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Interstate 275 Tennessee

 

Knoxville, Tennessee map - Interstate-Guide.com

The city of Knoxville, home of the University of Tennessee. While the municipality is home to both Interstate 275 and 640, the city claims two state highway freeways as well. The first is Tennessee 158, a freeway spurring into downtown via the Tennessee River waterfront. The second is ambigious from most maps, however it exists as the Tennesee 71 James White Parkway. This freeway spurs southeast from Tennessee 158 along the Tennessee River into southeast parts of Knoxville. The limited access highway concludes as a stub end at Moody Avenue.

Routing

Interstate 275 in Tennessee is a short freeway linking downtown Knoxville with the Interstate 640 bypass and mainline Interstate 75. Originally, Interstate 275 was part of Interstate 75, but to divert through traffic away from downtown, Interstate 75 was rerouted onto the Interstate 640 bypass. Old Interstate 75 was recommissioned as Interstate 275.

In addition to Interstate 275, another alternative routing for Interstate 75 is under development to alleviate that well-traveled route. Further to the northeast a new bypass, dubbed the Knoxville Beltway, is taking shape in the form of Interstate 475.
This proposal was cancelled in 2009.

History

The three-mile stretch of Interstate 275 was constructed in 1958 as part of the Interstate 75 mainline through Knoxville. In preparation for the 1982 World's Fair, I-75 was rerouted onto the newly completed Interstate 640 to bypass the downtown area of Knoxville, leaving the original stretch between Interstates 40 and 640 as Interstate 275.

Reconstruction of the route occurred between December 1, 2006 and January 26, 2008 on a $20-million project to expand portions of the route to six lanes and reconfigure three cloverleaf into diamond interchanges. The interchange changes increased the ingress and egress movements from 300 feet to 1,200 feet.2 This upgrade was conducted ahead of the "Smartfix" widening of Interstate 40 east from downtown Knoxville.

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 40 - Knoxville, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 275 south
Curving southbound on Interstate 275 approaching Exits 1C/D for Oldham Avenue. The junction with Interstate 40 is 1.25 miles to the south. Removed from the right-hand panel is Woodland Avenue. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40/U.S. 441 overhead on Interstate 275 south at its southern terminus. This interchange is actually an intricate stack, with the flyover from Interstate 275 south to Interstate 40 east being the highest. The core of downtown is just to the southeast of this junction. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 275 southbound traffic splits between Interstate 40 and U.S. 441 in this scene. Traffic bound for U.S. 441 continues southward for a short distance on a freeway connector west of downtown to the route. Ultimately U.S. Highway 441 turns to the east for Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo taken by Jim Teresco (08/12/02).
The Interstate 275 southbound mainline defaults onto Interstate 40 westbound as ramps for Interstate 40 east and U.S. 441 south branch to the right. This configuration is a remnant of the original Interstate 75 routing through Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Continuing on the ramp to Interstate 40 west and U.S. 441 southbound. U.S. 441 enters the Interstate 40/275 interchange from the northeast an travels south through downtown, than across the Tennessee River to Mooreland Heights and Sevierville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Entering downtown Knoxville via the U.S. 441 southbound ramp from Interstate 275. The city is home to 173,890 residents and the University of Tennessee. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Interstate 40 westbound, one half mile east of Exit 387A/Interstate 275 north. Interstate 40 maintains six lanes throughout the city limits of Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40 enters the stack interchange with the southern terminus of Interstate 275. Interstate 75 once merged with Interstate 40 here. That merge now occurs three miles to the west at Exit 385. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
What appears to be an active on-ramp in the above photograph is determined to be a ghost ramp. The ramp appears to have been removed with the rebuilding of the Interstate 40/275 interchange, and originally carried traffic onto Interstate 40 westbound from Magnolia Avenue (U.S. 11-70).1 Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
Interstate 275 northbound begins from Interstate 40 westbound. Exit 387 is situated nearby with Tennessee State Secondary 63/Western Avenue. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 40 west
Interstate 75 overlap begin/
Interstate 640
2 miles at west Knoxville, TN
Interstate 140 11 miles at Farragut, TN
Interstate 75
overlap end
19 miles near Eaton Crossroad, TN
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
Just one mile from the southern terminus of Interstate 275 is the terminus of another highway, U.S. 129. This photograph shows Interstate 40 at Exit 386/Alcoa Highway, the southbound beginning of U.S. 129. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40 eastbound pushes toward downtown and Interstate 275. Exit 387 for Western Avenue departs to the right. Tennessee State Secondary 62 ends at U.S. 441 near City Hall. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Traffic from U.S. 129 northbound merges onto Interstate 40 eastbound just in time to choose between Interstate 275 south and U.S. 441 north at Exits 387A and 388. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 275 northbound begins from Interstate 40 eastbound via Exit 387A. The northbound control city is the Interstate 75 destination of Lexington, Kentucky. Interstate 40 continues eastward to U.S. 441 and Asheville, North Carolina. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 40 east
Interstate 640 6 miles at east Knoxville, TN
Interstate 81 34 miles near Dandridge, TN
Interstate 26/
Interstate 240
114 miles at west Asheville, NC
Perspective from U.S. 441 north
Interstate 40/275 guide sign in downtown Knoxville. Traffic is directed to the U.S. 441 freeway connector to access the two interstates at their shared interchange. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
The beginning of the downtown Knoxville freeway connector. Traffic is partitioned into lanes for Interstate 40 west/Interstate 275 north and Interstate 40 east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Sign replacements of those Pictured above now shunts all Interstate 40 traffic into the right-hand lane. Both directions of Interstate 40 are shown due to the change from the last set of signs. This is indeed more accurate as the next suite of photos suggests. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
The aforementioned U.S. 441 freeway connector as seen in the northbound direction with signage for the transition to Interstate 275 north. The control point of Lexington, Kentucky is 170 miles to the north of downtown Lexington. Photo taken by Jim Teresco (08/12/02).
Interstate 40 eastbound traffic departs. Interstate 40 travels eastward not only to Asheville, but also through the Great Smokey Mountains. The North Carolina state line is a 68 mile drive to the east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Traveling northbound on the second level of the Interstate 40/275 stack interchange. The flyovers above represent the Interstate 275 ramps to Interstate 40 east and U.S. 441 south. The Interstate 40 westbound ramp departs ahead. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
The interchange of Interstate 40 receives no exit numbers from Interstate 275. Exits 1A/B is a cloverleaf interchange one half mile to the north at Baxter Avenue. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Perspective from U.S. 129 north
The northern reaches of U.S. 129 constitute a short freeway from the Tennessee River crossing northward to Interstate 40. This freeway encompasses the next interchange west of the southern terminus of Interstate 275 via Interstate 40. In this northbound photograph, U.S. 129 passes by the U.S. 11-70 off-ramp to Kingston Pike. This is one of three interchanges along U.S. 129 in the city of Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/14/03).
U.S. 129 elevates onto a viaduct in anticipation of the terminus at Interstate 40. Traffic from Kingston Pike merges in from the right. This diagrammatical overhead features the nearby Interstate 275 and Interstate 75 to the west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/14/03).
U.S. 129 northbound draws to a close at the upper level of the "X" stack interchange with Interstate 40. In one mile Interstate 40 merges with Interstate 75 to the west. To the east, Interstate 275 northbound begins in 1.25 miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/14/03).
Utilizing the U.S. 129 northbound ramp to Interstate 40 eastbound. A sign bridge is in place to direct motorists to the Interstate 40 eastbound mainline and to stay toward the right for the upcoming Exit 387 departure of Interstate 275 north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/14/03).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 75/Interstate 640 - north of Knoxville, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 275 north
Interstate 275 slinks its way northward through the city of Knoxville and nears Exit 2/Central Avenue/Heiskell Avenue. The pervasive Exit 3/northern terminus interchange is 1.25 miles to the north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Damaged overheads are attached to te Heiskell Avenue overpass at Exit 2B. Exit 3 guide signage omits Interstate 75 south and Interstate 640 westbound shields until Interstate 275 reaches the terminus. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Two lanes of Interstate 275 northbound transition seamlessly to Interstate 75 due to the former routing of the parent through Knoxville to Interstate 40. The Exit 3 off-ramp departs one half mile before Interstate 75 merges in from Interstate 640 east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
The beginning of the Exit 3 ramp to Interstate 75 south/Interstate 640 and U.S. 25W. The Interstate 275 mainline continues to Interstate 75 north to Lexington, Kentucky in 165 miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Ramp split of Exit 3 to Interstate 640 west and east. U.S. 25W continues on Interstate 640 to Interstate 40's Exit 394 in east Knoxville, even though the shield is omitted from the right-hand panel. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
High above the Exit 3 ramp to Interstate 75 southbound/Interstate 640 west and U.S 25W northbound are overheads for the split of traffic to the two highways. U.S. 25W leaves the Interstate system at this interchange and therefore sees its own ramp. A cloverleaf ramp facilitates movements from Interstate 275 north to Interstate 75 south/Interstate 640 west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Perspective from Interstate 640 west/U.S. 25W south
Three miles separate the U.S. 441 interchange at Exit 6 with the northern terminus of Interstate 275 and merge with Interstate 75 south. This photo looks at the two-mile guide sign of Exit 3B on Interstate 640 west/U.S. 25W north. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Exit 3B overhead or Interstate 75 north/Interstate 275 south as Interstate 640 west/U.S. 25W north approach their split. Interstate 75 northbound snakes its way to the Bluegrass State in 54 miles passing by La Follette on the way. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
One mile east of Exit 3A/Interstate 75 north and Interstate 275 south. This junction is 102 miles to the northeast of Chattanooga and 169 miles east of Nashville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Graphical overhead for the merge of Interstate 640 with Interstate 75 south and the joint Interstate 75 north/275 southbound ramp. Exit 3B signage joins in for the adjacent split of Interstate 640 with U.S. 25W north along the Clinton Highway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 640 reduces to two westbound lanes through the Exit 3 stack interchange. U.S. 25W departs before the southbound Interstate 75 merge onto Interstate 640. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Exit 3A traffic departs Interstate 640/U.S. 25W for Interstate 75 north/275 south. Interstate 275 southbound serves central/downtown Knoxville with four interchanges and Interstate 75's Exit 108 with Merchant and Cedar Drives serves northern Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Second perspective of the Exit 3A/B sign bridge. Interstate 640 westbound and Interstate 75 southbound see one mainline interchange before the merge with Interstate 40 in three miles. That interchange (Exit 1) is a partial-cloverleaf with Tennessee 62/Western Avenue. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Split of Exit 3A to Interstate 75 north and Interstate 275 south. The ramp to the left utilizes a high flyover bridge that merges with Exit 3 traffic from Interstate 75 north/Interstate 640 east. The first southbound exit of Interstate 275 is the Exit 2 cloverleaf interchange at Heiskell Drive. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
A perspective of the Interstate 75/275 split sign bridge from the mainline of Interstate 640 westbound. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Perspective from Interstate 75 north/640 east/U.S. 25W north
One mile before Interstate 75 parts ways with Interstate 640. Exit 3B is situated nearby for Gap Road and is the only access to U.S. 25W northbound. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Just north of the only Interstate 75-640 interchange, Exit 1 with Tennessee 62 along Western Avenue, is the first sign of the pending split of the paired routes. Note that the overpass placard of Pleasant Ridge Road affixed to the bridge did not exist in the above photograph. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
Interstate 75 northbound, like it does in the southbound direction, sees only one through lane through the Interstate 275 terminus interchange. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Interstate 75/640 approaching their split as seen seven years prior. In the background is Gap Road and the Exit 3B off-ramp for U.S. 25W northbound traffic. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (05/26/95).
Closer inspection of the Interstate 75 and 275 guide signs Pictured on the above sign bridge. Both ramps are assigned the Interstate 640 exit numbering of 3; no suffixes are applied. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
Interstate 640 widens to four lanes as it prepares to yield Interstate 75 northbound. Note that both Interstate 75 north and Interstate 275 south are considered Exit 3. The movements to these routes departs well before Interstate 640 actually passes underneath the Interstate 275 mainline. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
A more recent look at the split of Exit 3 lanes from Interstate 640 eastbound. At the time of this photograph, Interstate 640 east of Interstates 75-275 to the eastern terminus at Interstate 40 was under construction for repaving with asphalt and some widening. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
Departure of Interstate 75 northbound and Interstate 275 southbound from Interstate 640 eastbound. Interstate 640 sees its next interchange at U.S. 441/Broadway in three miles. U.S. 441 will interact with the southern terminus of Interstate 275 four miles to the south of Exit 6. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Continuing onto the Exit 3 ramps of Interstate 75 north and Interstate 275 south. Again no suffixes or even exit tabs are applied. The ramp of Interstate 75 north is allocated only one lane, a drastic reduction from the six lanes it incurs north and west of the Interstate 275 terminus interchange. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 75 north
Interstate 64
overlap begin
166 miles at Lexington, KY
Interstate 64
overlap end
173 miles at Lexington, KY
Interstate 71
overlap begin
228 miles at Walton, KY
Perspective from Interstate 75 south
The Interstate 275 northern terminus perspective from Interstate 75 southbound. The sign bridge indicates that only one southbound lane is allocated for Interstate 75 south/Interstate 640 west. Through traffic in the Knoxville area will soon be afforded the opportunity to bypass the city altogether, as a new outer bypass (Interstate 475) is forthcoming. Photo taken by Jim Teresco (08/12/02).
A second perspective of the Interstate 75/275/640 sign bridge at the Exit 108 diamond interchange with Merchant Drive. Note the Texas style 3-digit Interstate 75 shield posted on the Exit 107B panel. Speaking of Exit 107B, this is an anomaly when a mainline Interstate highway sees its movements classified as an exit from itself. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Second set of Interstate 75/275/675 guide signs on Interstate 75 southbound. There is no access to U.S. 25W north from this direction. Interstate 75 merges with Interstate 40 in three miles and thus sees the control city of Nashville in association with its Interstate 640 overlap. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
The Interstate 75/275/640/U.S. 25W interchange features some highly placed overheads. This set at the split of Interstate 75 from the beginning of the Interstate 275 southbound mainline is no exception. Note that the Interstate 640/U.S. 25W southbound ramp carries an Interstate 275 exit number now. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Merge of Interstate 75 southbound onto Interstate 640 westbound as they veer southwest toward Faragut and Chattanooga. Ahead the first guide sign on the Interstate 275 southbound mainline for Exit 3/Interstate 640 east. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/23/03).
The Interstate 640 mainline above, Exit 3 for Interstate 640 eastbound departs Interstate 275 southbound. Traffic from U.S. 25W southbound will merge onto Interstate 275 ahead. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 75 south
Interstate 40 overlap begin/
Interstate 640
overlap end
3 miles at west Knoxville, TN
Interstate 140 12 miles at Farragut, TN
Interstate 40
overlap end
20 miles near Eaton Crossroad, TN
Perspective from U.S. 25W south
Clinton Highway eastbound (U.S. 25W) as it ties into Interstates 75/275/640. Although it appears omitted here, U.S. 25W southbound merges onto Interstate 640 east where it travels to Interstate 40 and ultimately U.S. 70 in east Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.

Sources:

  1. Dan Moraseski, email: "ghost ramp near I-275 south end." September 3, 2003.
  2. "Highway headaches Motorists will get plenty before latest interstate changes finished." Knoxville News-Sentinel, February 11, 2008.

Page Updated November 1, 2011.

 
Mileage

State Tennessee
Mileage 2.98
Cities Knoxville
Junctions Interstate 40, Interstate 75/Interstate 640
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-275 Tennessee Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From To AADT Composite
Knox Interstate 40 Exit 1A/B/Baxter Ave. 62,790
Knox Exit 1A/B/Baxter Ave. Exit 1C/D/W. Oldham Ave. 58,620
Knox Exit 1C/D/W. Oldham Ave. Exit 2/Heiskell Ave. 60,970
Knox Exit 2/Heiskell Ave. Exit 3/Interstate 75 & 640 62,920
Source: Traffic Flow Maps Tennessee Roads and Streets 2002 (TDOT)

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