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TDOT: Interstate 40 returns to pre-pandemic congestion levels in Knox County

I-40 had considerably less traffic in 2020 and 2021 but longer commute times are back, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — As more people start their commutes back to work and school after working from home for nearly two years, Knox County drivers might see more congestion, back-ups and longer commutes on Interstate 40.

"A lot more people are returning to the office at least a few days a week," TDOT community relations officer Mark Nagi said. "We are seeing an uptick in traffic as compared to the way that it was couple years ago."

7:00 to 9:00 a.m. are the busiest morning hours to drive—while 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. are the busiest in the afternoon, according to TDOT.

Twice as many crashes happen in the afternoon commute compared to the morning commute hours, according to crash data from 2021 on TDOT's online dashboard.

TDOT data also shows at least 34 people were seriously injured and eight died on I-40 in Knox County so far this year. Nagi said being patient and courteous can mitigate those numbers.

"If you're able to do that hopefully, we can reduce crashes, and in turn that will sometimes reduce backups," Nagi said. "The main thing is that we want people to go to and from their destination safely."

TDOT wants your questions and concerns about roads in East Tennessee.
You can call 865-594-2400 or leave a message by calling 1-877-SmartWay.
You can also email tdot.comments@tn.gov.

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