The final phase of SmartFix 40 in Knoxville, Tenn., is complete as Bell & Associates Construction and Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc. a joint venture, delivered the project by June 2009. Early completion gave a $7 million bonus for the construction team.
A 0.9-mile section of I-40 between Interstate 275 and the former Broadway interchange was closed May 1, 2008, in order to widen the route to at least three lanes in each direction and improve connections with James White Parkway. The closure, TDOT officials said, shortened overall construction time by at least a year. Bell and Blalock’s work on Interstate 40 in Knoxville, Tennessee, is the largest transportation construction project in the state’s history. Bell was awarded Phase I and II of the bridge and road improvement project for $85 million and subsequently the Bell Blalock team was awarded Phase III and IV for $104 million. This relationship proved to be quite successful for the two firms as it has highlighted the great work of all involved.
The project is also notable for its use of Tennessee Department of Transportation’s SmartFIX process. SmartFIX involves complete bridge and road closures for short-terms instead of keeping roads open during construction. This process significantly shortens the overall construction time of a project and improves safety for workers and the public. The entire project entails road improvements to Hall of Fame Drive and I-40, reconfiguring of James White Parkway, new interchanges and exit ramps, and the widening of I-40 in the Knoxville area from four lanes to six. The SmartFIX40 project began in the spring of 2005.