Interstate 275

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Interstate 275 is an urban route in Knoxville joining I-75/640 north of Sharps Ridge with I-40 and U.S. 441 (Broadway / Henley Street) outside Downtown. The 2.98 mile long freeway also serves the Mechanicsville neighborhood, North Knoxville and the Happy Holler Historic District.

All three of the mainline interchanges along Interstate 275 were reconstructed between December 1, 2006 and January 26, 2008. This work preceded the "Smartfix" Interstate 40 project.1 The $20 million project replaced the compact cloverleaves at Baxter, Oldham and Heiskell Avenues into diamond interchanges. This eliminated weaving traffic patterns and accommodated a widening of a 2.1 mile section of I-275 from four to six lanes. Exits 1A/B became Exit 1A, Exits 1C/D became Exit 1B, and Exits 2A/B became Exit 2. The project also expanded one mile of Interstate 640.2

Interstate 275 was constructed in 1958 and signed as a part of I-75 through Knoxville. I-75 was subsequently relocated in 1980, when it shifted onto an overlap with I-640, the Knoxville bypass completed in time for the World's Fair.1 Coinciding with the change was 1981/82 construction rebuilding the exchange joining I-275 with I-40 and Oak Avenue. The cloverleaf interchange at I-40 was replaced with a high speed systems interchange and the freeway end at Oak Avenue was replaced with ramps feeding into U.S. 441 (Henley Street). The parclo interchange at W 5th Avenue was also removed.

Interstate 275 North
A two lane ramp separates from U.S. 441 (Henley Street) northbound ahead of SR 62 (Western Avenue) and Summit Hill Drive to the systems interchange joining I-275/40. 01/16/19
The I-275 connector from Downtown passes through a tunnel below the intersection joining SR 62 (Western Avenue, Summit Hill Drive, and U.S. 441 along Henley Street and Broadway. 01/16/19
Entering the multi level interchange with I-40, Interstate 275 northbound spans several Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks. I-40 runs across the city of Knoxville east to Dandridge and Asheville, North Carolina. 01/16/19
Traffic from Downtown Knoxville partitions with a single lane continuing north onto I-275 toward North Knoxville and the loop ramp onto I-40 westbound to Marble City. 01/16/19
Interstate 275 extends 2.98 miles north from I-40 to I-75/640 at Inskip. I-40 west combines with I-75 south from near West Haven in Knoxville to the town of Farragut. 01/16/19
I-275 heads north between Mechanicsville and the Happy Holler Historic District from I-40 to Exit 1 for Baxter Avenue. 01/16/19
Originally a cloverleaf, Exit 1A was converted to a diamond interchange in 2006-08 construction. Baxter Avenue leads west to residential areas near Knoxville College and east into an industrial area by Knoxville National Cemetery. 01/16/19
The cloverleaf (Exits 1C/D) at Oldham Avenue west and Woodland Avenue east was converted into a diamond interchange (Exit 1B) during 2006-07 as part of the project to widen Interstate 275 to six overall lanes. 01/16/19
I-275 advances north between the Beaumont neighborhood and Happy Holler Historic District by Second Creek. 01/16/19
Woodland Avenue extends Oldham Avenue east from I-275 at Exit 1B over the adjacent Norfolk Southern Railroad line. Woodland Avenue represents one of four crossings over the railroad and Second Creek between I-40 and Sharp Ridge. 01/16/19
The systems interchange with I-75, I-640 and U.S. 25W (Clinton Highway) lies just beyond Sharp Ridge, two miles from Oldham Avenue. 01/16/19
I-275 shifts west through an S-curve to Lonsdale. The former Coster Yards were located to the east of this stretch. 01/16/19
A diamond interchange joins Interstate 275 with Heiskell Avenue at Exit 2. 01/16/19
Heiskell Avenue stems west from Central Street at the Lincoln Park neighborhood to Texas Avenue in the Lonsdale community. 01/16/19
Sharp Gap appears beyond the exchange with Heiskell Avenue. Parallel Central Street leads south to North Knoxville and north onto Bruhin Road through Sharp Gap to Inskip. 01/16/19
A lane drop occurs northbound at Exit 3 for I-75/640 and U.S. 25W (Clinton Highway). Two lanes continues directly onto Interstate 75 north toward Lexington, Kentucky. 01/16/19
Interstate 640 encircles Knoxville southwest with I-75 to Marble City and northeast to Fountain City and Loveland. 01/16/19
Exit 3 separates with a ramp directly onto I-640/U.S. 25W east. U.S. 25E southbound overlaps with I-640 from Clinton Highway to I-40 at Chilhowee Hills. 01/16/19
U.S. 25W (Clinton Highway) runs northwest from I-640 through Norwood in Knoxville en route to the Anderson County seat of Clinton. A loop ramp joins I-275 north with I-75/640 south via U.S. 25W west. 01/16/19
Interstate 275 transitions into I-75 north ahead of the diamond interchange (Exit 108) with Merchants Drive to Inskip and Norwood in Knoxville. 01/16/19
Interstate 275 South
Interstate 275 extends south from I-75 through the multi level interchange (Exit 3) with I-640/U.S. 25W. Exit 3 loops onto I-640 east and U.S. 25W south to the Fountain City, Oak Grove and Loveland communities in Knoxville. 01/16/19
U.S. 25W (Clinton Highway) ties into the systems interchange joining I-75/275/640 from Norwood to the northwest. Northbound I-75 utilizes a high flyover from I-640 east through the exchange. 11/08/09
I-640/U.S. 25W combine 7.04 miles east to Interstate 40. I-40 joins Knoxville with Asheville, North Carolina and the I-81 north to the Tri-Cities. 01/16/19
I-275 proceeds south across Sharp Ridge through Sharp Gap to Heiskell Avenue at Exit 2. 11/08/09
Heiskell Avenue connects Interstate 275 with Central Street at Lincoln Park to the east and Texas Avenue at the Lonsdale neighborhood to the west. 01/16/19
Exit 2 with Heiskell Avenue was the first of three cloverleaf interchanges along I-275 south converted to diamond interchanges during 2006-07 road work. Exit 2 was formerly Exits 2B/A. 01/16/19
Interstate 275 makes an S-curve southeast from the Norfolk Southern Railroad underpass at Lonsdale to a ridge south of the former Coster Yards. 01/16/19
A temporary guide sign remains posted one mile ahead of the diamond interchange (Exit 1B) with Oldham Avenue on Interstate 275 south. 11/08/09
I-275 curves southward between Murphy Avenue and a parallel Norfolk Southern Railroad line to the diamond interchange (Exit 1B) with Oldham Avenue west and Woodlandd Avenue east. 01/16/19
Oldham Avenue leads to the Beaumont and Western Heights community. Woodland Avenue extends the street east into the Happy Holler Historic District. 01/16/19
Loops ramps (Exit 1D/C) at Oldham Avenue were removed when Interstate 275 was widened to six lanes. The ensuing exit is for Baxter Avenue to West Knoxville and Old North Knoxville. 01/16/19
Exit 1A departs I-275 south for Baxter Avenue to Knoxville College, Mechanicsville and Happy Holler Historic District. 01/16/19
Prior to 2006, separate ramps (Exits 1B/A) joined I-276 south with Baxter Avenue. 01/16/19
Downtown Knoxville and the Sunsphere appear along the southern horizon from I-275 at Exit 1A. The multi level interchange with Interstate 40 lies one mile ahead. 01/16/19
Advancing south toward Downtown Knoxville, traffic partitions into ramps for I-40 west to I-75 south to Nashville and Chattanooga, I-40 east to Asheville, North Carolina and the U.S. 441 connector to Henley Street. 01/16/19
Interstate 275 defaults onto I-40 west. I-40 west meets the north end of U.S. 129 at Exit 386B in one mile and I-75 in two miles. The University of Tennessee Campus lies south of I-40 via Exit 387 and 386B. 01/16/19
Per the U.S. Census, Knoxville was home to 178,874 residents in 2010 and 188,085 in 2020. 11/08/09
I-40 angles northeast from Downtown Knoxville to SR 158 (James White Parkway) and Hall of Fame Drive. I-40 vacates the city by way of Burlington, Chilhowee Hills and the Holston River. 01/16/19
The U.S. 441 connector provides to SR 62 (Western Avenue) west of Broadway and Henley Street. U.S. 441 spans the Tennessee River across the Henley Street Bridge. The Henly Bridge project replaced the deck and rebuilt the original arch design. Closed on January 3, 2011, work ran through June 30, 2013.3 11/08/09
A high flyover connects I-275 south with I-40 east. 11/08/09

  1. "Highway headaches Motorists will get plenty before latest interstate changes finished." Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN), February 11, 2008.
  2. "Work begins today on $20M update for Interstate 275." Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN), November 28, 2006.
  3. Henly Bridge project. Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), project web site.

    Connect with:
    Interstate 40
    Interstate 75
    Interstate 640
    U.S. 441

    Page Updated 06-24-2021.

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