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Interstate 840 Tennessee

 

Tennessee 840 map - Interstate-Guide

The complete path of Tennessee 840 as envisioned by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. A short overlap of Interstate 40 and Tennessee 840 may occur in the vicinity of Lebanon, as the northern arc of the beltway will not line up with the current eastern terminus of the southern arc. The southern half of the beltway is shown as Tennessee 840 but may be considered for upgrading to Interstate 840 after it is completed.

Proposed Routing

Originally tapped to be a full 187-mile beltway of the metropolitan Nashville area, Tennessee 840 (Future Interstate 840) connects Interstate 40 near Pomona to Interstate 40 near Lebanon. The beltway is touted as a possible answer to regional traffic needs so that the existing Nashville freeways may better support local traffic. Similar to the planned outer beltway of Houston and the Northern Arc of Atlanta, Tennessee 840 will provide a complete bypass of the metropolitan areas, providing a through route for the movement of goods and services. Critics of the beltway worry that the new freeway will open up unprecedented lands for commercial and residential development.

Status

As of November 2004, the bypass is largely completed on the south side of the Nashville metropolitan area between Pomona and Lebanon, with the exception of the section between Tennessee 100 and Interstate 65. Work on this section began with a 6.1-mile project between Tennessee 100 and Tennessee 46 (Pinewood Road) in June 2007. A second contract involving the building of the next 7.9 miles of freeway between Tennessee 6 (Columbia Pike) to Leipers Creek Road was let in December 2008. Work on the entire 20.9 miles of unconstructed roadway should be completed by 2012. Details and a map of the final alignment are found at TDOT's State Route 840 South.

Interstate designation is not planned for the time being, but it is possible upon completion of the southern half of the project. The reasoning for the state designation is based upon the fact that funding has come from Tennessee state sources such as gas and diesel taxes, license plate renewal fees, and other highway user fees.1

The northern half of the beltway is still on paper only, as no construction is in progress at the moment. It was announced by the Tennessee Department of Transportation on October 31, 2003, that Tennessee 840 north of Interstate 40 was indefinitely placed on hold. Lawsuits and complaints from homeowners and environmental groups along the planned corridor and the overall need for this element of the beltway are cited as reasons for the halting of the project.2

History

The origins of Tennessee 840 began in 1975 with the recommendation for a beltway of Nashville included in the 1975-79 Tennessee Highway System Plan.2 By 1986, the concept became official upon the proposal of Governor Lamar Alexander for the route and the subsequent approval by the state legislature. The route was included in the Tennessee Better Roads Program. From there planning commenced in 1988 culminating to actual construction by 1991. Newspaper reports referred to the beltway as Interstate 840 rather than Tennessee 840.

In November 1991, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) requested that the proposed Interstate 840 be added to the Interstate Highway System. This request was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in accordance with the provisions of 23 USC 139(b). In January 1992, however, TDOT withdrew this request, and FHWA returned the Agreement for Interstate Highway Construction in the State of Tennessee without signing it. Interstate 840 then became "SR 840S."3

The first leg of Tennessee 840 to open to traffic is the 23.8-mile link between Interstate 24 and Interstate 65 south of Nashville. This segment opened in four stages:

  • From Stewart's Ferry Pike to Interstate 40 near Gladeville - open August 1995
  • From Interstate 24 in Murfreesboro northeast to Stewart's Ferry Pike - open November 1996
  • From U.S. 31A and U.S. 41A near Triune in Williamson County to Interstate 24 - open November 2000
  • From Interstate 65 south of Franklin to U.S. 31A/41A - open October 2001

The total length of Tennessee 840 expanded to 47 miles at this point.1 3

In 1993, the General Assembly indicated that TDOT may consider the northern component of the beltway. The department of transportation followed with the release of an environmental impact statement in 1995. By 2003, due to the overall anticipated high costs both economically and socially with the corridor, it was recommended that TDOT withdraw plans to begin work on the northern half of Tennessee 840. Instead attention should be redirected to the expansion of the existing roadway network north of the city. Thus further study of the northern half of the route has been discontinued.2

The final 31-mile portion of the southern half of Tennessee 840, situated between Interstate 40 near Burns to Interstate 65 is partially open between Interstate 40 and Tennessee 100 near Fairview, a distance of about nine miles. This westernmost portion opened to traffic December 5, 2002. Upon completion the southern loop will encompass a total of 78 miles at a cost of $490 million.1

Western Terminus - Interstate 40 - east of Pomona, Tennessee
Currently no photos are available. If you have one to share, feel free to email us.
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 40 - west of Lebanon, Tenessee
Perspective from Tennessee 840 east
Exit 76A/B sign bridge on what will eventually be the ramp from Tennessee 840 to Interstate 40. Naturally, all traffic is defaulted to this ramp, however the interchange is set up for future extension north of Interstate 40, although that will not come to fruition anytime soon. Photo taken by Dan Garnell (05/02/02).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Exit 235 guide sign for Tennessee 840 westbound on Interstate 40 west. 23 miles to the southwest, Tennessee 840 will intercept Interstate 24. 16 miles to the west Interstate 40 will enter the city limits of the Tennessee capital city. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (03/18/01).

Sources:

  1. State Route 840. Tennessee Department of Transportation.
  2. "TDOT Announces Decision on State Route 840 North." Tennessee Department of Transportation, October 31, 2003.
  3. Tennessee Department of Transportation 15 Project Case Study: Project Assessment Final Report State Route 840 South, 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 - page 11.

Page Updated May 15, 2009.

 
Mileage

State Tennessee
Mileage 56 (78)
Cities Murfreesboro
Junctions Interstate 40, Interstate 65, Interstate 24, Interstate 40
Source: State Route 840 (TDOT) This figured only reflects the southern half of the beltway.
Tennessee 840 Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
Dickson/ Hickman/
Williamson
Exit 1/ Interstate 40 Exit 7/ TN 100/ Fairview 1,420
Williamson Exit 30/ Tennessee 106 Exit 31/ Interstate 65 6,510
Williamson Exit 31/ Interstate 65 Exit 34/ Peytonsville Road 16,150
Williamson Exit 34/ Peytonsville Road Exit 37/ Arno Road 15,450
Williamson Exit 37/ Arno Road Exit 42/ U.S. 31A/41A 14,810
Williamson/ Rutherford Exit 42/ U.S. 31A/41A Exit 47/ Tennessee 96 16,770
Rutherford Exit 47/ Tennessee 96 Exit 53/ Interstate 24 12,320
Rutherford Exit 53/ Interstate 24 Exit 55/ U.S. 41/70S 28,930
Rutherford Exit 55/ U.S. 41/70S Exit 57/ Sulphur Springs Rd. 15,600
Rutherford Exit 57/ Sulphur Springs Rd. Exit 61/ SSR 266 14,080
Rutherford Exit 61/ SSR 266 Exit 64/ Tennessee 452 16,560
Rutherford/ Wilson Exit 64/ Tennessee 452 Exit 67/ Couchville Pike 16,610
Wilson Exit 67/ Couchville Pike Exit 70/ Stewarts Ferry Pk. 15,950
Wilson Exit 70/ Stewarts Ferry Pk. Exit 72/ SSR 265 16,580
Wilson Exit 72/ SSR 265 Exit 76/ Interstate 40 10,070
Source: Traffic Flow Maps - Tennessee Roads and Streets 2002

 
Aerial image of the west end of Tennessee 840.
Although funding may never materialize, a freeway stub built north of Interstate 40 alludes to the envisioned northern loop of Tennessee 840.
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