I-40/I-240 flyover set for historic $109M upgrade - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

I-40/I-240 flyover set for historic $109M upgrade

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Dement Construction Company, LLC was awarded a contract by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to complete infrastructure improvements on the I-40/I-240 interchange in Memphis.

The interchange work, will start later this fall, will last four years. It's expected to be completed by summer of 2017.

So, get ready to make alternate traffic plans.

The flyover is one of the most traveled sections of highways in the Mid-South. Back in 1985 67,000 cars and trucks a day traveled through the interchange. In 1999 it was 139,000 a day and by 2015 the traffic count is expected to be well over 300,000 a day.

To handle that looming increase in traffic TDOT has awarded the largest single contract ever put out for bid to Dement Construction of Jackson, Tenn.

The four-year project will encompass Sycamore View to the east, White Station to the west, Walnut Grove to the south and Covington Pike to the north.

"This award is the largest single contract TDOT has ever bid," said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. "This is a large and complicated project, but it will provide great benefits to Memphis and the entire region. We look forward to getting the work underway and completed on time and on budget."

The construction of new ramps and the widening of I-240 will improve traffic flow not only on I-240 and I-40 but also on roads that feed into the interstate system. The project includes a four-level interchange, the first of its kind in Western Tennessee.

Once completed, the four-level structure will rise more than 70-feet above Sam Cooper Boulevard, which is more than seven-stories tall. Speaking of Sam Cooper Boulevard, it will be completely rebuilt with an additional lane in each direction.

So what will this mean for commuters in and out of Memphis along I-240 and I-40? FOX13 News talked to some commuters and apparently the seemingly unending construction on interstate highways around Memphis over the years has conditioned motorists.
"You get up one morning, you can't next six months or six years," said commuter Freddie Walton. "You got to have an alternate route. It's called progress. It's called a mess up too!"

"You know what it's like now on I-40?," asked Joseph Lopez, commuter. That I-240, that's our loop every day, so we're used to it by now, though it seems like this never is finished. It's never ending as soon as they start, they stop, they start. So it's were just used to it by now."

Even before construction begins in a few weeks traffic on incoming I-40 is usually backed up for miles during peak times of the day and commuters have decided to use alternate routes to get around.

"Well, sometimes you have to suffer for progress," said Glen Ivy. "Well, they don't (finish). When you get through with one thing it's time to start something else. It will make it hard getting around in the area.

(The good news is that work being done along I-240 in East Memphis near the interchange at Walnut Grove and Poplar Avenue is expected to be finished just in time for the new construction.

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