NO. 10 ROAD: I-40 Widening and Interchange Reconstruction

Dec. 2, 2021

Project helps manage traffic demands

(This feature published as "A Critical Interchange" in November/December 2021 issue)

Before this project, it took motorists roughly 10 minutes to get through ONE intersection.

That travel time has been cut down to two minutes, according to a WBBJ-TV report, and there is improved safety and access for residents and commuters along a busy section of I-40 near Jackson.

Gresham Smith delivered on a critical widening and interchange reconstruction design project for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The resulting reconstruction and intersection improvements mean the local community will be able to better manage current and future traffic demands.

Opened to the public in June, the roadway project features a widening of a 2.9-mile section of I-40 from four to six lanes from west of the U.S. Route 45 Bypass to east of North Highland Avenue. Additional improvements include: New eastbound and westbound auxiliary lanes on I-40 to reduce weaving conflicts, two new bridges along I-40, intersection improvements at U.S. Route 45 Bypass and North Highland Avenue, and a reconstructed intersection at U.S. Route 45 Bypass and Casey Jones Village.

For the local community, the highlight of the project will be a new single point urban interchange (SPUI) that will provide a new gateway entrance into the historic city center in Jackson.

The U.S. Route 45 Bypass is an important north-south connector in Jackson. It is the primary course from the Jackson Central Business District to I-40, and it carries a large portion of traffic coming from Mississippi and Tennessee counties south of Jackson. The route is densely commercial, including Casey Jones Village, which is one of the state’s top 10 tourist attractions. Increased development along the U.S. Route 45 Bypass has resulted in steadily increasing traffic volumes along I-40, which is expected to reach 70,290 vehicles per day by 2033.

The new interchange at I-40 and S.R. 5 (Exit 82) is a key feature of this project. It provides a gateway to Jackson, as well as an innovative approach to a busy intersection.

Project: I-40 Widening and Interchange Reconstruction

Location: Jackson, Tennessee

Owners: Tennessee Department of Transportation

Designer: Gresham Smith

Contractor: Delta Contracting

Cost: $67.9 million

Length: 2.9-mile section of I-40

Completion Date: June 30, 2021