Tennessee DOT SmartFIX40 named as top U.S. transportation project

The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) SmartFIX40 project is being recognized as one of the top transportation projects in the nation. The American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials selected SmartFIX40 Contract 2 for an “America’s Transportation Award” for “On Time Completion, Medium Project” in the Southeast Region. The annual transportation awards identify achievement in the development and construction of transportation projects.

“Closing a major interstate is not an easy task and requires tremendous planning, commitment to quality and accountability, and effective management,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “The on-time completion of this project was absolutely crucial and I’m pleased TDOT is being honored for this innovative work.”

In May 2008, after extensive preparations, TDOT closed I-40 in Knoxville and reopened it 18 days ahead of schedule in June 2009 without a major incident during the closure, TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely says. “I’m pleased AASHTO selected the SmartFIX40 project for this honor. It is a testament to the efforts and teamwork of TDOT employees, our contractors and local government partners that went into keeping this project on schedule,” Nicely says.

Contract 2 of the SmartFIX40 project in downtown Knoxville was chosen in the “On Time” category for completing the job ahead of schedule, utilizing creative transportation and management solutions, and effectively communicating the closure of a major interstate to both local citizens and travelers.

“Transportation projects such as SmartFIX40 in Tennessee set great examples in how to properly manage, communicate and deliver needed infrastructure improvements,” says AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley.

On Sept. 8, the Top Ten winners from all four regional competitions will be announced and will compete for the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award. The Grand Prize is awarded by an independent panel of transportation experts; the People’s Choice Award will be selected through on-line voting by the general public. The winners will be announced on Oct. 31.

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Broken into two separate contracts, SmartFIX40 was a multi-year road construction project with a total price tag of more than $190 million. SmartFIX40 began in 2005 and was completed in June 2009. The second contract involved the complete closure of a 1.5-mile portion of I-40 in downtown Knoxville. The closure of I-40 allowed around-the-clock work uninterrupted by traffic which dramatically reduced the time needed to complete the project and resulted in improved safety for motorists.

For more information on America’s Transportation Awards go to www.americastransportationaward.org.