Additional Info


State Tennessee
Mileage 19.27
Cities Memphis
Junctions I-40/69, I-55/69, I-40
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-240 Tennessee Annual Average Daily Traffic

From To AADT Composite
Exit 29/ E.H. Crump Bl Exit 28/ South Pkwy East 99,830
Exit 28/ South Pkwy East Exit 26/ Norris Rd 99,780
Exit 26/ Norris Rd Exit 25/ I-55 89,190
Exit 25/ I-55 Exit 24/ Mill Branch Rd 137,100
Exit 24/ Mill Branch Rd Exit 23/ Airways Bl 141,850
Exit 23/ Airways Bl Exit 21/ U.S. 78/ Lamar Ave. 161,960
Exit 21/ U.S. 78/ Lamar Av. Exit 20/ Getwell St 148,670
Exit 20/ Getwell Stt Exit 18/ Perkins Rd 153,090
Exit 18/ Perkins Rd Exit 17/ Mt. Noriah Rd 160,540
Exit 16/ TN 385/Nonconnah Pkwy Exit 15/ U.S. 72/Poplar Av 147,360
Exit 15/ U.S. 72/Poplar Av Exit 13/ SR 23 144,640
Exit 13/ SR 23 Exit 12/ I-40 142,600
Source: Traffic Flow Maps Tennessee Roads and Streets 2002 (TDOT)

Interstate 240 was completed from I-55/255 east to I-40/240 by Brennan in east Memphis by 1964. The Interstate 255 leg of the Memphis beltway was opened north to the cloverleaf interchange with South Parkway East.
I-255 is one of three Tennessee Interstates renumbered as part of another route. The others are I-265 in Nashville, which became a part of an I-65 realignment in 2000 and I-181 at the Tri-Cities, which became part of a two-stage northern extension of I-26 in 2003 and 2005.
This 1972 map shows the interchange built for Interstates 40-240-255 near Midtown, Memphis. The freeway east of Claybrook Street was never built, leaving ramps at the nearby exchange unused until their demolition in 2003.
All ramps at this exchange were removed as part of a $53-million project between June 2003 and December 2006.4 The I-40 mainline now curves northeast through the junction with four overall lanes while I-240 shifted to outside roadways through to the parclo interchange at SR 14 (Jackson Avenue).
Memphis Inset - 1976 Tennessee Official Highway Map
Construction continued through 1976 on the northern arc of the Memphis beltway between Chelsea Avenue at Vollintine and U.S. 64-70-79 (Summer Avenue) at Raleigh.
The roadways of I-40 above U.S. 64-70-79 were shifted outward to accommodate the new mainline flyovers taking I-40 to and from the Memphis beltway.
This view looks at Phase I construction of I-40/240 above Summer Avenue (U.S. 64-70-79). A new overpass was constructed for I-40 eastbound in the foreground. Westbound travelers remained on the 1964-overpass in the background. Photo taken by Don Johnson (06/02).


Interstate 240 Tennessee


Interstate 240 in Tennessee runs along the southern two thirds of the 31.9-mile long Memphis beltway. The northern third is designated as Interstate 40. The north-south leg of I-240 from Downtown to Southside, Memphis doubles as Interstate 69. The remainder of the route provides a bypass between I-55 & 69 through northern Mississippi and I-40 leading east toward Jackson while acting as a commuter route for residents of Germantown, Hickory Hill and Parkway Village.


When the eastern terminus interchange of Interstate 240 opened in 1964, Interstate 40 was to continue west along Sam Cooper Boulevard, while Interstate 240 was to serve as the bypass loop of the city.1 Litigation involving the construction of Interstate 40 across Overton city Park in 1971 resulted in the cancellation of I-40 across the Med District, Evergreen and Midtown. The freeway east from Highland Heights to Berclair and I-40 was completed prior to the Supreme Court decision in favor of the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park law suit.2

Interstate 40 was subsequently rerouted to overlap with I-240 along the northern Memphis beltline between Uptown and Raleigh. I-240 was eventually dropped from the concurrency as approved by AASHTO on June 28, 1982. The I-40/240 overlap is one of handful in the Interstate system where a 2-digit route overlapped with its branch route. Others included I-40/440 around Raleigh, North Carolina (dropped in by 2009), I-95/495 around Washington, D.C. and I-94/694 to the northwest of St. Paul, Minnesota.

The southwestern section of Interstate 240 between I-40 near Downtown and I-55 by Alcy-Dunn was previously designated as Interstate 255. This changed on November 10, 1973, when AASHTO approved the renumbering of I-255 as a northwestern extension of I-240.

Construction at the western terminus saw the removal of ghost ramps intended for the abandoned Interstate 40 Sam Cooper Boulevard alignment. Chris Lawrence posted to misc.transport.road on September 25, 20033:

The ghost flyover ramp from WB planned I-40 to SB I-240 at the Midtown interchange has been removed, and the EB I-40 flyover is about to be removed. EB I-40 traffic is now diverted over the I-40 EB ghost ramp and then makes a sharp turn to the north (like a tight trumpet ramp would). Eventually those ramps will be removed, as well; the logistics of the construction staging for this interchange work must be convoluted, as I-40 will eventually be at grade level through the interchange.

The $53-million, three-year project to reconstruct the I-40/240 junction at Midtown, Memphis wrapped up by mid December 2006. Work added a lane in each direction to both I-40 and I-240 and doubled capacity of the ramp connections. 19 bridges were removed in the project, with seven replaced.4

Looking at the ghost ramps within the I-40/240 junction near Midtown, Memphis. This view looked southwest from the ramp built for unconstructed I-40 west to I-240 south. The loop ramp below carried motorists from I-240 north to I-40 west while the adjacent overpass represented the eastbound mainline of Interstate 40.
This exchange was rebuilt between 2003 and 2006 into a high-speed directional T interchange. Photo taken by Zach (07/18/03).

Phase I of a project to improve the eastern junction of Interstate 40/240 ran from January 2001 to October 2003. The $25.7 million project included the widening of Interstate 240, relocation of the White Station Road (Exit 12A) eastbound ramps, building a new two-lane 75 foot high flyover from I-40 west to I-240 south, and improvements of the ramps between I-240 north and I-40 east and from Sam Cooper Boulevard east to I-240 south.1

Looking east from White Station Road at the steel frame work for the flyover carrying I-40 west to I-240 during Phase I construction. Photo taken by Don Johnson (06/02).

The I-40/I-240 Phase II Interchange Project was previously scheduled between January 2004 and December 2006. Funding delays pushed work back to 2013, when construction of the east and westbound flyover bridges commenced. The new ramps, which carry the Interstate 40 mainline above I-240 and Sam Cooper Boulevard, were completed by fall 2015. Replacement of the I-40 bridges across the Wolf River and associated widening completes the work by summer 2017.

Interstate 69 was extended northward from Hernando, Mississippi to Midtown, Memphis on May 6, 2008. The route overlaps with I-55 north to Interstate 240, along side I-240 north to Interstate 40, and on I-40 to three-wye interchange (Exit 2A) with Tennessee 300 near Frayser. Signs erected within the Volunteer State only reference the route as a Future corridor.

Western Terminus - Interstate 40 - Downtown Memphis, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 240 north
Westbound (northbound) on Interstate 240 has its last mainline interchange at Exit 30/Union Avenue (U.S. 72). Although over a mile south of the merge onto Interstate 40 east, Interstate 240 pull-through panels give way to Interstate 40 east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Traveling underneath U.S. 72/Union Avenue on Interstate 240 west is the one-mile overhead of Exit 31B/Interstate 40 west. The exit number for Interstate 40 is Exit 31 in 2007 as compared with Exit 31B the 2003 photo. Note that in the background of 2003 photo, the reassurance shield displays Interstate 240. Photos taken by Zachary Bugg (07/11/07) and Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Northbound Interstate 240 passes under Jefferson Avenue; the guide signs for Interstate 240 and the collector-distributer ramp from Madison Avenue have been replaced. Photo taken by Zachary Bugg (07/11/07).
After reconstruction of this interchange, the signage found on northbound Interstate 240 as the freeway passes under Poplar Avenue has changed significantly: The guide signs now show that northbound Interstate 240 continues until the eastbound Interstate 40 ramp merges. The freeway used to reduce to two lanes as it passed under Poplar Avenue, but that has changed. Interstate 40 westbound traffic departs ahead. To the right is a ghost ramp that would have taken motorists onto the center city routing of Interstate 40 east. Photos taken by Zachary Bugg (07/11/07) and Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Continuing north on Interstate 240 are these signs on the flyover ramp from northbound Interstate 240 to westbound Interstate 40. Half of the Madison Avenue collector distributor ramp merges with the flyover. Notice the peach-tinted sound walls and underpasses--a long-overdue attempt to make Memphis's freeway system more attractive. Also, you can barely see a guide sign in the background for the Jackson Avenue exit, which has been renumbered as Exit 32. This implies that northbound Interstate 240 continues to Jackson Avenue (the ramp from eastbound Interstate 40 does not merge until after the Jackson Avenue exit). The corresponding Jackson Avenue exit number for westbound Interstate 40 is Exit 1F. Photo taken by Zachary Bugg (07/11/07).
Back in 2003, the Interstate 40 eastbound mainline soars above on a flyover as Interstate 240 prepares to transition to it. A cloverleaf ramp used to carry traffic onto Interstate 40 west for its final two miles in the state of Tennessee. The flyover ramp shown above replaced this arrangement. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Also back in 2003, Interstate 240 used to conclude at the ramp to Interstate 40 west to West Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas. The next eastbound interchange is Exit 1F with Tennessee 14 just ahead. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
Interstate 40 crosses the Mississippi River, passes by downtown Memphis, then encounters Interstate 240 and the Memphis Beltway. This photograph looks at the pending Interstate 40/240 eastbound split signage at Exit 1B/U.S. 51/Danny Thomas Boulevard. U.S. 51 cuts through downtown, encountering Interstate 240 at Exit 29. Vidcap taken 05/29/95.
Interstate 40 eastbound at Exit 1B/U.S. 51 - Danny Thomas Boulevard. This sign bridge is the same as that in the above vidcap. The guide signs themselves however, are replacements. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/18/05).
Interstate 40/240 diagrammatic guide signage approaching the entrance of Interstate 40 to the Memphis Beltway. Initially, this interchange represented the northern terminus of Interstate 255, as it traveled between Exit 25 and 31 of the Memphis Beltway (between here and Interstate 55). Later in history, Interstate 240 overtook Interstate 255, and was signed on the full 31 mile routing of the Memphis Beltway. When Interstate 40 was cancelled through the city, Interstate 240 became cosigned with Interstate 40 on the northern half of the beltway. This was eventually deemed to be redundant and hence Interstate 240 was removed from the Interstate 40 co-signing. Vidcap taken 05/29/95.
The replacement of the diagrammatic overhead Pictured in the above vidcap. The upcoming junction may soon see the addition of Interstate 69 shields. Currently Interstate 69 is in the planning stages through the Memphis metropolitan area. One scheme is to take Interstate 69 down Interstates 40 and 240 through downtown. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
The official Tennessee state map shows the Interstate 240 eastbound ramp as Exit 1E. Guide signs in actually however, omit an exit number. This photo shows the pending split of Interstate 40 with Interstate 240. Note to the left a ghost roadway from the planned central city routing of Interstate 40 to Sam Cooper Boulevard. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Interstate 40 eastbound splits with the Interstate 240 eastbound ramp. The first six miles of Interstate 240 travel south to Interstate 55. Because of this orientation and connection with Interstate 55, Jackson, Mississippi is shown as the control city. Photo taken by Adam Froehlig (10/00).
A revisit to the Interstate 40/240 eastbound ramp split. Note that the Interstate 40 mainline is relegated to a one lane substandard ramp. There is a similar occurrence on Interstate 10through downtown San Antonio, Texas. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Before Interstate 40 traffic merges onto the Interstate 240 eastbound mainline, an exit ramp to nearby Madison Avenue is encountered. This is the first southbound interchange of Interstate 240 outside the terminus interchange. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
ITS signage on the Interstate 40 eastbound to Interstate 240 eastbound ramp. These types of signs can be found throughout the Indiana Interstate system as well. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Traveling southbound on Interstate 40, one mile north of the Exit 1G/F cloverleaf interchange with Tennessee 14/Jackson Avenue and 1.50 miles from the departure from the Memphis Beltline. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 40 westbound at Exit 1G/Tennessee 14 west. This state route travels to U.S. 51 where it concludes. Otherwise Interstate 40 continues for another half mile before turning west through the central business district of Memphis. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
The Interstate 40 departure from the Memphis belt line is signed as Exit 1F. Interstate 240 will take over at this junction and continue southward with three through lanes. To the west Interstate 40 will encounter four off-ramps to serve the downtown Memphis area. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 40 westbound departs via Exit 1F as Interstate 240 eastbound begins. Ahead is the first mainline interchange of I-240, Exit 30 with Madison Avenue. The ramp of Exit 30 departs before traffic from Interstate 40 eastbound merges onto Interstate 240. This eliminates weaving traffic concerns between the two directions of travel. A slip ramp to Madison Avenue is situated further south for Interstate 40 entering traffic. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 40 - east of Memphis, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 240 east
Exit numbers count downward on Interstate 240 from 31 to 12 as it travels eastward. This photo shows Exit 12C guide signage for Interstate 40. Construction is present in the area as the Interstate 40/240/Sam Cooper Boulevard interchange is undergoing a rebuild. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
New diagrammatic sign on Interstate 240 eastbound for Exit 12C. The Memphis Beltway maintains two lanes through the terminus interchange as it does on the west side. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Replaced directional overhead on Interstate 240 northbound as it returns to Interstate 40 on the eastern side of the city. Interstate 240 is orientated in a northwest-southeast orientation at this point, wrapping back around to the north side of the city. Vidcap taken 05/29/95.
Interstate 240 comes to an end as traffic for Interstate 40 eastbound departs via a sharp ramp. The interchange is undergoing reconstruction to improve this ramp among others (see below photographs). Interstate 40 sees its next Interstate junction in Nashville at Interstate 440, 195 miles to the east. Vidcap taken 05/29/95.
A daytime look at the Interstate 40 east/sharp ramp overhead of Interstate 240 east. Note the roadway expansion project that is underway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Exit 12C departs to Interstate 40 via the aforementioned sharp ramp. Interstate 40 sees another three Memphis city interchanges before encountering rural environs en route to Jackson, Tennessee. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
With construction in progress, Interstate 40 exits onto itself from the Memphis Beltway. Traffic continuing south will enter the westbound beginning of Interstate 240. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west
Five lanes of Interstate 40 westbound as the freeway leaves Exit 12/Macon Road. Again Interstate 40 is shown as exiting from itself, with Exit 10A/B guide signage 1.50 miles east of the Memphis Beltway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Some lane shifting due to construction, Interstate 40 prepares to enter the Memphis Beltway. Westbound traffic not opting for the beltway will transition onto Sam Cooper Boulevard into central Memphis. This freeway spur is a remnant of the planned Interstate 40 routing. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
One half mile from the Interstate 40 entrance onto the Memphis Beltway. Interstate 240 travels southeast briefly before curving back to the west to the Nonconnah Parkway and Interstate 55. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Interstate 240 begins from Interstate 40 west via this Exit 10A cloverleaf ramp. Interstate 240 returns to Interstate 40 in 19 miles and interchanges with Interstate 55 in 14 miles. Sam Cooper Boulevard presses westward for several miles to Broad Avenue. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Sam Cooper Boulevard east
1.50 miles west of the Memphis Beltway on Sam Cooper Boulevard eastbound. Exit 9 departs for Perkins Road in this photograph. The exit numbering scheme of Sam Cooper Boulevard is also a remnant from the Interstate 40 planned mileage. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Naturally, the Sam Cooper Boulevard eastbound mainline defaults onto Interstate 40 eastbound. An original sign still is posted for Exit 10B/Interstate 40 west on this sign bridge. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Near the Meadenhall Road overpass, Sam Cooper Boulevard enters its final half mile before merging onto Interstate 40 east. An exit-only lane is in place for Exit 10A/Interstate 240 westbound. As is the case from Interstate 40, Jackson, Mississippi is the control city of Interstate 240. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Eastbound Sam Cooper Boulevard at the eastern terminus of Interstate 240, where Interstate 40 heads east to Jackson and Nashville. Sam Cooper Boulevard was to have been part of Interstate 40 had it been constructed through Memphis. However, local opposition curtailed this from coming to fruition. The roadway currently carries no route designation and is locally maintained. Top photo taken by Adam Froehlig (10/00); bottom photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).
Perspective from Sam Cooper Boulevard west
Thru trucks advisory sign on Sam Cooper Boulevard westbound. This sign indicates for trucks to u-turn at Exit 9/Perkins Road to return to Interstates 40 and 240. This sign is for those who wander onto Sam Cooper Boulevard by mistake. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/03/03).


  1. I-40/I-240 Interchange Reconstruction East Memphis, Shelby County. Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) project web site.
  2. "Facts About Tennessee's Interstate System 50th Anniversary, 1956-2006," Tennessee Department of Transportation, 2006 web site.
  3. Lawrence, Chris. "Recent MS/TN construction notes." Online posting, misc.transport.road, September 25, 2003.
  4. "Work on I-40-240 ahead of schedule." Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN) October 7, 2005.

Page Updated February 10, 2016.