KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of the longest ongoing road projects in Knox County will endure another delay.
“There are still some bridge repairs that need to take place before we can return that roadway to its pre-construction configuration,” TDOT Spokesperson Mark Nagi said.
These bridges run over railroad tracks on the eastern side of the corridor. Repairs were initially scheduled to take place Oct. 27-30, but Nagi said that staffing and scheduling issues have forced them to push repairs back.
“Sometimes you’ve got some moving parts there, trying to make sure everybody is on the same page,” Nagi said. “Keep in mind that this is work that needs to be done by the end of the calendar year, so we certainly have some time to do that.”
Nagi was adamant that these repairs are essential to avoid another setback in the future.
“By doing these bridge repairs now while we still have construction in the area, that means that we don’t have to go back in a couple of years to make these bridge repairs,” Nagi said. “And we don’t have to go through these lane limitations yet again.”
For the time being, Nagi is asking the public to remain calm.
“We just ask for a little bit more patience then this roadway will be fixed and really it’s going to be beneficial for decades to come,” Nagi said.
The latest phase of the multimillion-dollar project began in June 2022 to resurface and rehabilitate the roadway completed in 1982. On average, between 66,000 and 87,000 vehicles travel on the busy stretch each day. The speed limit has been reduced to 55 miles per hour for the duration of the project.
Progress on the eastbound side was slowed earlier this year due to the road’s grade being higher than anticipated. A timeline on the TDOT website said that grade issues had been resolved by August 4.