SmartFIX40 means more time, distance, gas for East Tennessee drivers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Unless you've had the TV off for a few months, you know in just a little more than a week a section of i-40 will close down.

The shut down means that many of you will now be taking I-640 around Knoxville.

And that may cost you more time and money in your daily drive.

The time is relative, we're really going to have to wait to see how heavy the traffic is, but your fuel costs are going to go up!

Don Lindsey of AAA of East Tennessee says, "You know in some cases, it's not going to be a huge inconvenience for a lot of people, but it just depends on where you are and where you need to go."

But what does that mean for you if you'll now be driving I-640?

We tracked the trip through town on I-40, time and mileage all the way through."

By taking I-40, the round-trip mileage between 640 is seventeen miles. It took us about 18 minutes traveling at an average speed of 54 miles per hour.

That comes out to more than 5,000 miles for the life of the project.

OK, now we have the I-40 numbers, let's see what the 640 westbound numbers are like.

Again at 54-miles per hour, the 640 way took 26 minutes to travel about 21 miles.

That's more than 450-miles via I-640 a month, or nearly 65-hundred miles over the 14 months of the SmartFIX40 project.

Let's figure you use a four-door sedan getting 30-miles per gallon. Total cost taking I-40 is almost 6-hundred dollars.

Same car, but more than 12-hundred miles when taking I-640. The cost is more than 7-hundred dollars.

Meaning it could cost you more time in your daily commute and nearly an extra 150-dollars for gas at today's prices.

Lindsey says, "A little time and investment is a great way to describe it."

But Lindsey says the payoff will be worth it.

"The main thing is just be patient. We're going to come out of this a lot better than we're starting, and it's going to be a great opportunity to fix something that's been wrong in this town for a long time."

Remember when we said I-40 was about an 18-minute commute compared to 26 minutes on I-640?

That's only an 8 minute difference, but over the next 14 months, it will have you spending 40 more hours in your car.

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