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KNOXVILLE — Interstate 40 in downtown Knoxville will be closed on May 1 to through traffic due to construction.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors traveling to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will still have access to several exits that lead to campus.

The road reopening is scheduled for July 1, 2009. It will be closed from east of James White Parkway eastbound to the new Hall of Fame Drive westbound — a distance of less than a mile.

Through traffic is encouraged to use I-640 as a bypass connecting to I-40, I-275 and I-75.

Travelers to UT and downtown have several options:

– From the east going westbound on I-40 toward downtown, motorists can take Hall of Fame Drive (exit 389).

– From the west going eastbound on I-40 toward downtown, motorists can take Alcoa Highway (exit 386B), 17th Street (exit 387), Henley Street (exit 388) and James White Parkway (exit 388A).

– From the north going southbound on I-275 toward downtown, motorists can choose to continue on I-275 and exit into downtown or merge onto eastbound or westbound I-40. Those who exit going eastbound will be forced to then exit onto James White Parkway.

To access I-40 from the UT and downtown area, motorists can use James White Parkway. A temporary ramp leads from James White Parkway to I-40 westbound. James White Parkway to I-40 eastbound opened last fall.

More than 100 signs around the area will notify motorists of the closure and alternate routes.

The closure is part of SmartFIX40, a large construction project overseen by the Tennessee Department of Transportation along I-40 in Knoxville to improve traffic flow.

For large events such as football games and concerts, UT will continue to work with local authorities to direct traffic and will issue traffic announcements accordingly.

For a map of the closure showing access routes to UT, go to

For more information, contact TDOT at (865) 329-4640 or go to


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,