Interstate 475 Tennessee

The following information is provided for historical purposes. All proposals for Interstate 475, State Route 475, and the Pellissippi Parkway were withdrawn in 2009.

The Knoxville Parkway / Orange Route of State Route 475 was officially withdrawn on February 25, 2010 as TDOT selected the "No Build" option for the project. Rising costs and reduced traffic projects led to the decision.6

Proposed Routing

Interstate 475 (designated on some planning documents as Tennessee 475 and referred to as the Knoxville Regional Parkway in the press) is the proposed designation for the planned outer bypass of Knoxville for Interstate 75 in northeast Tennessee. Announced by TNDOT on July 31, 2002, the 36.5-mile "Orange Route" was selected out of three potential routings for the freeway (the others were the Blue Route and Green Route). The Orange Route includes 24 miles of new route, an existing section of Interstate 75 (6 miles), and an existing section of Interstate 40 (7 miles). The alignment will carry Interstate 475 through western and northern Knox County where expected traffic counts range from 16,600 - 56,500 vehicles per day (vpd).1

In 1977 the corridor was first mentioned as a possibility to alleviate growing traffic congestion on the existing highway system. A study followed in 1994 at the request by the Knoxville Metropolitan Planning Organization for a western belt of Knoxville. In 2002 the The Knoxville Transportation Planning Organization approved $3.6 million in funds to complete the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and for other preliminary engineering. Additionally the possibility of an extension eastward to Sevier County may be included for the project in the future. The estimated cost for the overall project is $287,411,900.1

The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced on November 10, 2003, that Interstate 475 and nearby the Interstate 140 extension projects will go forward. Planners are now working on the design of the highway, gathering public input on alignment aspects and interchange locations. The proposed routing of the freeway has been very controversial, and the iterative process with the community is continuing as the final environmental review process was underway in 2004.3

Apparent resolution was reached at some point thereafter. In June 2006, the Tennessee Department of Transportation announced that the Hardin Valley (Orange Route) will go forward, with an effort made to spare houses along its path.5 However, some property owners may take legal action to stop the completion of the route.

If built, the freeway would carry between four to six lanes, and it will likely see land acquisition beginning in 2008 and environmental studies in 2006-2008. Construction is estimated to take up to 15-20 years to complete, suggesting the route will be fully open in 2028.2, 5 The total project cost of the Orange Route of Interstate 475 was $270 million in 2003 ($125 million less than an alternative northerly path originally also considered) and was listed as $570 million as of June 2006.5

However, the community process to determine the actual route, which is accomplished through TennDOT's Context Sensitive Solutions, was delayed due to disagreement on the citizen advisory panel. The delay lasted for about a year.4, 5 Only two interchanges along the route are proposed: Pellissippi Parkway and Clinton Highway.5

Southern Terminus - Interstate 40 & Interstate 75 near Eaton Crossroad, Tennessee
Tennessee 475 might have ended at the junction of Interstates 40 and 75.
Northern Terminus - Interstate 75 near Heiskell, Tennessee
Tennessee 475 was proposed to tie into Interstate 75 north of the Anderson/Knox County line between Exits 117 and 122, at roughly milepost 119.

Sources

  1. "Knoxville Beltway - Route 475." Tennessee Department of Transportation http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/information-office/HotProjects/KnoxvilleBeltway/ (31 July 2002)
  2. "Beltway OK'd." Knoxville News, November 11, 2003.
  3. Tennessee Department of Transportation 15 Project Case Study: Project Assessment Final Report State Route 475, by the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (Dr. Stephen Richards, Team Leader; Dr. David Middendorf; Dr. Fred Wegmann; Dr. Gregory Reed; Dr. Tom Urbanik; Dr. Mary English; Dr. Arun Chatterjee; Dr. John Tidwell) in August 2003
  4. "Knoxville Orange Line News," post by John Lansford in newsgroup Misc.Transport.Road, 3/27/05; post includes reference to article appearing in the Knoxville News
  5. "TDOT chief says Orange Route a go", Knoxville News Sentinel, June 20, 2006
  6. "TDOT Selects No Build" Option on Knoxville Parkway Project." TN.gov Newsroom, June 25, 2010.

Page Updated October 20, 2011.

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