3 of country’s worst traffic bottlenecks are right here in Nashville

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three of the country’s worst interstate bottlenecks are right here in Nashville, according to a report from the American Transportation Research Institute.

It used GPS data from tractor-trailers to identify those problem areas as Interstate 24 at Interstate 40 and 440; I-65 at I-24; and I-40 at I-65.

With funding from the IMPROVE Act, the Tennessee Department of Transpiration can start turning their attention to the city’s bottlenecks.

Engineer Joseph Deering says Nashville has just outgrown these interchanges.

“They were designed back years ago and weren’t designed for this amount of traffic, so now they’ve just gotten over capacity,” he explained. “And right now, the traffic ranges from average daily traffic from 160,000 to 190,000 cars a day.”

Officials know something has to change, but don’t expect construction to start soon.

The first step is studying the three-mile long stretch, figuring things out like how many lanes to add and how to change how the interstates merge together.

“By going out there and just starting building, whatever we do at the beginning may not work at the end,” says Deering.

When you’re bumper to bumper trying to merge and then split, and then a few miles later merge again, it’s tough to remember that this problem can’t be solved overnight. It’ll be more like several years.

The study alone takes a year and a half. After that, TDOT can acquire the right of way, and then engineering can begin.

Only after all of that can construction start. Deering told News 2 it’s probably somewhere between a 10- and 14-year plan.

So it could be a decade or more as Nashville just keeps growing. Transportation officials are simply asking drivers to be patient for the time being.

Follow our Nashville 2017 coverage about the city’s growth, the issues that come with it, and how people are tackling them.

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