The three mile stretch of Interstate 275 was constructed in 1958 as part of the I-75 mainline through Knoxville. In preparation for the 1982 World's Fair, I-75 was rerouted onto the then newly completed Interstate 640 to bypass the Downtown area. The original stretch between I-40 and I-640 was subsequently designated as Interstate 275. This was previously approved by AASHTO on June 22, 1980.
A $20-million reconstruction project along Interstate 275 took place between December 1, 2006 and January 26, 2008. Work expanded portions of the freeway to six lanes and reconfigured three interchanges from cloverleaves to diamonds. The interchange modifications increased the ingress and egress movements from 300 feet to 1,200 feet.1 This upgrade was completed ahead of the "Smartfix" widening of Interstate 40 east from Downtown Knoxville.
Totalling $22.22 million, work at the Broadway/I-640 interchange through Spring 2019 completes improvements at the exchange started in 2016. This work is the second phase of a long term project dating to 1999. Finished then were new ramps along the eastbound direction of I-640 at U.S. 441 (Broadway). The final phase adds a loop ramp from U.S. 441 (Broadway) north to I-640 west and a collector roadway eliminating weaving traffic along U.S. 441 southbound from Tazewell Pike.2