I-240 construction delayed yet again

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There is yet another delay in a huge interstate construction project.

The completion date for the widening of I-240 has been pushed back again, and those delays in construction could mean big delays on the road for drivers.

Lifelong Memphis resident Brian Jones works in construction, so he has a little more patience for road project delays than most drivers.

“Things are always getting pushed back,” he said. “That’s just the way construction works.”

However, he is in the minority.

Most are frustrated to hear widening of I-240 will not be done until the fall, when it was supposed to be done in 2013 and then was pushed to this month.

One driver, Austin Chavez, said, “If they really wanted to, they could get done as quick as possible. I guess they just don’t feel like doing it.”

The work has forced drivers to merge on one of the states busiest highways.

“When you get down to one lane, people don’t know if you’re going this way or that way,” Chavez said.

TDOT said problems with the existing asphalt and soil, a change in bridge design, and a harsh winter are to blame for the interchange delays.

The delay is causing even more delays due to the I-40/I-240 project.

That project will not be done for another three-and-a-half years.

Jones said, “You don’t always meet the deadlines you need to meet. You’ve got materials and things like that that don’t come in on time.”

While some are angry, others like Jones said it is to be expected and something drivers just have to put up with.

“You’ve just got to be patient,” he said. “It will get done when it gets done. There’s nothing you can do about it.”

The delays come with a hefty price tag.

Since the I-240 widening project began, the estimated cost has jumped up about $5 million.

Work on the overall construction project on I-240 began in 2011.

In addition to widening, drainage improvements are being made and walls designed to cut down on noise from the busy interstate are being installed.

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