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 ambiguous from most maps, however it exists as the Tennessee 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.
Interstate 640 composes the Knoxville bypass and the mandatory route for hazardous materials based cargo through traffic. The freeway varies between four and six lanes, with a complicated stack interchange at the junction with Interstate 275. Interstate 75, the main north-south route between Knoxville and Lexington, Kentucky, overlaps with Interstate 640 from the western terminus to Exit 3. Construction underway results in the resurfacing of Interstate 640 from the Interstate 75 split northeast to the terminus. The original grooved concrete is being overlayed with asphalt.
While Interstate 75 and 640 share a three mile overlap, this was not always the case. Originally Interstate 75 continued southeast of Interstate 640 into the central business district of Knoxville via Interstate 275. The route was relocated to sway traffic from the Interstate 75/40 junction at downtown. Thus Interstate 275 was christened with the relocation. Further to the northeast a new bypass, dubbed the Knoxville Beltway, is taking shape in the form of Interstate 475. This freeway will further alleviate both Interstate 75 and 640 of through traffic interests.
Construction for the Knoxville northern bypass began in October 1977 with a completion date of April 1982.
TDOT appears to prefer diagrammatic overheads. The western terminus of Interstate 640 and Interstate 75 southbound merge onto Interstate 40 westbound is no exception to this opinion. This particular overhead is situated one mile to the north of the terminus within the Exit 1 interchange with Tennessee 62. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 75 south/640 west maintain three lanes to their junction with Interstate 40. Two lanes are allocated for both Interstate 40 east to downtown Knoxville and for the Interstate 40/75 17 mile overlap. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Three tiered overhead for the Interstate 640 terminus at the Tennessee 169/Middlebrook Pike overpass. The terminus interchange can be seen in the background. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 640 draws to a close as Interstate 75 southbound merges onto Interstate 40. Interstate 40 travels 166 miles to Nashville as Interstate 75 drops southward 99 miles to Chattanooga near the Georgia state line. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 75 south
Interstate 40 east and 75 north expand to five lanes in anticipation of their split at the western terminus of Interstate 640. Three lanes of Interstate 40 continue to downtown Knoxville, four miles to the east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
0.75 miles out from the Interstate 40/75 split at Exit 385. The 17 mile overlap of Interstate 40/75 utilizes the Interstate 40 mileage for the exit numbers. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Replaced diagrammatic overhead for Exit 385/Interstate 75 north and Interstate 640 east. Note the original lane configuration with all Exit 385 movements from the right-hand lane. Sign saw replacement in the late 1990s reconstruction. Photo taken 05/25/95.
Another replaced Exit 385 overhead for Interstate 75 north and Interstate 640 east. Vidcap taken 05/25/95.
Interstate 640 hazardous materials advisory overhead on Interstate 40 east/75 north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
One quarter mile west of the Exit 385 split with Interstate 75/640 on Interstate 40 east. The 1990s reconstruction project saw the widening of Interstate 40 eastward all the way to the southern terminus of Interstate 81 at Exit 421 near Dandridge. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 75 turns northward with Interstate 640 to Lexington, Kentucky as Interstate 40 progresses eastward into downtown Knoxville. The first Interstate 640 interchange is Exit 1 with Tennessee 62/Western Avenue. The next eastbound Interstate 40 interchange is the northern terminus of U.S. 129 at Exit 386. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 40 east
Westbound Interstate 40 as it departs the terminus stack interchange with U.S. 129/Exit 386. Interstate 75 southbound merges onto Interstate 40 in one mile. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Three lanes of Interstate 40 continue through the Interstate 640 western terminus interchange. Interstate 40 and 75 maintain at least six lanes on their 17 mile overlap to Eaton Crossroads. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
With spring blossoms on the area trees, Interstate 640 eastbound turns northeast with Interstate 75 toward Lexington, Kentucky and north Knoxville. Interstate 40/75 see their first interchange in two miles at Tennessee State Secondary 332 and Papermill Road. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Eastbound Interstate 40 reaches Exit 385, Junction Interstate 640 and Interstate 75. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 40 west
Perspective from Interstate 640 east/U.S. 25W south
Interstate 640 curves back toward Interstate 40 and sees this one mile diagrammatic overhead. Two lanes are allocated for each direction of Interstate 40. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
With concrete still in place, Interstate 640 east/U.S. 25W south near the junction with Interstate 40. U.S. 25W merges onto Interstate 40 eastbound for one mile before departing via U.S. 70 and Tennessee 9 at Exit 394. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40 east and westbound ramp split at the eastern terminus of Interstate 640. Interstate 40 travels 108 miles through the Great Smokeys to Asheville, North Carolina. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
The Interstate 640 terminus as seen during the dead of winter. Interstate 40 westbound travels back through downtown Knoxville before merging with Interstate 75 and traveling westward to the Tennessee state capital. Photo taken by Jeffrey Napier (01/02).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Interstate 40 westbound as U.S. 25W northbound merges in from the Exit 394 diamond interchange. U.S. 25W departs quickly via Exit 393 onto Interstate 640 west in 0.75 miles. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Typical for a city bypass, hazardous cargo materials must bypass the downtown area via Interstate 640. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Interstate 40 westbound maintains three lanes through the Interstate 640 terminus. An exit-only lane prepares to depart for Interstate 640 west/U.S. 25W north. U.S. 25W overlaps with Interstate 640 westward to Exit 3/Interstate 275, where the highway turns northwestward to the Anderson County seat of Clinton. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40 westbound splits with Interstate 640 west/U.S. 25W north. Interstate 40 travels six miles to downtown Knoxville while Interstate 640 sees its first interchange in two miles with Millertown and Washington Pikes. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/12/05).
Interstate 640 westbound gore point sign at Exit 393. Interstate 640 merges with Interstate 75 southbound in seven miles. The control city features the Interstate 75 destination of Lexington, Kentucky as well. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
Two mile guide sign for Interstate 640 west/Exit 393 on Interstate 40 eastbound. Exit 392 for U.S. 11W is still forthcoming as U.S. 11 splits into east and west segments just south of this location. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Interstate 40 eastbound, one half mile west of the Interstate 640 terminus. Exit 392 for U.S. 11W departs for Rutledge Pike and Knoxville City Zoo Drive. U.S. 11W travels to the towns of Blaine and Rutledge after it leaves the Knoxville metropolitan area. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Replaced overhead for Exit 393 at Exit 392. This Interstate 640 shield features Highway Gothic Series B font. Vidcap taken 05/25/95.
Just north of the Exit 392 partial-cloverleaf interchange, Interstate 40 adds an exit-only lane for Interstate 640 west. Omitted from Exit 393 signage in this direction is U.S. 25W north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
This overhead was also replaced with the late 1990s reconstruction of Interstate 40 throughout the Knoxville metro area. Again the Interstate 640 shield features the condensed Highway Gothic Series B font. Vidcap taken 05/25/95.
Interstate 640 westbound begins from Interstate 40 eastbound. U.S. 25W merges onto Interstate 640 from the westbound direction of Interstate 40. The next interchange (Exit 394 - U.S. 70/25W south) is the final Interstate 40 eastbound exit within the city limits of Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 40 east