The City of Mount Juliet, one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Tennessee, was experiencing a staggering increase in development near the I-40 Interchange with SR 171 (Mount Juliet Road). Under the existing interchange layout, the high volume of traffic was forced to cross multiple lanes to get on and off the interstate, resulting in heavy congestion and numerous accidents.
With an aggressive timeline and several challenging constraints, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) tasked Gresham Smith with developing improvements that would meet both state and federal requirements as well as respond to the well-founded concerns of local businesses.
Due to reliable in-house communication, our engineering groups and surveying teams were able to meet these constraints and changes for TDOT in a professional fashion. Without having to reach out and subcontract these professions for finding and surveying a possible alternate alignment, we were also able to work within budget requirements and fulfill a challenging timeline for both the city of Mt. Juliet and TDOT.
After uncovering underlying resident concerns and garnering public support, we worked with the City and TDOT to revise the current interchange to accommodate projected traffic levels while increasing access to commercial destinations. The improved interchange configuration includes a new slip ramp, modifications to four existing ramps, one new bridge and seven retaining walls. Modifications to drainage, safety barriers and street signage were also addressed.
The new slip ramp provides easy access to the growing residential and commercial developments without having to cross over the multiple lanes of the already congested SR 171. The installation of a unique retaining wall in front of the abutment of the existing bridge over I-40 was designed in order to add traffic lanes under the end span of the bridge. The wall utilized soil nails and a mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall to provide the needed width for the two new exit lanes.
The resulting interchange is a perfect example of Gresham Smith’s commitment to superior project management, problem-solving and innovative engineering solutions that benefit an entire community.