WINNER: On Time – Medium Project
“This tremendously successful project is being looked at as model by transportation departments across the country.”
The SmartFIX40 Phase 2 Knoxville Project resulted in the 13-month closure and the subsequent reopening of Interstate 40 through downtown Knoxville, which carried average daily traffic of 103,000 vehicles. The consensus design, innovative construction techniques, and a major effort in public involvement and communications resulted in a new interstate facility that met Tennessee Department of Transportation’s goals of improved safety and congestion reduction.
TDOT had looked at multiple design configurations with little success in obtaining public support, even though I-40 in this area had one of the worst safety records in the nation. However, in 2003, TDOT revived the project with a new focus in engaging the community and all its stakeholders. Context sensitive solutions were utilized that balanced the environment with cost and time, along with technical and safety requirements.
Innovative construction techniques were used, including contractor incentives/disincentives, no-excuse bonus, accelerated construction, and project phasing. A major effort was made to keep the community and the public informed on activities and progress through opening a community office on the project and using specific communication tools to reach multiple audiences.
In the final analysis, when the project was opened on June 12, 2009, the project proved to be the most successful project in TDOT history in every measureable result – design, public involvement, construction, customer satisfaction, communication, and the safety of the motoring public. The added bonus was a community that felt they were a part of history.