Table Talk Kickoff: Emergency crews discuss incident response plans during I-440 project

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The I-440 project will create not only headaches for drivers, but also emergency crews.

Thursday kicked off the first I-440 Table Talk, a way for emergency responders to prepare for different incidents that may impact traffic during the reconstruction project.

The responding agencies, including the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Metro Police, the Nashville Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Metro Public Works participated in mock scenarios, from crashes and fires to breakdowns and empty gas tanks.

TMC Supervisor with TDOT Adam Perez said each responding agency has a different role, but there is a common goal.

“Need to have rapid response,” said Perez. “Need to know how to get in and out.”

Perez said response to incidents are the same, but there will be a difference with the I-440 project.

“This is going to be a little more intense because there’s going to be certain times the shoulder won’t be available, will cause lane blockage, a queue of traffic,” said Perez.

Perez said eliminating those barriers will come from additional resources.

He said TDOT has requested two dedicated HELP operator trucks to the corridor, more emergency crossovers, additional mobile cameras, and more radios.

“Communication is going to be ramped up,” said Perez. “Where is everybody at, where is everybody responding from. If we have that, we have a plain simple message that everyone can respond to and hopefully that cuts down our response time.”

The Table Talks will happen quarterly through the end of the project, in addition to regular meetings with responding agencies.

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