State to end I-24 closures, begin taking bids for I-440 project

Interstate I-440 was completed in 1987 to address a trucking industry boom. - photo courtesy of TDOT

Interstate I-440 was completed in 1987 to address a trucking industry boom. – photo courtesy of TDOT

David Smith | GCA News

Interstate 24 is set to be shut down in downtown Nashville on Friday evening, and will be closed until early Monday morning on November 27. This is the last of four weekend closures of I-24 at the east loop, between I-40 and I-65.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the work to improve the interstate must be completed before work can begin on the I-440-loop next summer, with I-40 as the major detour.

During this weekends closure, crews are replacing the 50-year old bridges over Oldham Street and Spring Street. I-24 is expected to re-open by 6 a.m. on Monday morning, clearing the way for improvements in 2018 to Interstate 440.

Today, traffic counts along the interstate connector average 100,000 vehicles per day.
Much of the existing concrete road surface is in substandard condition and needs to be re- moved. An extensive pavement replacement project is needed to repair the facility. The proposed improvements will also increase capacity and improve safety along the corridor.

For the past 28 years, Nashvillians have had a love-hate relationship with I-440. For anyone who frequently drives it, the road’s bad condition becomes apparent.

On one particular stretch near Nolensville Pike, drivers have the option between a bumpy ride on the left side of the road or cruising an uneven surface in the right lane.

But even in its current condition, I-440 plays a vital role in Nashville’s commute.

During the past several weeks, drivers on I-440 have seen preliminary engineering work underway for the corridor reconstruction project. Funded by the IMPROVE Act, underground inspections and engineering have been ongoing since Spring.

An extensive pavement replacement project is needed to repair the facility. The proposed improvements will also increase capacity and improve safety along the corridor.

An extensive pavement replacement project is needed to repair the facility. The proposed improvements will also increase capacity and improve safety along the corridor.

Design and build contractors are expected to submit proposals through December. A contractor will be chosen in May of 2018 in hopes construction can begin in the Summer.
From that time, teams will have a set time frame – about 5 months – to come up with design plans, construction plans (including how long it will take to complete), and cost for the reconstruction project.

The RFQ calls for a design that uses asphalt to replace the current concrete roadway surface.
The proposed project for Interstate 440, from Interstate 40 to Interstate 24 in Davidson County, includes removing the visible substandard pavement and widening portions of the 7.6-mile corridor to six lanes to provide three travel lanes in each direction with drainage issues to also be addressed.

The project is intended to address congestion and improve safety.

Originally known as Four-Forty Parkway, I-440 was designed and constructed in the 1980s as an east-to-west southern loop around the city of Nashville to address urban congestion created by a trucking industry boom. Upon completion of the roadway in 1987, it was considered a limited-access highway, linking I-40 west of the city with I-65 and  I-24 south of the city. The four-lane facility was built to accommodate up to 64,000 vehicles per day.