Interstate 640 – Tennessee

History
East End
West End
Knoxville, TN Map
Interstate 640 encircles central Knoxville to the north. The freeway bypasses Downtown and the University of Tennessee.

Overview

Interstate 640 through Knoxville is an urban loop serving both long distance and freight traffic along I-40 and I-75 north to Kentucky. Additionally the bypass is the mandatory route for trucks carrying hazardous materials across the city. Varying between four and six lanes, I-75 accompanies I-640 along the arc south from I-275 at Inskip to I-40 by Marble City. I-640 measures 10.8 miles in length, but only the portion east of I-75 is attributed to it within the FHWA Route Log and Finder List.

History

Construction for the Knoxville northern bypass commenced October 1977 with a completion date of April 1982. Interstate 75 was relocated to bypass Downtown Knoxville along side I-640 in 1982. The former alignment was renumbered Interstate 275.

Route Information

  • East End – Knoxville, TN

  • West End – Knoxville, TN

  • Mileage – 7.03

  • Cities – Knoxville

  • JunctionsI-40 I-275 I-75

Source: December 31, 2017 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-640 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Location Vehicles per day
I-40/75 to Exit 1 72,197
Exits 1 to 3 78,132
Exits 3 to 6 79,350
Exits 6 to 8 60,071
Exit 8 to I-40 54,925

Source: 2018 Traffic Map – Knox County, Tennessee Department of Transportation

Highway Guides

East End I-40 US 25W – Loveland, Knoxville, Tennessee

Historic Perspective from Interstate 640 east & U.S. 25W south
A diagrammatic sign was previously affixed to the high level overpass for Buffat Mill Road one mile ahead of Interstate 40. This assembly was subsequently replaced with a sign bridge. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (05/01/05).
Interstate 640 east & U.S. 25W cross a ridge by the Loveland community ahead of the directional T interchange with I-40. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (05/01/05).
I-640 concludes with two ramps joining I-40 east & U.S. 25W north to Trentville and Asheville, North Carolina and I-40 west back into central Knoxville. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (05/01/05).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
U.S. 25W northbound combines with I-40 west from U.S. 11E & 70 (Asheville Highway) briefly to connect with I-640 west at the succeeding interchange (Exit 393). Photo taken by 06/25/12.
Interstate 40 westbound maintains three lanes through the exchange with I-640 west and U.S. 25W north. U.S. 25W overlaps with Interstate 640 westward to I-75 and Norwood, where the highway turns northwest to the Anderson County seat of Clinton. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (06/10/17).
Exit 393 separates from I-40 west for I-640 to I-75 north for Lexington, Kentucky. Downtown Knoxville lies five miles ahead along Interstate 40. Photo taken by 06/25/12.
Historic Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Replaced guide sign for I-640 west at the entrance ramp of U.S. 25W from Asheville Highway. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
I-40 crosses over Chilhowee Drive ahead of the separation with I-640 west & U.S. 25W north. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
The first advance sign for I-640 west (Exit 393) precedes the parclo interchange (Exit 392) joining I-40 east with U.S. 11W (Rutledge Pike). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/22/03).
Exit 392 loops away from I-40 east to U.S. 11W (Rutledge Pike) a half mile ahead of Interstate 640. U.S. 11 partitions into west and east branches to the immediate south of I-40. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/22/03).
Historic Perspective from Interstate 40 east
Spring Hill Road spans I-40 just ahead of the flyover (Exit 393) for I-640 west. This bridge mounted sign was replaced with a sign bridge. New signs still omit U.S. 25W north and incorrectly reference a half mile for Exit 393. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/22/03).
Two lanes leave Interstate 40 east for I-640 & U.S. 25W leading west across Sharp Ridge back to I-75. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/22/03).

West End I-40 I-75 – Marble City, Knoxville, Tennessee

Perspective from Interstate 75 south & 640 west
I-75/640 head south from SR 62 (Western Avenue) and the West Haven community one mile to Interstate 40. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/22/03).
Passing west of Richmond Hill, the Knoxville bypass advances south 0.6 miles to the ramp split for I-40 east to Downtown and west to Farragut. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/22/03).
SR 169 (Middlebrook Pike) winds across Interstates 75 and 640 just north of I-40 by the West View neighborhood. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/22/03).
Interstate 640 concludes as I-75 southbound merges with I-40 west. I-40 travels 166 miles from Knoxville to Nashville; I-75 drops southwest 99 miles to Chattanooga. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/22/03).
Perspective from Interstates 40 east & 75 north
I-40 east & 75 north expand to ten lanes between Papermill Road and their separation at Exit 385. Photo taken 11/03/11.
0.75 miles out from the directional T interchange (Exit 385) with the Knoxville bypass (I-640). Photo taken 11/03/11.
The 19-mile long overlap of I-40/75 uses the exit numbering system of Interstate 40. TDOT recorded 210,406 vehicles per day (vpd) west of I-640 in 2018. Photo taken 11/03/11.
I-75 north & 640 east carries a third of the traffic (72,197 vpd in 2018) away from Interstate 40 east around the north side of Knoxville. The remainder (150,957 vpd in 2018) continues east to Downtown Knoxville. Photo taken 11/03/11.
Historic Perspective from Interstate 640 east & U.S. 25W south
Expansion of I-40/75 in the late 1990s added an auxiliary lane east to Exit 385. This overhead preceded the reconstruction project. Photo taken 05/25/95.
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Interstate 40 winds one mile west from the north end of U.S. 129 (Exit 386) to converge with I-75 south & 640 west. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (06/10/17).
An auxiliary lane opens along Interstate 40 west from U.S. 129 to Exit 385. I-75 combines with I-40 west for 19.60 miles between I-640 near Marble City and Hines Valley in eastern Loudon County. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (06/10/17).
Entering the directional T interchange (Exit 385) with I-640 east & 75 north along Interstate 40 westbound. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (06/10/17).

Page updated January 11, 2019.