Summit Hill Bridge and Ramp Closing

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Summit Hill Bridge and Ramp Closing

Posted: 02/09/2006
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced Thursday that the Summit Hill Bridge and entrance ramp from James White Parkway will close February 21.

The bridge will be closed for eight months with the ramp remaining closed into the James White Parkway phase of construction, which will be approximately September of 2007.

"This is an important step for the Hall of Fame Drive phase of the SmartFIX40 project. The closure will allow the contractor to expedite the construction of the new bridge which must be completed by November," said TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges. Mayor Bill Haslam joined Degges at a Thursday news conference announcing the closure.

"TDOT and the City are working together to minimize the disruption to motorists by providing additional signs and detours into downtown, the Old City and Civic Coliseum," Mayor Haslam. "TDOT and its contractor know that it's important this project be done right and on time, and although we may be inconvenienced at times, this project will ultimately greatly improve the safety of the interstate through the city of Knoxville.

"The demolition and reconstruction of the bridge will provide the additional space necessary to widen James White Parkway, which is underneath the structure. The bridge will also be widened from three to six lanes. The Summit Hill Bridge carries an average 15,000 vehicles per day with the entrance ramp from James White Parkway averaging 6,300 vehicles per day.

A detour will be posted in order to direct motorists around the closure as well as into and out of downtown and the Old City.

The detour will be as follows:

Bridge detour- Take Central Street to Willow Avenue to Patton Street.
To downtown- From James White Parkway take the Cumberland Avenue exit to Gay Street to Summit Hill Drive.
From downtown- Take Summit Hill Drive to Locust Street to Clinch Avenue to Henley Street to access the tunnel and any direction of the Interstate. SmartFIX40 is an accelerated construction process used by the department to speed up construction. It involves completely closing the 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 inconveniences to drivers. During the SmartFIX40 project, James White Parkway will be closed for nine months in 2007, 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 Knoxville carries an average of 103,000 vehicles a day.