Beware Of Construction Traffic This Weekend

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(Memphis) Got big plans to do some Christmas shopping this weekend? You might want to put the brakes on them.

The State's planning construction for the 40-240 interchange.

It was originally Saturday and Sunday, but the chance for wet weather pushed it back to Sunday and Monday.

“I’ll stay in Tipton County,” Atoka resident David King said with a laugh.

If you have Christmas shopping to do like King, you may want to do it Saturday.

Sunday, the 12 C exit ramp off 240, from Covington Pike to I-40 East is going to be milled and paved from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The work will begin again Monday night on that same exit ramp, but the part connecting Walnut Grove to I-40.

“There are alternate ways that they can get around that and not have to go through any of that,” said Nichole Lawrence, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“I am glad they got 385 open. That will help out,” said King.

TDOT recommends people take the recently opened 385 or Walnut Grove Road to get around the construction.

The work this weekend is preparation for the big picture project which will be completed in 2017. The I-240-I-40 interchange will eventually have four fly overs and wider lanes.

It’s $109 million project.

“Right now you have about 200,000 vehicles a day that travel through that interchange,” said Lawrence. “It’s projected by 2030 to 2035 that it could be well over 350,000.”

While the State prepares for that increase in traffic over the years, Sunday and Monday it’s asking drivers to be patient and look forward to when the project is complete.

“Obviously it’s going to be inconvenient for people but if you have to get it done, you have to get it done,” said Memphis Resident Christopher Lurry.

TDOT says you can also look forward to its Christmas pledge to not have any lane closures during the holidays, from Christmas Eve morning through the morning of January 6.