Large Sinkhole Closes Two Lanes of I-240 at Walnut Grove

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | 05:09 pm
JACKSON, Tenn. – Interstate 240 in Memphis is reduced to one lane after a large sinkhole opened up in the roadway near the Walnut Grove interchange Wednesday afternoon. The sink hole, which measured approximately two feet wide by six feet deep, covered two travel lanes on I-240 near mile marker 13. TDOT maintenance crews are on site and plan to work throughout the night until the sinkhole is repaired. TDOT HELP units and the Memphis Police Department are also on site to assist with traffic control.
Motorists are advised to plan for delays and use alternate routes through the area. 

TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely Appoints New Environment & Planning Chief

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | 12:30 pm
Joe Carpenter
Joe Carpenter
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely today named Joe Carpenter the new Chief of Environment and Planning for TDOT. Carpenter currently serves as the Assistant Chief Engineer for Design at TDOT. Carpenter will replace Ed Cole, who is leaving TDOT to become the first Executive Director for the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.
“During his time with TDOT Joe Carpenter has demonstrated his ability to effectively manage TDOT’s design, right of way and structures divisions, which has allowed him to work closely with the Environment and Planning Bureau on a number of environmentally sensitive projects,” said Nicely. “Ed Cole has been an invaluable asset and has initiated dramatic changes in TDOT’s environmental policies in his seven year tenure with the department. I’m confident Mr. Carpenter will help us continue to build on that momentum.”

U.S. 64 to Reopen April 16

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 09:49 am
Weather Delays Impact Completion Schedule; Two Other Potential Rockfall Sites Stabilized
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Progress on work to stabilize two separate rockslides along U.S. 64 and on other improvements along the U.S. 64 corridor continues despite days of weather delays. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has re-evaluated progress on work to clear and stabilize a section of Little Frog Mountain along U.S. 64 in Polk County near TVA Ocoee 2 Dam and now expects the roadway will reopen by April 16, weather permitting. TDOT originally estimated a March 31, 2010 opening however harsh weather on site and the unpredictable nature of the work has delayed the opening date.

Rockslide Risks Close the Dragon

Friday, March 19, 2010 | 08:57 am
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- U.S. 129/SR-115 is closed from the North Carolina state line to a rockslide two miles south of the Chilhowee Dam.
Due to the complexity and severity of the rockslide that occurred on U.S. 129/SR-115 on Sunday morning, law enforcement and emergency crews will have very limited emergency access to the Dragon. Response time to accidents or emergencies could be hindered by the rockslide's instability or repair work to the slide.

Tennessee to Develop Strategy to Improve Transportation and Land Use Planning

Thursday, March 18, 2010 | 03:14 pm
NGA Center Selects Tennessee to Participate in 10-Month Initiative
NASHVILLE – Tennessee has been selected by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) to participate in the Policy Academy on Shaping a New Approach to Transportation and Land Use Planning. The state will develop a Corridor Management Agreement in one of the state’s urban areas that will later be applied to other transportation corridors across the state. The goal is to create a system that helps local planning agencies learn how to make land use decisions that better coordinate with transportation decisions made at the local and state level. Colorado, Maryland, Washington and West Virginia have also been selected to participate in the program.

TDOT Vehicles in Knoxville Running on Cleaner E85 Fuel

Thursday, March 18, 2010 | 01:57 pm
TDOT Region 1 Director Steve Borden fills up a state car at the newly installed E85 pump.
TDOT Region 1 Director Steve Borden fills up a state car at the newly installed E85 pump.
New E-85 Pumps Now Available at TDOT Region One Complex
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In an effort to conserve resources and to improve air quality, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is celebrating a conservation milestone. As of this week, fueling stations at TDOT’s Region One Complex Office now offer E85 fuel for state vehicles. E85 is a blend of ethanol and gasoline that burns cleaner than regular gasoline thus reducing a number of airborne pollutants.

Polk County US-64 Rockslide Update for March 17

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | 04:36 pm
Workers continue to remove break up rock and haul debris from the boat ramp located at the foot of TVA Ocoee 2 Dam and along the roadway.
Workers continue to remove break up rock and haul debris from the boat ramp located at the foot of TVA Ocoee 2 Dam and along the roadway.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Work continues to progress on the stabilization and clearing of the rockslide along U.S. 64 at Mile Marker 17 in Polk County with around the clock work set to begin Tuesday. Construction crews continued scaling loose rock and debris from the eastern side of the slope with machinery today as heavy equipment worked along the roadway and river bank breaking up large rock and hauling away debris from the site.  Rock bolting crews worked through the evening and early morning hours drilling 15 ft., 25 ft. and 40 ft. deep holes along the upper and middle sections of the central part of the slope in order to grout and install rock bolts.  Daytime and night time crews will continue working a 24/7 schedule, weather permitting, until the slide remediation and cleanup is completed.

Evaluations continue for rockslide on U.S. 129/SR-115

Monday, March 15, 2010 | 04:26 pm
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Both lanes on U.S. 129/SR-115 remain closed at the scene of a rockslide approximately two miles south of the Chilhowee Dam and more than 13 miles north of the  Tennessee and North Carolina state line.
TDOT geotechnical engineers have conducted preliminary evaluations of the slide and are currently developing a plan to stabilize the mountainside and re-open the road safely and expeditiously.   No timeline has been confirmed.
Meanwhile, motorists can take temporary detours around the rockslide area.