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.