TDOT: “Holy S**t, We Accidentally Finished 840”

On July 31st, the Tennessee Department of Transportation announced they had recently come to the realization that construction on State Route 840 had reached completion.  The 78-mile roadway, a southern-bypass around Nashville stretching from Lebanon to Dickson, is now scheduled to be entirely open on November 2nd.

Construction crews complete work on TN-840

“We were just working one day on this one section in Williamson County, and as we were finishing-up, I looked to see where our next job would be,” said TDOT Road Engineer Paul Mantok.  “I kept refreshing the work order page, but nothing new was coming up, and it suddenly hit me that we were done.  I called the home office and told them ‘Holy s**t, we accidentally finished 840!  What are we gonna do now?’  We didn’t mean to actually finish it, this was supposed to just keep going for at least another generation or two.  But apparently we weren’t paying enough attention, and then BAM, it’s all over.”

State Route 840 was announced as part of a roads initiative in 1986 under then-Governor Lamar Alexander, and has been under construction since 1991.  A 100-mile northern loop of SR840 was also initially planned, but has been considered shelved for several years due to budget cuts, environmental factors, and general weariness over the extensive construction time for the 78-mile southern loop.  The official opening of SR840 in November will close the book on over two-decades of near-continuous employment for countless TDOT employees.

“I don’t know what to tell my workers” says Mantok.  “Some of these kids were actually born out here on the road; it’s the only life they’ve ever known.  If there isn’t more 840 for them to build, it could destroy them, their sense of reality.  It’d be like putting a housecat in the middle of the forest if you tried to put these guys on a road project in Nashville.  Briley Parkway or 440 would be enough to break them.  I just hope we can end all these budget debates and maybe start to see talks again about the northern loop.”


Construction photo found at  Sign picture found at

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