(Memphis) Major construction work to the I-40/240 interchange is likely to impact you in a big way.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people drive on I-40, and at the 240 interchange, the interstate drops down to just one lane, creating traffic problems.
TDOT is breaking ground on a new I-40 flyover, which will go over the existing 240 flyover.
This will make the I-40/240 interchange four levels.
“Traffic is a nightmare,” said Nicole Lawrence with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Lawrence says this lane expansion is desperately needed because the interstate was built for about 80,000 drivers a day.
Now the flyover sees nearly triple that number every day.
“We project to have at least 350,000 drivers by 2035. The east side of Memphis has grown exponentially and it’s needed,” said Lawrence.
Just east of the flyover, the interstate goes over the Wolf River Bridge, which will also be replaced.
To do this, TDOT will have to close several lanes of traffic, impacting tens of thousands of drivers every day.
“We’re adding it to 13 lanes, and it’s just been repaired and fixed and many Band-Aids have been put on this bridge and it’s just time to replace it,” said Lawrence.
Steve Chipman is an engineer with TDOT and says they are putting signs out far enough warning drivers about lane closures so you can change lanes and reduce traffic problems.
“It may slow it down just a little bit but we’re hoping we’ll be able to keep it moving through safely with the least impact possible,” said Chipman.
The first lane closures will come on Sam Cooper right after Christmas.
TDOT is also widening Sam Cooper by a lane.
TDOT recommends drivers who can to use Highway 385 when the entire route opens in two weeks.
It says also of truck traffic will be diverted there.
The project costs $109 million and construction is expected to last four years.