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Traffic backups on I-75 expected to continue throughout the summer

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By PETER SAWYER

 Heavier traffic volume and construction at the 143-mile marker are expected to cause significant backups on Interstate 75 this summer.

This weekend, I-75 experienced congestion around the crossover lane between mile markers 144 and 141, where contractors are building a wall to repair damage from a landslide. The southbound traffic is funneled into one lane for this portion of I-75.

“We expect similar situations to last throughout the summer,” said Mark Nagi, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. “If people are going to stay on (I-75 in that area) be prepared for significant backups.”

The busy times are rush hour during the weekday, and during the weekends, beginning in the late morning on Fridays, Nagi said.

TDOT is working with partners in Kentucky to detour traffic away from the construction site, Nagi said.

  • Wide loads headed south to destinations west of Knoxville are detoured off I-75 at exit 62 in Kentucky where they travel on U.S. 25 to State Route 461, picking up State Route 80, turning onto State Route 914, following U.S. 27 into Tennessee to State Route 63 and reentering I-75 at exit 141.
  • Wide loads going south to destinations east of Knoxville are detoured from I-75 at exit 29 in Kentucky, following U.S. 25E into Morristown where they enter I-81 South at exit 8 and follow it to its junction with Interstate 40.
  • Wide loads headed north from Knoxville are detoured off I-75 at exit 141 in Tennessee and follow State Route 63 to U.S. 27 into Kentucky, turning onto State Route 914, picking up State Route 80, turning onto State Route 461, following U.S. 25 and reentering I-75 at exit 62.
  • Wide loads headed north from east of Knoxville follow I-81 north, take exit 8, following U.S. 25E into Kentucky, reentering I-75 at exit 29.

“Some people still decide they want to stay on I-75,” Nagi said. “Others use their own detours.”

People can stay up to date with the progress on the construction on I-75 at TDOTs website, http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/, Nagi said.