Interstate 265 Tennessee

I-265 Tennessee


Interstate 265 was a short connector between I-40 and the overlap of I-24/65 around the north side of Downtown Nashville.


Interstate 265 was part of the “loop system” envisioned to move traffic efficiently and accommodate the local streets to the Interstate Highway System. I-265 represented downtown loop while the outer loop was designated Interstate 440.1

The Tennessee State Highway Department $90 million road building program in Nashville / Davidson County developed in 1963 included funding for a $4.237 million contract for grading, drainage and bridges on 1.6 miles of Interstate 265. Constructed started in 1966 built the section of I-265 connecting I-40 with the Cumberland River Bridge.2

Interstate 265 in Tennessee was decommissioned on April 7, 2000, per an action by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Route Numbering subcommittee. The route was renumbered as part of I-65 in an effort to better disperse through traffic around central Nashville:

The purpose of this request is to eliminate some of the traffic congestion of the east loop on the interstate system in Nashville.

I-65 formerly overlapped with I-24 to the east of Downtown and with I-40 to the southeast. The reroute overtook I-265 to the north, and formed a new overlap with I-40 around the west side of the central business district.

Route Information

  • North End – Nashville, TN

  • South End – Nashville, TN

  • Mileage – 2.25

  • Cities – Nashville

  • JunctionsI-40 I-65

Source: January 1991 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-24/65 south at I-265 - Music City USA Magnet

Music City USA magnet showing the split of I-265 from I-24/65 south purchased by contributor Jeff Morrison in 1994.

North End I-24 I-65 – Nashville, Tennessee

I-24/65 south at I-265 - Nashville, TN

I-24 east/I-65 south at the former north end of Interstate 265. Photo by Kelly G. Kawamoto (07/93).

I-265 north at I-24/65 - Nashville, TN

Northbound Interstate 65 (old I-265) ahead of the directional T interchange with I-24. I-24 combines with I-65 north for 1.8 miles. Photo by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).

South End I-40 – Nashville, Tennessee

I-40 East at I-265

I-40 east at I-265 - Nashville, TN

I-40 east 0.75 miles ahead of Interstate 265 in Nashville. 05/29/95

Diagrammatic sign for I-265 north on I-40 east in 1995

I-265 looped north of Germantown in central Nashville while I-40 passed west and south of Downtown. 05/29/95

I-40 east at I-265 / Exit 208 in Nashville, TN.

Overhead at the directional T interchange where I-265 stemmed north from I-40 in Nashville. 05/29/95


  1. “Loop System Will Relieve Burden.” Nashville Banner (TN), March 30, 1962.
  2. “Record Road Building Set.” Nashville Banner (TN), April 30, 1963.

Page updated April 12, 2023.