Fast 40 Dash on New I-40

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Fast 40 Dash on New I-40

Posted: 06/12/2009
Roughly 1,700 runners and walkers of all ages helped celebrate the reopening of Interstate 40 Thursday night taking part in the first - and last - ever "Fast 40 Dash" on the newly completed roadway.

The new and improved one-mile stretch of I-40 through downtown Knoxville officially reopens this afternoon and completes the Tennessee Department of Transportation's SmartFix40 project. The interstate has been closed through downtown since May of 2008. 
 
The mile-run and fun walk actually turned out to be a 1.21-mile effort due to a mistake in laying out the course but participants didn't seem to mind too much as they cheered the start of each of the four waves of runners - arranged by age and gender - and the beginning of the fun walk which ended the festivities.

The Knoxville Track Club, TDOT and the City of Knoxville sponsored the race and organizers had expected perhaps 1,000 runners and walkers. By Thursday morning, however, more than 1,200 had pre-registered and there were as many as 500 late registrations at the Civic Coliseum where runners picked up their race numbers and boarded Knoxville Area Transit buses to the course.

Despite the surge in numbers KAT and its drivers were able to effectively move the participants to the course negotiating through heavy early evening traffic along Hall of Fame and returned the runners and walkers back to the coliseum in good order following the event.

TDOT will reopen the improved section of I-40 today during a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m.

As part of that event there will be a procession of vehicles - open to all motorists who would like to take part - that will open the interstate. Drivers who would like to be part of that procession must be at the parking lot of the Timothy Street Baptist Church (at Knoxville Zoo Drive and Timothy Street) no later than 1:30 p.m.