Drivers question when lane closures, traffic woes will end - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Drivers question when lane closures, traffic woes will end

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Drivers have experienced havoc and a highway headache thanks to shifting lane closures near the I-40/I-240 interchange at the flyover.

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) admits there are problems, but they are asking for drivers to be patient.

Many drivers are wanting to know how much longer the construction, merges, and closures will impact their commute.

"It's just been very inconvenient to everybody," Linda Richardson said.

Monday, numerous backups on I-40 between Sycamore View and the flyover reflected the severity of the problem. It even spilled over to Sam Cooper Boulevard.

It's construction many drivers have seen, experienced, and tolerated for the past three years during a planned widening project.

"It takes longer, way longer to get to destinations in Memphis," one driver said.

TDOT is working to ease the pain for many drivers very soon. A spokesperson said they're hoping to have all flyover lanes open by next month and the entire expansion project completed by spring or summer 2017.

"Just really reconfiguring the lanes to make sure that once the change happens, that it happens safely," TDOT spokesperson Nichole Lawrence said.

The plan is to add two additional lanes. Instead of 11 lanes, motorists will see 13 lanes on I-40. That's six lanes westbound and seven lanes eastbound. 

TDOT is asking for patience.

"Any given day we can have a traffic shift, a lane shift, our guys are out there painting lanes," Lawrence said.

The closures will typically happen at night and over the weekends. Drivers said the sooner it is completed, the better.

"[I] probably will not be taking the interstate until I know the construction is complete," Richardson said.

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