James White Pkwy. Entrance Ramp Closing

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email

James White Pkwy. Entrance Ramp Closing

Posted: 10/27/2005
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced Thursday that the Magnolia Avenue entrance ramp to southbound James White Parkway will permanently close the morning of November 1, 2005. The ramp is scheduled for demolition. "The entrance ramp will be taken out of service and the area will be used for the new exit ramp to Southbound James White Parkway from eastbound I-40," said Jeff Walker, spokesperson for Ray Bell Construction. Having one of the worst safety records in the nation, James White Parkway is a major focus for improvements in the SmartFIX40 project. In 2007, James White Parkway will be closed for nine months to accommodate construction of the new exit ramp as well as the new entrance ramp to I-40 from James White Parkway. Fill material will replace the existing entrance ramp and will be used to accommodate the future construction. An estimated 2,300 vehicles use the entrance ramp each day. Message boards have been placed on Magnolia to alert travelers of the closure.

No detour will be signed but suggested alternate routes include:1. From Magnolia take Randolph Street to Willow Avenue; turn left on Patton Street then right onto Summit Hill Drive and make another left on Hall of Fame Drive to James White Parkway.
2. From Magnolia Avenue go south on Central Street to Summit Hill Drive, from Summit Hill take Hall of Fame Drive and continue south to access James White Parkway. SmartFIX40 is an accelerated construction process used by the department to speed up construction. It involves closing the primary roadway on a designated project 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. In the SmartFIX40 project, along with the nine month closure of James White Parkway in 2007, 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. Over 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.