interstate's going to open up real soon, but you really need to pay attention," Brickey says.

While drivers are trying to keep an extra eye out, there's really only one thing they want to see.

"For it all to be finished," Frye says.

"For it to be finished," Branch agrees.

"For them to be done," says Taylor.

TDOT says they hope to have all lanes of I-40 opened in a couple weeks, depending on the weather.

And the entire 62-million dollar project is still expected to be complete December 31st.

Until then, TDOT asks all drivers to be extra cautious and patient.

It's been almost four years, so what's a couple more months.


WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 4518431 - local8now.com/a?a=4518431
Gray Television, Inc.