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Opening of I-40 at the TN/NC state line pushed back after two years of construction

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A construction project on Interstate 40 at the Tennessee, North Carolina border will continue through the month of June after “unforeseen circumstances” delayed its completion. 

Traffic in both directions of I-40 between U.S. 276 (Exit 20) and mile marker 18 will remain reduced to one lane until the end of June according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The one lane traffic flow has been in place since November 2023, but the construction project itself has been going on since November 2022.

All four lanes were expected to reopen in May, but “unforeseen circumstances during construction, coupled with weather delays,” have pushed back the reopening, NCDOT stated. Occasional overnight closures will be utilized this month to complete the project by the end of June, reported Knox News.

Drivers entering and leaving Tennessee are able to use I-40’s single open lane, or use Interstate 26 and 81 between Dandridge and Asheville as alternate routes. This detour adds approximately 45 minutes of drive time.

The construction method used for the project was intended to lower costs and expedite its completion . 

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