Tennessee State Route 32

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State Route 32

TN 32; primary in red, secondary in blue, unsigned in green
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length89.4 mi (143.9 km)
ExistedOctober 1, 1923[1]–present
Major junctions
South endMount Sterling Road at the North Carolina state line
Major intersections US 321 at Cosby

Foothills Parkway at Cosby
US 25 / US 70 at Newport
US 25W / US 25E at Newport
I-81 at White Pine
US 11E / SR 66 at Morristown
US 11W at Bean Station

US 58 at Cumberland Gap
North end US 25E at the Kentucky state line in the Cumberland Gap Tunnel at Cumberland Gap
CountryUnited States
CountiesCocke, Jefferson, Hamblen, Grainger, Claiborne
Highway system
SR 31 SR 33

State Route 32 (SR 32) is a state highway in East Tennessee. For most of its route, it is an unsigned companion route concurrent with U.S. Route 25E (US 25E).[2] The highway stretches 89 miles from the North Carolina state line to the Tennessee-Kentucky state line near the town of Cumberland Gap.

From the junction with US 25W-US 70 in Newport to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line at the Cumberland Gap, SR 32 is designated as the East Tennessee Crossing Byway, a National Scenic Byway.[3] SR 32 is also designated as Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) Corridor S. The corridor follows SR 32 between I-81 in Morristown and State Route 63 (ADHS Corridor F) in Harrogate.[4]

Route description

Cocke County

SR 32 begins as a paved continuation of a North Carolina secondary highway (Mt. Sterling Road, a narrow gravel road), in the Cherokee National Forest in Cocke County, at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. SR 32 winds its way west through the Appalachian Mountains, along the southern border of the forest, for 11 miles, where it crosses the Appalachian Trail, before leaving the mountains and entering town of Cosby, where it comes to an intersection and becomes concurrent with US 321/SR 73. Many compare this stretch of SR 32 to the Tail of the Dragon due to its many curves and switchbacks.[5]

The highway turns north as it passes by several homes and businesses, while having intersections with the Foothills Parkway and with SR 339, just a few hundred feet from each other. Leaving Cosby, the three routes head north through farmland to an intersection with Wilton Springs Road, where SR 73 splits off to the east toward I-40. SR 32/US 321 continues through farmland as a newly improved 2-lane highway before entering Newport and widening to a 4-lane divided highway, just before turning east and having an interchange with I-40 (Exit 435).[6]

SR 32/US 321 then runs through a heavily congested retail area and becomes undivided. Upon entering downtown, it junctions with US 70/US 25/SR 9 (W Broadway Street), where US 321 splits off and goes east into downtown while SR 32 becomes unsigned and concurrent with US 25/US 70/SR 9 west. They then pass by several businesses before coming to the US 25 split for US 25W/US 25E, where SR 32 splits off to follow US 25E north and they leave Newport as a 2-lane highway. This concurrency continues through countryside before crossing the J. W. Walters Bridge over Douglas Lake/French Broad River and enter Jefferson County.

Jefferson County

US 25E/SR 32 continues north through countryside and farmland to enter White Pine along State Street, and has an intersection with SR 341. These concurrent highways then pass by several homes and businesses before becoming concurrent with SR 113, which provides access to downtown. US 25E, SR 32, and SR 113 then leave White Pine and continue north through farmland and crosses into Hamblen County.

Hamblen County

Olen R. Marshall Bridge connecting TN-32 to Bean Station and Morristown

The highway then widens to a 4-lane divided highway shortly before having an interchange with I-81 (Exit 8). The highway then enters Morristown and passes through an industrial area and has an intersection with SR 343, shortly before SR 113 splits off to the northeast. US 25E/SR 32 then bypass downtown to the east through wooded areas as it becomes a freeway and has its first interchange with SR 160 (Exit 1). The freeway then continues to an interchange with Crockett Square Drive/Walter State CC Drive (Exit 1A; provides access to Walters State Community College and a large retail area). Shortly afterwards they become concurrent with US 11E/SR 34 (Morris Boulevard) at Exit 2A, which quickly ends at Exit 2B with SR 66 (Andrew Johnson Highway). US 25E/SR 32 then downgrade to a divided highway as it passes through several neighborhoods before having an interchange with SR 343, just before crossing the Olen R. Marshall Memorial Bridge over Cherokee Lake/Holston River, where they leave Morristown and cross into Grainger County.

Grainger County

Tennessee State Route 32 descending the southern slope of Clinch Mountain in Grainger County towards Bean Station.

US 25E/SR 32 continues north past several lakefront homes and businesses before entering Bean Station and having a junction with SR 375 (Lake Shore Road). It then bypasses downtown, to the west, and has an interchange and becomes concurrent with US 11W/SR 1. It then curves to the west and passes by several homes and businesses before coming to another interchange, where US 11W/SR 1 splits off to the west while US 25E/SR 32 curves back to the north and leaves Bean Station. The highway then curves through, and climbs to, the crest of the Clinch Mountain range, just before entering Thorn Hill, where it intersects with SR 131. The highway then continues north to cross a bridge over the Clinch River and crosses into Claiborne County.

Claiborne County

US 25E/SR 32 then becomes undivided and gains a center turn as they turn northwest, where they join and begin an unsigned wrong-way concurrency with SR 33, just after crossing an arm of Norris Lake (Big Sycamore Creek). The highway then continues through countryside and farmland to the community of Springdale before curving around through a gap between two ridges and entering Tazewell. They bypass downtown to the east side before coming to an intersection with N Broad Street just on the north side, where SR 33 and goes south towards downtown and New Tazewell while US 25E/SR 32 turn north again. They have an intersection with SR 345 shortly afterwards before passing by several businesses before leaving Tazewell not too long afterwards.

Traveling northwest out of Tazewell, US 25E/SR 32 passes through countryside and farmland to cross the Powell River before becoming divided, shortly before entering Harrogate and have a junction, and brief concurrency with SR 63, shortly before passing by Lincoln Memorial University and going through downtown. The highway then leaves Harrogate and crosses a ridge before entering the town of Cumberland Gap, where they bypass downtown to the southwest and have an interchange with US 58/SR 383. The highway then continues north to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel at the Tennessee-Kentucky state line, where SR 32 ends and US 25E continues north into Kentucky.

Major intersections

CockeCherokee National Forest0.00.0Mount Sterling RoadNorth Carolina state line; southern terminus; continues south as a gravel road; SR 32 begins as a secondary highway
US 321 south (Hooper Highway/SR 73 west) – Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Southern end of US 321/SR 73 concurrency; SR 32 becomes a primary highway
12.7520.52Foothills Parkway east to I-40Current western end of section 8A of the Foothills Parkway
SR 339 west (Jones Cove Road) – Cherokee Hills
Eastern terminus of SR 339

SR 73 north (Wilton Springs Road) to I-40
Northern end of SR 73 concurrency
Newport23.7538.22 I-40 – Knoxville, AshevilleI-40 exit 435

US 25 south / US 70 east / US 321 north (E Broadway Street/SR 9 east/SR 35 north) – Downtown, Greeneville, Hot Springs, NC
Northern end of US 321 concurrency; southern end of US 25/US 70/SR 9/SR 35 concurrency; SR 32 becomes unsigned

US 25E begins / US 25W north / US 70 west (W Broadway Street/SR 9 west/SR 35 south) – Dandridge, Sevierville
US 25 splits into US 25W/US 25E; northern end of US 70/SR 9/SR 35 concurrency; southern end of US 25E concurrency
Douglas Lake/French Broad RiverJ. W. Walters Bridge over Douglas Lake/French Broad River
JeffersonNina Road - BaneberryAccess road into Baneberry
White Pine
SR 341 west (Old Airport Road) – Talbott
Eastern terminus of SR 341

SR 113 south (Main Street) – Dandridge
Southern end of SR 113 concurrency
Hamblen I-81 – Knoxville, BristolI-81 exit 8
SR 343 north (Newport Highway) – Downtown
Southern terminus of SR 343; former route of US 25E/SR 32

SR 113 north – Whitesburg
Northern end of SR 113 concurrency
1 SR 160 (Enka Highway)south end of freeway; southern beltway around downtown and connector to I-81
1ACollege Square Drive/College Park Drive
US 11E south (Morris Boulevard/SR 34 west) – Downtown
Southern end of US 11E/SR 34 concurrency
US 11E north (Andrew Johnson Highway/SR 34 east/SR 66) – Downtown, Greeneville
Northern end of US 11E/SR 34 concurrency; north end of freeway

SR 343 south (Buffalo Trail) – Downtown
Northern terminus of SR 343; interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance; missing movements signed on Cherokee Park Road
Cherokee Lake/Holston RiverOlen R. Marshall Memorial Bridge over Cherokee Lake/Holston River
GraingerBean Station
SR 375 south (Lakeshore Drive) – Cherokee
Northern terminus of SR 375

US 11W north (New Lee Highway/SR 1 east) – Rogersville
Interchange; southern end of wrong-way US 11W/SR 1 concurrency

US 11W south (Lee Highway/SR 1 west) – Rutledge
Interchange; northern end of wrong-way US 11W/SR 1 concurrency
Thorn Hill SR 131 (Mountain Valley Highway 131) – Washburn, Treadway
Clinch RiverBridge over the Clinch River
ClaiborneBridge over arm of Norris Lake

SR 33 north – Sneedville
Southern end of wrong-way SR 33 concurrency
SR 33 south (N Broad Street) – New Tazewell, Maynardville
Northern end of SR 33 wrong-way concurrency

SR 345 north (Cedar Fork Road)
Southern terminus of SR 345
Bridge over the Powell River
SR 63 east (Forge Ridge Road) – Sneedville
Southern end of SR 63 concurrency

SR 63 west (Appalachian Highway) – Arthur, Speedwell, Fincastle, LaFollette
Northern end of SR 63 concurrency
Cumberland Gap
US 58 east (Wilderness Road/SR 383 east) – Jonesville, VA
Western terminus of US 58/SR 383
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park89.4143.9
US 25E north – Middlesboro
Cumberland Gap Tunnel; Kentucky state line; northern terminus of SR 32; US 25E continues north into Kentucky; SR 32 ends as an unsigned primary highway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Highway Planning Survey Division (1925). Biennial Report of the Commissioner of the Department of Highways and Public Works State of Tennessee for the Years 1923 and 1924 (PDF) (Report). Nashville: Tennessee Department of Highways and Public Works. pp. 39–44. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  2. ^ 2015 Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map) (2015 ed.). Tennessee Department of Transportation. § Back (eastern TN). Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  3. ^ O'Neil, Duay (October 20, 2009). "Hwy 25 East is Now a National Scenic Byway". The Newport Plain Talk. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  4. ^ "ADHS Approved Corridors and Termini". Archived from the original on November 1, 2007.
  5. ^ "State Route 32 - Tennessee". MotorcycleRoads.US. 2007–2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "State Route 32 Proposed Improvements". Tennessee Department of Transportation. March 15, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2013.