The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) awarded a construction contract to Bell & Associates Construction, LLC to complete infrastructure improvements on the I-55 and Crump interchange, including I-55 bridge repairs, the department announced Friday in a press release.
The contract was officially awarded on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022, according to the press release.
Bell & Associates Construction, headquartered in Nashville, submitted the lowest bid of $141,214,798.50 for the work, according to TDOT. The maximum number of days to bid on the project was 1,665 days and the minimum was 935 days. Bell & Associates bid 1,019 days.
Interstate 55 is one of the major north-south transportation corridors in the United States. The I-55 Interchange at E.H. Crump Boulevard and South Riverside Drive in Memphis, Shelby County, is utilized by high volumes of a combination of local commuter and through-traffic, including large volumes of commercial truck traffic.
The existing interchange cannot handle the current and projected traffic volumes in the area, thus the improvements, the department notes.
The improvements to the interchange will be accomplished by “constructing new through travel lanes for mainline I-55 traffic, which will eliminate the requirement for interstate traffic to use single-lane, low-speed ramps in order to continue on I-55,” according to TDOT. A new multi-lane roundabout intersection will be constructed to replace the existing cloverleaf interchange and provide improved access to and from I-55 and existing local roadways.
The project is scheduled to begin this month and is estimated to be complete in the first quarter of 2025, according to the department.
The I-55 bridge and work zone area could see up to eight weekend-long full closures from 8:00 p.m. Friday to 6:00 a.m Monday, the department notes. A pair of two-week closures will be allowed for work that cannot be performed while maintaining traffic through the worksite.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Construction Workers” by Max Pixel.