Interstate 440 provides a southern Bypass of Downtown Nashville and commuter route between I-40 near Sylvan Heights and I-24 near Woodbine. A four-level interchange connects the urban loop with I-65 at Berry Hill.
Interstate 440 was originally named “The Four-Forty Parkway”. A $154.8 million project reconstructed the entire freeway, expanding I-440 to six overall lanes and replacing the deteriorating concrete roadways. Work also included new lighting and ramp improvements at the exchange with Murphy Road / U.S. 70S (West End Avenue) and U.S. 421 (21st Avenue S).4 Nearly 300 trees and 2,623 shrubs were planted as well.5
The design-build project commenced in Fall 2018 with the installation of new sound walls. Major construction began in March 2019, which included the removal of the grass median throughout the entire corridor. Work wrapped up two weeks ahead of schedule and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) held a caravan to celebrate completion of the project on July 2, 2020.5
Interstate 440 between Murphy Road and U.S. 70S (West End Avenue) at the Richland-West End and Hillsboro-West End neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee. 09/07/20
The 7.64 mile loop was proposed for decades before the first layers of concrete were poured.1 Community opposition to the route arose through the 1970s, with community activists and citizens groups including the “Nashvillians Against I-440” delaying progress on the route. A lawsuit was filed in 1981 to stop construction on I-440, but a judge ruled that the route would not adversely impact the natural environmental and that adequate procedures were followed by the state. Work finally broke ground in 1982, with demolition of homes along Primrose Circle (east of Exit 3) and clearing of a railroad gulch.2
Concerns from area residents led to TDOT adopting extraordinary measures in construction of the road. Blasting efforts to remove rock along the below grade sections of Interstate 440 were required to minimize noise and combustible pollutants. Roadway design was also altered to beautify and better blend in the freeway with the adjacent area. A truck ban was proposed for the route as well.2
Interstate 440 opened initially in 19862. The completed section ran between I-65 and I-24 per the 1986 Rand McNally and Gousha North American Road Atlases. The remaining portion from I-65 to Interstate 40 opened in 1987.3 Outside of pavement repairs, the parkway remained mostly unchanged over the ensuing decades, with the exception of a third eastbound lane added between I-65 and U.S. 31A/41A (Nolensville Pike) in 2012-13.2