First, it was months, then weeks, and now, we’re just five days away from heavy construction beginning along Interstate 440.
The work will upgrade the busy interstate from concrete to asphalt and add a lane in each direction.
“The very first thing they’re going to see is barrels and striping to shift traffic to the outside shoulder,” said Clayton Markham, TDOT’s 440 project manager.
Markham says the traffic shifts, starting between West End and Belmont, and making its way east to I-24, will begin on Friday.
“Grass median will be excavated out so you’ll see a lot of that and the existing guard rail there in the median will be taken out,” said Markham.
After some drainage work in the median, the heavy lifting of removing concrete and rubbilization to make way for new asphalt begins. That process — which will be loud — will begin as soon as late Aprill.
“During the day there will always be two lanes in each direction and at night they can take it down to one lane in each direction,” Markham explains
One major change will be along West End Avenue, near Elmington Avenue. Starting on March 1, the eastbound on-ramp to 440 will be closed.
“You’ll have to go past that initial ramp, there will be a new ramp for you to take up there.”
Another change is the speed limit, down to 45 miles per hour. Also, there will be limited to no shoulder lanes along active work sections of the interstate. Markham says to expect delays.
“See where congestion is at the time, plan your trips so that you can mitigate any delays that you do have.”
Apps like Waze and TDOT’sSmartWay website can help with finding alternate routes.
“Downtown I-40, 65, Briley, 840, excellent detour.”
And because incidents do happen, Markham says two dedicated help trucks will be out full time.
If you ever find yourself in that position, Markham says, “If there’s any way you can move down to the next exit, get out of lane of traffic.”
News 2 is following the 440 reconstruction. For continuing coverage, click here.