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Amber Alert

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TDOT prepares for yearlong shutdown of I-40 section in Knoxville

When a section of Interstate 40 at downtown Knoxville closes for more than a year beginning this summer, it will mean a change of plans for thousands of motorists on the major cross-country corridor.

The closure between James White Parkway and Hall of Fame Drive begins May 1.

Tennessee Department of Transportation contractors are working on letting drivers know how to negotiate the detour with about 270 sign changes leading into the city.

The detour will carry motorists on I-640 around the city, which means signs are being posted in advance miles away on I-40, 75, and 81.

“There are so many signs, we can’t just snap our fingers and do all this in one weekend,” Mark Dykes, TDOT’s regional safety coordinator, told The Knoxville News Sentinel.

“We plan to have all the signs in place by May 1. So you may see the signs up a week before May 1. You may be directed by signs to 640 but the downtown route is still open.”

Crews with Tennessee Guardrail Inc. will be erecting 18-by-14-foot signs in Greene, Cocke, Roane, McMinn, Loudon and Jefferson counties to warn them of the closing. They will be covered until May 1.

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