James White Parkway was closed between December 17, 2006 and September 21, 2007 for a complete rebuild as part of the Smartfix40 project. Hall of Fame Drive was extended southward ahead of the reconstruction. Six new bridges and four new ramps and a tunnel were part of the project.1 A 1.2 mile stretch of SR 158 was expanded to eight lanes with the addition of a new on-ramp from Hall of Fame Drive. The Summit Hill Drive off-ramp was also expanded during the work.2

Downtown Business Loop or Knoxville's Business Loop (SR 158) and South Knox Boulevard (SR 71) were renamed James White Parkway by the Metropolitan Planning Commission of Knoxville and Knox County on May 9, 1991. The renaming did not affect the portion of South Knox Boulevard until it tied in with SR 158 on the north side of the Tennessee River however.3 James White built White's Fort in 1786. The fort became the first capital of the Southwest Territory, the predecessor to the state of Tennessee, in 1790 and part of the newly created city of Knoxville in 1791.


Tennessee 158 east
Tennessee 158 (Neyland Drive) hugs the north banks of the Tennessee River south of the University of Tennessee campus. The parkway provides a four lane corridor with several peaks at the river itself. Pictured here at milepost 2 are the river crossings of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad and U.S. 441 (Henley Street Bridge) and the Knoxville skyline. Photo taken 08/23/03.
A truss bridge carries the Norfolk-Southern Railroad across the Tennessee River. The north-south line cuts through the nearby 1982 World's Fair Park to the west of downtown Knoxville. Photo taken 08/23/03.
A view of Volunteer Landing, a riverside park and walk of the Tennessee River below the Henley Street Bridge of U.S. 441. Photo taken 08/23/03.
An Interstate 40 east trailblazer directs motorists eastward along Neyland Drive to the James White Parkway freeway north to Exit 388 of Interstate 40. Passing above is the 1931-built Henley Street Bridge of U.S. 441. The six-span arch bridge was closed January 3, 2011 for a $31-million repair job aimed at replacing the bridge deck and repairing the arches and piers. Construction was completed in 2014. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Looking east from the Locust Street ramp onto Tennessee 158 westbound at the Neyland Drive intersection with Walnut Street. The Gay Street Bridge dominates the back drop. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Tennessee 158 eastbound at the Volunteer Landing Lane off-ramp to Hill Avenue at Hall of Fame Drive. Tennessee 158 (Neyland Drive) transitions into a four-lane freeway. Photo taken 08/23/03.
The Gay Street Bridge passes over Tennessee 158 from downtown Knoxville to Blount Avenue west and Sevier Avenue east to South Knoxville. Opened in 1898, the steel arch bridge spans the Tennessee River at 1,512 feet in length. Work was ongoing at the time of this photograph during a three year project (2001-04) to replace the bridge deck. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Approaching the merge with James White Parkway north along Tennessee 158 (Neyland Drive) east. Tennessee 71 begins here and continues James White Parkway south across the Tennessee River to South Knoxville and Sevierville Pike. The SR 71 eastbound ramp from Neyland Drive doubles as the exit for Hall of Fame Drive and the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Photo taken 08/23/03.
A concrete arch bridge carries Hill Drive high above the Tennessee 158 & 71 split. Departing to the right is the Hall of Fame Drive off-ramp from the connection to James White Parkway south. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Tennessee 71 north traffic merges with Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) east to expand the road to four northbound lanes. All of the freeway was reconstructed from the Summit Hill Drive overpass to the directional T interchange with Interstate 40. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Historical look of Tennessee 158 eastbound at the original Magnolia Avenue (U.S. 11-25W-70) exit removed during SmartFix40 reconstruction. The James White Parkway viaduct leading north from the Summit Hill Drive overpass was torn down and rebuilt since this photo was taken. An on-ramp now takes the place of the former Hall of Fame Drive off-ramp to U.S. 11-25W-70. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Hall of Fame Drive was rebuilt during Smartfix40 work, traveling along side Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) east ahead of the ramp split to Interstate 40. Two lanes shuttle drivers onto each direction of Interstate 40. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) concludes as drivers join Interstate 40 east to Asheville, North Carolina and Interstate 40 west to the merge with I-75 through the western suburbs. Smartfix40 work eliminated the weaving traffic patterns of I-40 between SR 158 and adjacent Hall of Fame Drive. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Tennessee 158 west
Two lanes depart Interstate 40 east for Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) westbound. Ramps from both directions of I-40 pass over Magnolia Avenue ahead of their merge. Photo taken 10/15/11.
The right lane of the ramp from I-40 east defaults onto Summit Hill Drive as Tennessee 158 continues south toward downtown. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Pre-SmartFix40 scene of the Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) viaduct leading toward what was a half diamond interchange with Summit Hill Drive. Ramps from Magnolia Avenue were removed, as was the eastbound on-ramp from Summit Hill Drive directly. The viaduct was also torn down and replaced as part of the project. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Three lanes of Tennessee 158 west continue to the split with Tennessee 71 (James White Parkway) south from the Summit Hill Drive off-ramp. Summit Hill Drive travels east-west between U.S. 441, north of the central business district, to Dandridge Avenue at Hill Avenue. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Tennessee 71 southbound continues James White Parkway east from Tennessee 158 at a directional interchange. James White Parkway travels east along the Tennessee River then south (formerly as South Knox Boulevard) to Sevierville Pike, north of Lake Forest. Photo taken 10/15/11.
Tennessee 158 westbound lowers next to the eastbound lanes ahead of the Cumberland Avenue off-ramp to downtown Knoxville. Cumberland Avenue flows west six blocks from the Neyland Drive to U.S. 441 (Henley Street) through the central business district. Photo taken 08/23/03.
The Henley Street Bridge carries U.S. 441 over both the Tennessee River and Tennessee 158 (Neyland Drive) in this scene from the Locust Street on-ramp. Photo taken 08/23/03.

Sources:

  1. "James White Parkway ready for drivers again." Knoxville News Sentnel, September 22, 2007.
  2. "Parkway to reopen, with plenty of changes." Knoxville News Sentinel, September 19, 2007.
  3. "STREET NAMED FOR SUMMITT." Knoxville News Sentinel, May 10, 1991.


Photo Credits:

    08/23/03 by AARoads and Justin Cozart. 10/15/11 by Carter Buchanan.

Connect with:
Interstate 40
Tennessee 71 - James White Parkway

Page Updated 02-17-2012.