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So I read this headline and story from Knoxville this morning http://blogs.metropulse.com/the_daily_pulse/2013/08/holy-crap-the-james-white-park.html

and all I can think is this. Does Tdot ever really completely give up on a project once it finds a perceived need? Even if they are the only ones that perceive it?

Case in point. Also in knoxville,they have been replacing the roadway on the Henley bridge, when work was about to start there were many articles written about how tdot had figured out that the bridge could support an additional lane way back when ownership was transfered to the state decades ago. And that they have been patiently waiting for the opportunity ever since.

This got me thinking. Will tdot really leave a stub highway in Knoxville forever or will they eventually extend it to some new terminus. And will the 840 north loop eventually be built, maybe 30 years down the road.

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So I read this headline and story from Knoxville this morning http://blogs.metropulse.com/the_daily_pulse/2013/08/holy-crap-the-james-white-park.html

and all I can think is this. Does Tdot ever really completely give up on a project once it finds a perceived need? Even if they are the only ones that perceive it?

Case in point. Also in knoxville,they have been replacing the roadway on the Henley bridge, when work was about to start there were many articles written about how tdot had figured out that the bridge could support an additional lane way back when ownership was transfered to the state decades ago. And that they have been patiently waiting for the opportunity ever since.

This got me thinking. Will tdot really leave a stub highway in Knoxville forever or will they eventually extend it to some new terminus. And will the 840 north loop eventually be built, maybe 30 years down the road.

 

 

I worked for TDOT and was deeply involved in this project when this road was built. It was Victor Ashe, the Mayor of Knoxville at the time who pushed for this project with the support of Governor Sundquist. Indeed, inside talk within the Department was basically negative toward what was at the time, possibly the most expensive highway, mile for mile, the State had ever built. And we knew at the time it was a highway to nowhere with no prospect for extension in the foreseeable future. It was a road conceived by politicians and not planners and engineers. But once the politicians gave us the mandate, we followed orders and did as we were told. As we should.

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TDOT is not looking very good these days.  There is a road project here in Chattanooga that was supposed to be completed in 18 months.  It is now in its 25th month and there's no sign of completion ahead.  It's an embarrassment!

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My question has always remained that if/will 840 ever be turned over into a interstate highway? 

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My question has always remained that if/will 840 ever be turned over into a interstate highway? 

I seriously doubt it. It was built as a state highway with state funds to avoid having to conform to more rigid federal standards for construction and environmental aspects. Obviously, law suits delayed the construction and required the state to meet more rigorous environmental standards anyway.

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I seriously doubt it. It was built as a state highway with state funds to avoid having to conform to more rigid federal standards for construction and environmental aspects. Obviously, law suits delayed the construction and required the state to meet more rigorous environmental standards anyway.

that was always my understanding.  and like I said I believe that at some point they will try to put the north loop back on the table.  

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^^^

I really doubt the north loop will ever be completed. The cost doesn't come anywhere near the benefit of having a road there.

 

The population is much lower on that side of the loop, and the terrain is much more challenging. It was a bad idea to begin with...but now after the seemingly endless delays for completing the south loop, I think the state will forget about the north loop (as a whole).

 

 

One possibility is that they might just build one part of the loop (40 to 65 between Lebanon and Gallatin)...but really it's not necessary as they are widening 109, which will have the same effect. All they need to do is add a few more limited/restricted access portions, and find a way to connect it to 65 without going through Portland..

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I agree that the terminus of 109 at US31W is quite visible, but not accessible from I-65. It's pretty silly because I'm pretty sure that the truck weigh station right there on the TN side of the border has access to both, but I could be wrong. But for now I think that trucks either have to take Exit 2 at Franklin, KY and come down US 31W to get to 109 and come through Portland, or take exit 117 and come east through Portland.

 

 

One possibility is that they might just build one part of the loop (40 to 65 between Lebanon and Gallatin)...but really it's not necessary as they are widening 109, which will have the same effect. All they need to do is add a few more limited/restricted access portions, and find a way to connect it to 65 without going through Portland..

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Their is a Nashvillian over at aaroads that has been attending and offering suggestions to TDOT and TDOT apparently is listening at the I-24 corridor study meeting that is claiming that the money that was to fund this Knoxville project may be reallocated to widen/upgrade Briley Pkwy. to interstate grade from I-24 to I-40 (area of old BNA entrance).  Interstate shields to soon follow and signed I-X24 or I-X65 for all interstate grade Briley Pkwy. Thompson Lane, White Bridge and Woodmont obviously not included for upgrade.  To ramble on other Interstate projects that are getting pushed up the priority list; I-24 downtown from I-40 to I-65 and I-65 downtown from I-40 to I-24 (old I-265) to be widened to eight lanes four in each direction.  I-65/I-24 multiplex to be widened from I-65/I-24 south split to Trinity Lane to twelve lanes six in each direction.  Ellington Pkwy to get reconfigured ramps to Spring Street and direct access ramps to I-24, widened to six lanes and completion of ramps at Ellington's northern terminus with Briley and I-65.  Interstate shield to also soon follow and expect I-X65.  Also yes: SR-840 will be signed I-840 within the next few years.  All things that I've been wondering since I've been driving would happen; if you go back to around 2006 I made a thread about Briley getting its shields, and I may have mentioned Ellington being separated from I-24 by an empty parking lot.  I know most here a anti interstate, but (unfortunately for y'alls sake) interstates are needed until we're driving flying cars or teleporting.  Neither of which is coming anytime soon.  If y'all are interested in reading the four pages worth of posts that started about a month ago, and where I got this from then here's the link; http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10134.0

Edited by L'burgnative

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I was in favor of making Briley Parkway an interstate so you could direct northbound I-24 and I-65 traffic away from I-40 on the west side and the downtown loop. It would ease traffic congestion considerably. I hope that part of the plan comes to fruition.

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I'd like to see Briley and Ellington add to the interstate system, but I'd like to see the downtown loop widened to 10 to 12 lanes too.  Since the early 90's TDOT's been widening the interstates in the burbs, but has neglected the downtown loop.  Of course your going to have traffic problems when all the 8,10 and 12 lane freeways come together and bottleneck at the cities core and where they all multiplex to 6 lanes.  I know; I've heard many on this site say "the interstates are evil and break up the cities" and widening the downtown loop will more so, but so does rail and the Cumberland and I haven't seen anyone gripe about them.

Edited by L'burgnative

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The key difference with the Cumberland River and railroad lines is that (1) in the case of the Cumberland, the city literally was designed and developed around the river and (2) in the case of the railroads, most have been in Nashville since the 1860s, if not since before the Civil War, and so the city literally was designed and developed around them, too. Whereas the interstate system destroyed entire neighborhoods and cut off street grids in a manner that has not healed in the half century or so since their implementation.

 

Ellington Parkway has no need to be part of the interstate system. The exit from I-24 to the Ellington northbound is definitely curvy and goes around a cloverleaf that incorporates part of Spring Street in a dedicated lane. Ellington southbound getting on to I-24 could definitely be improved, as you have to exit at Spring Street, then merge into a lane of traffic that first veers off to become Dickerson Road, and then get into a little cloverleaf that is simultaneously an exit from I-24 and the entrance to I-24. All of that could be simplified, which would benefit both cars and bikes/pedestrians for sure. But Ellington has no need to be part of I-24/65 because it runs parallel to that stretch and serves many of the major neighborhood arterial streets through a system of "local exits." The only overlap between exits between James Robertson Parkway and Briley Parkway is Trinity Lane, which is the only east-west street in that area that is a US highway (431) on which trucks are allowed. At the northern terminus, the exits to/from Ellington to I-65 are plenty wide enough now for the amount of cars that use them based on my experience driving them. Adding Ellington to the Interstate system would not serve any purpose and would not save drivers any time.

Edited by bwithers1

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Re: Briley -- I think adding an interstate designation is a smart idea. I would favor upgrading the portion from I-24 to I-40 by the airport to interstate standards, and then labeling it I-624. Most of the bypass traffic uses the east side as it is (really, from 40 to 65)...but in the interest of simplicity, naming it 624 would make more sense. It doesn't connect to 65 twice, so it can't be an X65 unless its a spur (why do that?), and if all of our bypasses are X40s, then that leads to confusion as well (440, 640, 840). Even though it is all the way in Knox County, I-640 is their prominent (and only) bypass, and I am of the opinion that you want to keep bypasses of the same numbering far away from each other if at all possible. (240 is in Memphis, 440 is in Nashville, 640 is in Knoxville, and 840 will be in Nashville). In general, an upgraded Briley Pkwy from 24 to 40 could be great for diverting a substantial amount of truck traffic away from downtown.

 

Re: TN-840 -- I am fine with changing the designation to an interstate...but somewhat confused, because I thought that one of the main reasons the state was paying for the road in order to keep it under state control (for whatever reason) -- now that the road is completed, they want to change it to a federal highway....why didn't they decide this sooner? Seems like they could've used some federal funds to build such an expensive highway. Oh well...I don't know the reasoning behind the decision...but I'm fine with it, I suppose. But now they have to change a bunch of signs. Seems like double work.

 

Re: Ellington Pkwy -- I see no reason to add interstate signage to this road. Even if they upgrade it, one of the nice things about it is that it is not heavily traveled by big trucks. It's essentially a freeway that serves one particular area of town. Of course, I do support the idea of 'fixing' the interchange at the southern terminus. It's a giant clusterf--- as it is -- and takes up a huge amount of land. In fact, I would like to see all of the East Bank exits re-worked to free up some land, and simplify the exits (to make them safer and less congested). It would be a complicated feat, but I think it would be good to have either a single point interchange at Shelby, or utilize access roads to make a single exit at Shelby (with no immediate re-entry) with Interstate Dr and 4th St as 2-3 lane one way access roads (rename Interstate Dr as 3rd St?) that connect from Shelby to Spring St, eliminate the cloverleaf at Spring St. Then have direct ramps from I-24 to Ellington Pkwy, with only perhaps a partial exit at Spring St (northbound ramp on from Spring St, southbound ramp off from Ellington). I think eliminating ramps would serve two purposes: free up more land for development, and perhaps more importantly, reduce the number of merge points from 4 southbound/5 northbound to 2 in each direction.

 

I'm thinking something like this:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z4W5arWAGhSI.k1gvcYRNTLT8

 

Hope the link works properly.

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Re: Briley -- I think adding an interstate designation is a smart idea. I would favor upgrading the portion from I-24 to I-40 by the airport to interstate standards, and then labeling it I-624. Most of the bypass traffic uses the east side as it is (really, from 40 to 65)...but in the interest of simplicity, naming it 624 would make more sense. It doesn't connect to 65 twice, so it can't be an X65 unless its a spur (why do that?), and if all of our bypasses are X40s, then that leads to confusion as well (440, 640, 840). Even though it is all the way in Knox County, I-640 is their prominent (and only) bypass, and I am of the opinion that you want to keep bypasses of the same numbering far away from each other if at all possible. (240 is in Memphis, 440 is in Nashville, 640 is in Knoxville, and 840 will be in Nashville). In general, an upgraded Briley Pkwy from 24 to 40 could be great for diverting a substantial amount of truck traffic away from downtown.

 

Re: TN-840 -- I am fine with changing the designation to an interstate...but somewhat confused, because I thought that one of the main reasons the state was paying for the road in order to keep it under state control (for whatever reason) -- now that the road is completed, they want to change it to a federal highway....why didn't they decide this sooner? Seems like they could've used some federal funds to build such an expensive highway. Oh well...I don't know the reasoning behind the decision...but I'm fine with it, I suppose. But now they have to change a bunch of signs. Seems like double work.

 

Re: Ellington Pkwy -- I see no reason to add interstate signage to this road. Even if they upgrade it, one of the nice things about it is that it is not heavily traveled by big trucks. It's essentially a freeway that serves one particular area of town. Of course, I do support the idea of 'fixing' the interchange at the southern terminus. It's a giant clusterf--- as it is -- and takes up a huge amount of land. In fact, I would like to see all of the East Bank exits re-worked to free up some land, and simplify the exits (to make them safer and less congested). It would be a complicated feat, but I think it would be good to have either a single point interchange at Shelby, or utilize access roads to make a single exit at Shelby (with no immediate re-entry) with Interstate Dr and 4th St as 2-3 lane one way access roads (rename Interstate Dr as 3rd St?) that connect from Shelby to Spring St, eliminate the cloverleaf at Spring St. Then have direct ramps from I-24 to Ellington Pkwy, with only perhaps a partial exit at Spring St (northbound ramp on from Spring St, southbound ramp off from Ellington). I think eliminating ramps would serve two purposes: free up more land for development, and perhaps more importantly, reduce the number of merge points from 4 southbound/5 northbound to 2 in each direction.

 

I'm thinking something like this:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z4W5arWAGhSI.k1gvcYRNTLT8

 

Hope the link works properly.

 

 

I think part of the reason for build it first with state funds and re-designate it later approach is so they can get away with doing less EIS for the said roadway, which apparently saves a lot of dough in the end.  Reworking the ramps is part of the plan for the widening of I-24 downtown and direct ramps to Ellington.  The good I see in adding shields to Ellington is to divert some of the traffic off  I-24/I-65 to Ellington and let them share the traffic since they more less parallel each other; out of towner's wouldn't fear using it with Interstate shields versus US highway shields.  Here is the guy's last interesting post from aaroads; looks like I misquoted though, because he says "Ellington will be highly considered to receive interstate shields once completed"

I just got another update from TDOT and it looks like the advisory committee has added several of my suggestions. Some of them were already on the Nashville MPO and/or TDOT's long term plans of 2026 or 2035 but the they will recommend they be added to the 3 years plan which means they hope to have public comment, EIS, ROW, and construction started and/or completed by then. These are the recommendations that were forwarded to me.

The elimination of loop ramps on the east bank of Downtown Nashville to diamond interchanges will happen along with widening I-24 to 8 lanes within existing ROW. Some frontage roads will replace exits altogether and a new ramp from I-24 west to Ellington Parkway northbound towards I-65 will replace the one there now. Several ramps will be obliterated altogether from side streets which will allow better access from Ellington Parkway southbound to downtown and I-24 eastbound. Ellington Parkway will also be widened to 6 lanes with serious consideration of re-shielding it as a X65 Interstate when completed. The loop ramp elimination will allow TDOT to expand I-24 without widening most of existing bridges.

SR155 will be recommended to be widened and rebuilt from I-24 to I-40 with added interchanges and an upgraded I-24/SR155 interchange. Either an even numbered X64 or X24 will be considered for designation after it is completed depending on the number assigned to the SR155 loop north of I-40. I'd say a flyover ramp from SR155 to I-24 east would have to be built and most of those homes with driveways connecting to SR155 would have to go. They're really ghetto rentals anyways.

The Fern Avenue overpass was scheduled to be replaced in 2026 but that project will also be recommended to be moved up and I-24/I-65 concurrence will be widened to 12 lanes from Trinity Lane southbound allowing 3 main line exits lanes in each direction at the I-65/I-24 split. Looks like TDOT will have to widen the Cumberland River Bridge but they had plans to widen I-65 from I-24 to I-40 to 8 lanes anyways. Interesting to note, the only thing putting off that project was funding, but Knoxville canceled the $100+ million James White Parkway project so contracts can be let when they get funds since all EIS and ROW are already done.

I already covered 840 and control city signage a couple of days ago but I brought up the ghost ramp to SR155 east on the ramp from I-65 to Ellington Parkway southbound. I suggested that TDOT complete that ramp and obliterate the clover leaf ramp that has 2 nasty merges with SR155 westbound to I-65 southbound and the ramp from SR155 eastbound to I-65 northbound. I think TDOT just flat out forgot about that ramp or maybe went over budget when they rebuilt that entire I-65/SR155/Ellington Parkway interchange and couldn't complete the ramp. TDOT agreed and said they will let me know soon.

I don't think TODT can get all those projects going within 3 years due to funding but it's good to know it's on the 3 year plan and on their radar. If TDOT can get at least the north loop of SR155 and 840 re-shielded along with adding control city signage I think it would take some pressure off of the downtown loop. TDOT needs to divert as much inbound Nashville thru traffic anyway to avoid the construction zones. Those are always white knucklers for me and even worse when I'm passing through other major cities construction zones.

 

Also some more info/questions answered.

 
You alluded to this in your last paragraph, but I don't think $100 million is enough to do what TDOT proposes.  Not even close.  The 155 improvements alone could easily eat up that $100 million. 

I also find it somewhat surprising that they're proposing all this widening since, a couple years ago, the TDOT Commissioner announced that "road widening" would no longer be a primary consideration.

 

 

I think he was referring to already widened roads not the substandard ones that haven't been widened in decades. That might have been the previous TDOT commissioner also. People are already requesting I-24 be widened again to M-Boro but that's NOT going to happen. I-40 east to Lebanon is about to be expanded and TDOT just let the contract to expand I-65 south to 840. I-65 desperately needs to be expanded to the KY border also. Most of substandard inner city freeways haven't been touched in decades in Nashville and Chattanooga and some haven't been touched since they were built back in the 60's. Nashville has 6 Interstates that are all 8, 10, or 12 lanes feeding into the 6 lane downtown loop. Thanks to TDOT, it only took 20 years but Knoxville has finished their freeway construction for our life times anyways other than far west I-40/75.

And your right, $100 mil will about cover the SR155 SE rebuild. The rest has been budgeted at about $150 million over 3 years which is very realistic with a $831 million dollar/year road construction budget. The 5.7 mile I-40/I-240 east Memphis project was just awarded for $109 million, but that is a big ass complex project. I think the real savings will be eliminating the loop ramps to allow I-24 to use the existing bridges for widening it to 8 lanes. Only 1 or 2 bridges will have to be widened from the I-24/65 split to exit 49. Widening Ellington to 6 lanes will be last on the list but the substandard ramps at the south end can be reconfigured and obliterated pretty easily.

I have to say, as much as people complain about DOT's around the country, TDOT has to be the model of efficiency. Tennessee is a pay go state and we owe absolutely nothing on our roads. I think several studies said that TDOT gets the biggest bang for the buck in America since there are no bonds with interest to pay off. The roads here are in a hell of a lot better shape in Tennessee than most states I've traveled especially in the Northeast. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by L'burgnative

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^Link doesn't work. It leads to a Google email login page.

 

Do you have a google login?

 

I don't know for sure...but google changed their maps up a bit, and it may only allow those with a google account to view them. If someone knows differently, please correct me.

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Re: Briley -- I think adding an interstate designation is a smart idea. I would favor upgrading the portion from I-24 to I-40 by the airport to interstate standards, and then labeling it I-624. Most of the bypass traffic uses the east side as it is (really, from 40 to 65)...but in the interest of simplicity, naming it 624 would make more sense. It doesn't connect to 65 twice, so it can't be an X65 unless its a spur (why do that?), and if all of our bypasses are X40s, then that leads to confusion as well (440, 640, 840). Even though it is all the way in Knox County, I-640 is their prominent (and only) bypass, and I am of the opinion that you want to keep bypasses of the same numbering far away from each other if at all possible. (240 is in Memphis, 440 is in Nashville, 640 is in Knoxville, and 840 will be in Nashville). In general, an upgraded Briley Pkwy from 24 to 40 could be great for diverting a substantial amount of truck traffic away from downtown.

Also I would agree; I-624 would be a good route number for this road.  Like you said it only crosses I-65 once, and I-24 and I-40 twice.  I-40 loop numbers (I-240,440,640 and 840) are already or soon to be used in the state.  Unless you multiplex I-440 with I-24 southeast of town and I-40 west of town and designate Briley the northern loop of I-440, but since todays motorist get confused easily and smart phones and GPS has made a lot of people map reading and directionally challenged that may not be the best idea.  I-24 on the other hand only has one three digit interstate in the state (although thought to be decommissioned and signed as US-27 in Chattanooga US-27 from the new Olgati Bridge to I-24 is still recognized by the state as I-124), so plenty of 3-digit route numbers for I-24 are available.  I think you reserve the number I-224 for any potential routes for Chattanooga, reserve any potential spur I-324 and loop I-424 to Murfressboro, I-524 spur or I-624 loop reserved for Nashville and I-724 spur and I-824 loop for Clarksville. 

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Continuation of construction on Highway 109 that will be a new four-lane (with turn/median) route connecting I-40 west of Lebanon with I-65 at Portland, near the Kentucky line. It is already complete between Gallatin and Portland... and at different locations between I-40 and the Cumberland River. 

 

http://www.tennessean.com/viewart/20131009/GALLATIN01/310090091/Residents-weigh-SR-109-widening-project

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