Governor Phil Bredesen joined other state and local officials in Nashville Wednesday to break ground on Phase II of the Interstate 40-White Bridge Road interchange improvement project.
The project is being totally funded through money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“This project will enhance Nashville’s already excellent transportation system,” said Governor Bredesen, who was joined by TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Senator Douglas Henry, Representative Gary Odom and Mayor Karl Dean. “It will improve access to Interstate 40 and Briley Parkway and will contribute to continued economic development in West Nashville. I’m pleased the Recovery Act is providing the funds necessary to move this project forward and keep more Tennesseans on the job.”
The project will include the construction of two fly-over ramps to and from I-40 and Briley Parkway, three noise barriers, the replacement of the White Bridge Road bridge over I-40, five retaining walls, and the replacement of the pedestrian bridge located just west of the interchange.
The $32 million project is scheduled to be complete by late summer 2011 and is expected to employee nearly 350 workers.
Congressman Jim Cooper said, "Recovery Act investments are helping Tennesseans overcome the most serious economic problems we've faced in decades. This project and others like it help working families and small businesses, and they help our economy get back on its feet again."
Phase I of the I-40/White Bridge Road Interchange improvement project was completed in 2005, and greatly improved safety, efficiency, and the flow of traffic. TDOT traffic counts estimate 42,000 vehicles use this interchange each day, in addition to the 100,000 vehicles that travel this stretch of I-40 daily.
However, funding was not available to complete the project and plans for Phase II were halted.
“Funding constraints could have delayed this project and many others for years,” said Nicely.
TDOT staff considered several factors in determining which projects would be funded by the Recovery Act.
“The state of the art fly-over ramps will help alleviate congestion along White Bridge Road,” agreed Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “The project will also help replace an aging bridge with a new, safer, more modern structure.”