In 2018, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) awarded the contract for the I-440 reconstruction project, the largest TDOT project undertaken at the time. A bypass loop south of downtown Nashville, I-440 spans 7.5 miles around I-40, bisecting I-65, with exits to several of Nashville’s trendy neighborhoods. Originally constructed in 1987, I-440 was deteriorating as traffic usage increased with Nashville’s population growth. A gas and diesel tax passed in 2017 — Tennessee’s IMPROVE Act — set aside funds for significant transportation improvements across the state, including the reconstruction of I-440.
The design-build project sought to widen the interstate to three lanes throughout its entire span. This was accomplished through the removal of an existing median separating the east- and westbound lanes. SSR was included in the multi-firm project team to provide construction engineering inspection (CEI) services, including inspection of: asphalt plant, storm drainage, bridge inspection, and paving inspection. Also included were lighting and ITS improvements, ramp widening and upgrades, and new noise walls along the route.
The project was truly a collaborative effort from all the firms involved. The CEI team worked 24 hours a day, six and sometimes seven days a week to meet the aggressive schedule while the road remained open to motorists. Daily on-site status meetings occurred to ensure everyone was aware of the project’s status and daily responsibilities. This included constant communication with TDOT’s alternate delivery team.
The reconstruction of I-440 was completed in July 2020, one month ahead of schedule.