Interstate 140 is both the Pellissippi Parkway and Tennessee 162. The suburban type freeway angles southeast from SR 162 and Interstates 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 the SR 162 freeway extends southward to SR 33 near Alcoa.
An extension of SR 162 will eventually lengthen the route south to U.S. 321 as part of a through route to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This function will be further enhanced with the completion of the Foothills Parkway from U.S. 321 southwest to U.S. 129. Maintained by the National Park Service, the 1.65 mile long gap in the parkway will bridged by June 2017, though final paving for the 16-mile segment is a future project.12
Interstate 140 was approved by the AASHTO Special Committee on Route Numbering on June 13, 1992. The first portion of Interstate 140 opened December 4, 1992 between Northside Drive and U.S. 129 (Alcoa Highway), a 6.6-mile segment including the Fort Loudon Lake bridge.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 to open extended I-140 northward four miles to Kingston Pike (U.S. 11 & 70) on October 6, 1993.7 and the I-140 link to Interstates 40 & 75 and SR 162 followed on December 16, 19968, though all of the ramps between the two freeways were not completed until spring of 1997. A 1.1-mile 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 and was completed August 15, 2005.9 Interstate 140 was resurfaced between May and September 2004.3
The Pellissippi Parkway was planned for a 4.5-mile extension southeast to U.S. 3215, east of Maryville. TDOT already planned the route and was set to commence with construction. However because of a lawsuit filed against the Department of Transportation, construction never began. The lawsuit emanated from the Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension (CAPPE) who argued that the Tennessee Department of Transportation had not done an adequate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the planned freeway. A federal judge agreed to place an injunction against TDOT in 2002 which actively halted any construction.
In August 2004, the U.S. District Court issued an order modifying its previous injunction, which allowed TDOT to reissue its environmental documents regarding SR 162 / Pellissippi Parkway. On September 27, 2004, TDOT announced the preparation of the environmental impact statement for the extension.4 A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was approved on April 14, 2010. The Final EIS was approved on September 10, 2015. Alternate A was endorsed by the Maryville City Council on October 4, 2011 and the Alcoa City Commission on October 11, 2011. The Blount County Commission voted to send a recommendation for Alternate A on October 11 as well.10 A record of decision (ROD) was expected by summer 2016.
Western Terminus - Interstates 40 & 75 - near Farragut, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 140 west
The last mainline interchange of Interstate 140 is Exit 1 (B & A) for the U.S. 11/70 overlap/Kingston Pike. These paired highways serve the nearby city of Farragut and the southwest reaches of Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Exit 1C takes travelers to the city of Knoxville via Interstate 40 east and Interstate 75 north. There are five more interchanges for the paired Interstates before they split. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Interstate ends in one half mile advisory sign on Interstate 140 west. Traffic from Interstate 40 east/75 north merges in from a cloverleaf ramp to the right. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Interstate 140 concludes just past Exit 1D for Interstate 40 west and Interstate 75 south. Tennessee 162 northbound takes over as a divided surface highway as it travels toward Oak Ridge and Tennessee 62. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Perspective from Tennessee 162 south
Tennessee 162 southbound converts to Interstate 140 one half mile north of the Interstate 40/75 overlap. A begin sign heralds the 11 mile Interstate beginning. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
The first eastbound Interstate 140 reassurance shield. The Interstate 40/75 overlap is signed as Exit 1C/D on Interstate 140 westbound. The ramps depart at once in the eastbound direction and receive no exit numbers. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
The Interstate 140 mainline pushes southeast toward Farrugut as the first eastbound exit for Interstates 40/75 depart. The paired Interstate share a 12 mile overlap between Eaton Crossroad and the city of Knoxville whose city limits are just four miles to the east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Perspective from Interstates 40 east & 75 north
0.75 mile guide sign for Exit 376/Interstate 140 east/Tennessee 162 north. Tennessee 162 sees its southern terminus at this interchange. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Traffic for Interstate 140 east/Tennessee 162 north departs together at Exit 376 from Interstate 40 east/75 north. This ramp is not a collector distributor roadway, as traffic from Tennessee 162 southbound sees a directional ramp to Interstate 40 east/75 north to the north independent of this configuration. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Interstate 140 begins its eastward journey to Alcoa and Maryville as Exit 376A. Traffic continuing straight will follow a cloverleaf ramp to Tennessee 162 north. The city of Oak Ridge is 14 miles to the northwest. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Traffic bound to Knoxville from Oak Ridge via Tennessee 162 southbound is allocated two lanes. There are eight miles left of the Interstate 40/75 overlap to the southwest. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Perspective from Interstates 40 west & Interstate 75 south
Interstate 40 west/75 south expand to five lanes as they near the Interstate 140/Tennessee Exit 376 interchange. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Interstate 140 eastbound receives two lanes from Interstate 40 west/75 south. Traffic volumes are heavy on the 17 mile overlap due to the proximity to the Knoxville metropolitan area. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
The left four lanes continue west on the mainline freeway, while the right two lanes default onto southwest bound Interstate 140, with a connection to northbound Tennessee 162. I-40 west and I-75 south split in eight miles with Interstate 75 traveling 79 miles south to Chattanooga. Interstate 40 continues 157 miles to Nashville and 361 miles to Memphis. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison, 08/12/05.
The Exit 376 c/d roadway partitions with a two-lane ramp for SR 162 north. Tennessee 162 travels seven miles northwest to end at Tennessee 62. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Exit 376A for Interstate 140 east is a loop ramp. Traffic can continue back onto Interstate 40 west/75 south where the next interchange is located two miles ahead with SR 131 into Farragut. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Historical Perspective from Interstates 40 west & 75 south
The original one-mile guide sign for Interstate 140 east/Exit 376B on Interstate 40 west/75 south. The Interstate highway opened in the mid 1990s, just before Interstate 40/75 underwent a reconstruction project. The project replaced the signage in the westbound direction. Vidcap taken 08/08/99.
The original configuration of Exit 376 saw Exit 376B for Tennessee 162 northbound depart from the mainline of Interstates 40 & 75 west. This ramp now is separate from the mainline with a collector distributor roadway. Photo taken by Chris Saylor (03/99).
Eastern Terminus - U.S. 129 - Alcoa, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 140 east
A full cloverleaf interchange (Exits 11B/A) joins the east end of Interstate 140 with U.S. 129 on the north side of Alcoa. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Exit 11A departs from I-140 east for U.S. 129 south. The US highway travels four miles south into Alcoa and six miles to the Blount County seat of Marysville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Interstate 140 sees its final exit at the loop ramp (Exit 11B) to U.S. 129 north. U.S. 129 ends eight miles to the north at Interstate 40 in Knoxville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
An end shield for Interstate 140 stands ahead of the on-ramp from U.S. 129 north to Tennessee 162 east. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (10/01).
A SR 162 shield was eventually added next to the end assembly for I-140. SR 162 extends the freeway south another 2.5 miles to SR 33 (Old Knoxville Highway). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Perspective from Interstate 140 west
SR 162 leads northwest west from SR 33 by the town of Rockford to become Interstate 140 at Exits 11B/A with U.S. 129. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Exit 11A follows onto U.S. 129 south to Alcoa as Interstate 140 travels north to SR 333 and the Tennessee River bridge. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Perspective from U.S. 129 north
U.S. 129 northbound at the loop ramp for Interstate 140 west. I-140 uses Oak Ridge as the control point for the connection with SR 162 west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Perspective from U.S. 129 south
U.S. 129 south reaches the westbound on-ramp for Interstate 140 toward Oak Ridge. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/12/03).
Fred Corum, Regional Director TDOT
"Beltway OK'd." Knoxville News, November 11, 2003.