Originally Interstate 40 was slated to run east from downtown Memphis through Overton Park onto Sam Cooper Boulevard. Opposition to that plan ultimately canceled it and the freeway mainline shifted to the northern beltway, replacing Interstate 240 between Exits 1 and 12.
Interstate 40 serves central Nashville, joining sections of Interstate 65 west of downtown and Interstate 24 southeast of downtown. Interstate 440 provides a bypass to the south.
Interstate 40 enters the Knoxville area from the Great Smokey Mountains area to the east. West of Knoxville, Interstate 40 joins Interstate 75 for 17 miles.
A major reconstruction project was completed in 2009 along the Interstate 40 corridor near downtown Knoxville. Dubbed SmartFix40, work included tearing down and rebuilding the Interstate 40 viaduct at Interstate 275 and expanding the existing freeway from there eastward to Cherry Street. Included in the project was the September 2007-completed redesign of Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) and parallel Hall of Fame Drive with an extension of that road to a redesigned 5th Avenue interchange. Overall Interstate 40 now carries six lanes of traffic.
Interstate 40 Tennessee Highway Guides
Page Updated 05-17-2011.