List of Interstate Highways in Tennessee

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Interstate Highways of the State Route System
System information
Maintained by TDOT
Length1,233 mi[1] (1,984 km)
Highway names
InterstatesInterstate XX (I-XX)
US HighwaysU.S. Route XX (US XX)
StateState Route XX (SR XX)
System links

The Interstate Highways in Tennessee are those parts of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways owned and maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) the US state of Tennessee. Currently the state has 1,233 miles (1,984 km) of Interstate Highways.[1] Tennessee's Interstate Highways are designated as the "Senator Albert Gore Sr. Memorial Interstate System" after a U.S. Senator from Tennessee who sponsored the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 that created the Interstate Highway System.[2]


Tennessee contains a total of 1,233 miles (1,984 km) of interstate highways, all of which are maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).[1] Tennessee's interstate system is designated as the "Senator Albert Gore Sr. Memorial Interstate System." Albert Gore Sr. was a three-term United States Senator from Tennessee who co-sponsored the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, also known as the Interstate Highway Act.[3]

The longest interstate highway in Tennessee is Interstate 40, at a length of 454.81 miles (731.95 km). The segment of I-40 in Tennessee is also the longest segment of all of the states the route traverses. The shortest mainline interstate highway in Tennessee is I-55, at a length of 12.28 miles (19.76 km) in Memphis. The longest auxiliary interstate highway in Tennessee is I-840, an outer southern bypass around Nashville, at a length of 77.28 miles (124.37 km). The shortest interstate highway in Tennessee is the 1.97 miles (3.17 km) I-124 in Chattanooga, which is unsigned; the shortest signed interstate highway is I-275 in Knoxville, at 2.98 miles (4.80 km) long.


Tennessee was allocated approximately 1,047.6 miles (1,685.9 km) of interstate highways by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.[4] I-24 was originally planned to run between Nashville and Chattanooga; it was approved to be extended to I-57 in southern Illinois in August 1964.[5]

The first section of interstate highway in Tennessee was a short freeway in Knoxville, completed in two segments in 1952 and 1955, that was integrated into the interstate highway system, becoming part of I-40 and I-75.[6][7][8] The first initial segment of Interstate highway in Tennessee was a short portion of I-65 near the Alabama state line that opened on November 15, 1958.[3]

The first section of interstate to be complete between two major cities in Tennessee was I-40 between Memphis and Nashville, the last segment between these cities of which was dedicated on July 24, 1966.[9][10] Most of I-40 between Nashville and Knoxville was also complete by this time. On December 20, 1974, the final segments of I-40, I-75, and I-81 in Tennessee opened to traffic, opening the final segments of mainline interstate highway initially allocated to Tennessee in 1956.[11][12] At this time, however, work was not fully complete on these sections of I-81 and I-40; this occurred on August 27, 1975[13] and September 12, 1975, respectively.[14] The last segment of I-24 in Tennessee, located west of Nashville, opened on January 7, 1978.[15][16] The last segment of interstate highway in Tennessee to be completed that was planned by the Interstate Highway Act was on I-440 in Nashville, which opened on April 3, 1987.[17]

Due to citizen opposition, a short segment of I-40 in Memphis planned to pass through the city's Overton Park was never built. Opposition began after the routing was proposed in the 1950s, and citizens waged a multi-year legal battle that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe in 1971.[18] After this case, TDOT continued to explore options to construct this section until 1981, when it was abandoned, and a nearby section of I-240 was redesignated as part of I-40.[19]

Since the completion of Tennessee's original interstate system, additional segments of highway in the state have been added to the system. An extension of I-26 into Tennessee was approved by AASHTO in 1988, and the last section of this route was completed in August 2003.[20] I-140 is a designation that was applied to a section of the Pellissippi Parkway in Knox and Blount counties that was constructed in the 1990s. I-840 was first proposed by the state legislature in 1986 and constructed between 1991 and 2012;[21] it officially became an interstate highway on August 12, 2016.[22] A segment of SR 385 in the Memphis area became I-269 in 2018.

An extension of I-69 into Tennessee was proposed in the 1990s. In 2005, I-3 was also proposed into Tennessee as a Third Infantry Division Highway.

Primary Interstates

Number Length (mi) Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Formed Removed Notes
I-3 Georgia state line Knoxville proposed Proposal for the Third Infantry Division Highway
I-24 180.16 289.94 I-24 at Kentucky state line I-75/US 74 in Chattanooga Noncontiguous; short segment extends into Georgia between both Tennessee segments.
I-26 54.5 87.7 US 11W/US 23 in Kingsport I-26/US 23 at North Carolina state line 02003-01-012003 current
I-40 455.28 732.70 I-40 at Arkansas state line I-40 at North Carolina state line
I-55 12.28 19.76 I-55/I-69 at Mississippi state line I-55/US 61/US 64/US 70/US 78/US 79 at Arkansas state line
I-65 121.71 195.87 I-65/US 31 at Alabama state line I-65 at Kentucky state line
I-69 I-55/I-69 at Mississippi state line I-69/US 51 at Kentucky state line proposed Designation approved, but not adopted by TDOT, from Mississippi state line to I-40/SR 300
I-75 161.86 260.49 I-75 at Georgia state line I-75 at Kentucky state line
I-81 75.66 121.76 I-40 in Dandridge I-81 at Virginia state line
  •       Proposed and unbuilt

Auxiliary Interstates

Number Length (mi) Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Formed Removed Notes
I-124 1.97 3.17 I-24 in Chattanooga US 27 in Chattanooga Unsigned designation
I-140 11.18 17.99 SR 162 in Knoxville US 129/SR 162 in Alcoa
I-155 15.93 25.64 I-155/US 412 at Missouri state line US 51/US 412 in Dyersburg
I-169 I-69 / US 51 in Union City SR 22 / SR 43 / US 45E in Martin proposed Will be renumbering the freeway portion of SR 22
I-181 15.93 25.64 US 19W/US 23/US 321 in Johnson City US 11W/US 23 in Kingsport 01985-01-011985 02007-01-012007 Replaced by I-26
I-240 19.27 31.01 I-40 in Memphis I-40 in Memphis Entire loop at one time proposed to be I-240.
Northern side of loop designated as I-40 upon completion, due to abandonment of plans to build I-40 through Overton Park.
I-255 5.38 8.66 I-55/I-240 in Memphis I-40/I-240 in Memphis Original designation of I-240 between western I-40 interchange and I-55
I-265 2.41 3.88 I-24/I-65 in Nashville Replaced by I-65
I-269 19 31 I-269 at Mississippi state line I-40/SR 385 in Arlington 02015-01-012015[23] current Will replace SR 385 between Arlington and Millington in future.
I-275 2.98 4.80 I-40/US 441 in Knoxville I-75/I-640/US 25W in Knoxville
I-440 7.64 12.30 I-40 in Nashville I-24 in Nashville
I-475 I-40/I-75 near Lenoir City I-75 near Heiskell 01995-01-011995 02010-01-012010 Proposed I-75 bypass of Knoxville, also proposed to be extended to I-40 at exit 407 (SR 66) to provide a complete northern beltway of Knoxville and provide a more direct route to Sevier County/Great Smoky Mountains National Park
I-640 10.1 16.3 I-40/I-75 in Knoxville I-40/US 25W in Knoxville
I-840 77.28 124.37 I-40 near Dickson I-40 near Lebanon 02016-01-012016 current Redesignated from SR 840, the Nashville Southern Beltway.[24]
  •       Former
  •       Proposed and unbuilt


  1. ^ a b c "Transportation System Overview". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  2. ^ "Minnie Pearl Freeway? Nah, Nashville sticking by the numbers". The Tennessean. Nashville. November 15, 1999. p. 1B. Retrieved May 26, 2021 – via
  3. ^ a b "100 Years: Tennessee's Interstate System". Tennessee Department of Transportation. 2014. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  4. ^ Tennessee State Highway Department Highway Planning Survey Division; United States Department of Commerce; Bureau of Public Roads (1959). History of the Tennessee Highway Department (PDF) (Report). Nashville: Tennessee State Highway Department. pp. 51–52. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, Previous Facts of the Day". Federal Highway Administratin. 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  6. ^ Ferguson, Don K. "Ferguson: First downtown expressway spurred Malfunction Junction". Knoxville News-Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  7. ^ "Expressway's First Link Completed". The Knoxville Journal. November 30, 1952. p. 7. Retrieved 2020-08-19 – via
  8. ^ "Short Ceremony Opens Expressway Link". Knoxville News Sentinel. December 10, 1955. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-06-06 – via
  9. ^ Aden, Tom (July 24, 1966). "New Interstate Link Alters a Few Things". The Jackson Sun. Associated Press. p. 7. Retrieved April 12, 2020 – via
  10. ^ "I-40 Opened in Cuba Landing Bridge Ceremony". The Jackson Sun. Associated Press. July 25, 1966. Retrieved April 12, 2020 – via
  11. ^ "Dunn Opens 96 Interstate Miles". The Tennessean. Associated Press. December 21, 1974. p. 32. ISSN 1053-6590. Retrieved April 18, 2019 – via
  12. ^ "All ET Interstates Open". Knoxville News Sentinel. December 21, 1974. p. 1.
  13. ^ "All four lanes of Interstate 81 to be opened today". Johnson City Press-Chronicle. August 27, 1975. p. 16. Retrieved 2019-12-08 – via
  14. ^ "I-40 Link Opening Near Knoxville". The Tennessean. Associated Press. September 11, 1975. ISSN 1053-6590. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "I-24 Opens". Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Clarksville, Tennessee. January 6, 1978. Retrieved 2019-04-27 – via
  16. ^ "Motorists Wait As Final Link Of I-24 Opens". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. January 8, 1978. Retrieved 2019-04-27 – via
  17. ^ Elder, Renee (April 4, 1987). "I-440 finally more than a dream". The Tennessean. Nashville. p. 1, 2. Retrieved July 30, 2020 – via
  18. ^ Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402 (U.S. Supreme Court 1971).
  19. ^ McNichol, Dan (2006). The Roads that Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System. New York City: Sterling Publishing. pp. 159–160. ISBN 9781402734687.
  20. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (June 7, 1988). "Route Numbering Committee Agenda" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 4. Retrieved November 11, 2015 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  21. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation (2012). State Route 840: Enjoy the Ride (PDF) (Dedication program). Tennessee Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 19, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  22. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation (August 12, 2016). "Tennessee Adds New 77 Miles of Highway to Interstate System: State Route 840 Now Designated as Interstate 840" (Press release). Tennessee Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  23. ^ Charlier, Tom (October 19, 2015). "Section of I-269 from Collierville to Mississippi to open Friday". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis, TN. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (May 14, 2015). "Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Spring 2015 Report to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2015.

External links