KNOXVILLE – On Friday, November 6, the Tennessee Department of Transportation officially opened the State Route 66 Extension in Hamblen and Jefferson Counties. The newly constructed, four-lane roadway begins at Interstate 81 Exit 4 (State Route 341) and ends just past State Route 160, a distance of 5.2 miles.
“This is a very important project for motorists in East Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “The extension will improve safety, as well as enhance ongoing economic and community initiatives. I would like to thank our state and local officials for their assistance during this important work.”This project was originally let to construction in 2013. Along with a sister project covering the paving portions in late 2016, the total cost was $50.7 million. This encompassed extensive grade and drainage work, construction of two bridges, utilities, and paving.
During this time, the project has overcome many hurdles and challenges, including multiple geotechnical hazards that have caused a change in the timeline. However, TDOT’s Geotechnical and Operations Divisions worked with the prime contractor, Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc., to overcome these difficult circumstances.
There will still be crews working in the area to complete contract work for the next several weeks. With the cooperation of the individual divisions of TDOT, the City of Morristown, the Town of White Pine, Hamblen County School officials, Hamblen County Road Department, and Jefferson County Road Department, this work has progressed forward for the advancement of the project and the overall well-being of the community.
This area of the state is served by Senators Frank Nicely and Steve Southerland, and Representatives Jeremy Faison, Andrew Farmer, and Rick Eldridge.