KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) A $104.6 million contract has been awarded to widen Interstate 40 through downtown Knoxville, making it the largest highway project ever undertaken in the state.
The project will get under way in May and eventually close I-40 downtown for about 14 months. Contractor BB SmartFix Constructors LLC will get a $7 million bonus if it completes the job by June 30, 2009. Each day beyond that carries a $25,000 penalty.
“Up to now, there’s been very little construction visible on the interstate, but now people will see more activity,” said Steve Borden, assistant regional director for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
TDOT announced the contract April 6 after the state and the Federal Highway Administration agreed the bid complied with the more than 1,400 pages of construction plans for the project.
With this contract, TDOT will have more than $252 million in road, highway and bridge work in action at the same time in the same general area.