National News

Relief coming for I-440 drivers

Posted January 27, 2018 1:04 p.m. EST

— One of the most bottleneck-prone interstates in Nashville is getting a makeover this year. Construction is set to begin on Interstate 440 to give drivers some relief from the backups.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will choose a contractor this summer to design and reconstruct the interstate. Drivers described to News 4 what they don't like about the current state of the highway.

"It's like an old wooden roller coaster, and it's a little scary too because it costs money to maintain your car and you drive through some giant pothole that hasn't been fixed. It's an adventure," said Nashville resident Daniel Kozlowski.

The day heavy machinery moves in is up in the air.

"The contractor is going to set his own schedule in that regard. He's going to lay out his design schedule and his construction schedule," said Shane Hester, director of project development with TDOT.

Workers will rip up the concrete and put down asphalt. The grassy median will be removed to add a lane in both directions. That's good news for drivers like Sherman Cox.

"(There are) definitely a lot of bottlenecks because I'm over by the airport, getting off on 24 and 440. It's bad," said Cox, of Nashville.

TDOT will also have nightly lane closures on I-440 and keep two lanes open.

"It feels good because sometimes you have to take a step back to take a big step forward, and that's really exciting that there's some relief coming to 440," said Katrina Pritchard of Davidson County.

TDOT's biggest challenge will be tackling the I-440 and I-65 interchange with up to four full weekend closures to fix the bridge. That means drivers will have to take a longer way around town during those closures.

"I think that's OK. I'm probably a little more patient than most people because I think of it like it's an investment," Kozlowski said.

TDOT said reconstructing 440 will take about three years to finish once it starts.