TDOT presents design for upcoming construction project on I-75

Officials said that the project is to build a “diverging diamond interchange,” changing from the traditional interchange there now.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation hosted a meeting Thursday night about an upcoming construction project to improve traffic on I-75 near Emory Road.

It is called the “Interstate 75 and Emory Road Interchange Project” and during the meeting, they revealed designs for the project. They proposed changing the section of road into a diverging diamond interchange, similar to the Sevierville exit off I-40.

This kind of interchange gives drivers several chances to get on and around the interchange. It designates a section of road, typically a bridge over the highway, where drivers have a  chance to merge onto the highway. On that section of road, it can feel like motorists are on the wrong side of the road.

Merging drivers will be able to more easily get onto the highway since they will be on the left side of the road, while motorists staying on the road can drive straight in lanes close to the center of the road, over the highway.

“Anyone who has driven on I-40 at Exit 407, that Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge exit, then they know what a DDI is all about,” said Mark Nagi, a spokesperson for TDOT.

The DDI also uses existing bridge structures and prebuilt infrastructure, keeping the cost of the project down compared to building an entirely new interchange.

The next phase of the project is called a “right of way” acquisition and could take between 1 or 2 years to complete. It essentially is the period when the department prepares everything they need before the construction actually begins.

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