Interstate 140 is both Pellissippi Parkway and Tennessee State Route 162. The suburban freeway angles southeast from SR 162 and I-40/75, west of Knoxville, to a bridge across the Tennessee River and SR 333 (Topside Road). The interstate designation ends at U.S. 129, while Pellissippi Parkway continues south as SR 162 to SR 33 near Alcoa.
The State Route 162 Pellissippi Parkway Extension will lengthen the highway southeast to U.S. 321. Providing part of a through route to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pellissippi Parkway will further improve traffic with the completion of Foothills Parkway from U.S. 321 southwest to U.S. 129. Maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), the 1.65 mile long gap in Foothills Parkway opened to the public on November 10, 2018. Costing $321 million, final paving for the 16 mile segment was funded by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VIII grant, the NPS Federal Lands Transportation Program and the state of Tennessee.12
The Tennessee IMPROVE Act signed on April 26, 2017 estimated $61 million for completion of Pellissippi Parkway Extension. A Record of Decision for the project was issued on August 31, 2017. Funds for right-of-way acquisition and staged construction were budgeted in the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) three year plan for Fiscal Year 2020.13
A public meeting for the Pellissippi Parkway extension was held by TDOT on September 21, 2021. Following the public comment period that concluded on October 12, 2021, the project entered the design phase. The right of way process may start by the end of 2022, with 24 to 30 months to complete the needed property acquisition. Before any work can commence no earlier than 2025, construction funds must be identified in the first year of the three year projection budget TDOT publishes each year.14
Improvements underway for U.S. 129/SR 115 (Alcoa Highway) through Alcoa and Maryville include realigning the route onto a controlled access highway. The new corridor will branch south from the arterial route taking U.S. 129 southwest to McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) to a new cloverstack interchange to be built with I-140/SR 162 (Pellissippi Parkway). The existing cloverleaf interchange at Exit 11 will be subsequently removed, with the exception of a single exit ramp from Interstate 140 east. Right of Way acquisition for State Route 115 at Pellissippi Parkway was underway in 2020 and continues through 2022.
Interstate 140 was approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on Route Numbering on June 13, 1992. The first portion of the freeway finished was a 6.6 mile long segment including the Fort Loudoun Lake bridge. Traveling north from U.S. 129 (Alcoa Highway) to Northside Drive, the section was completed December 4, 1992.4 The bridge and a stretch of freeway south to Wrights Ferry Road was completed in August 1990 but not opened to traffic. The second section of I-140 extended northward four miles to Kingston Pike (U.S. 11/70) on October 6, 1993.7.
The I-140 link with I-40/75 and SR 162 followed on December 16, 19968, though all ramps between the two freeways were not completed until Spring 1997. A 1.1 mile long extension east from U.S. 129 (Alcoa Highway) to Cusick Road opened by December 22, 1996.8
Work on the $11.7 million extension of SR 162 to Old Knoxville Highway (SR 33) began in 2000. It was finished on August 15, 2005.9 Interstate 140 was resurfaced between May and September 2004.3