Interstate 240 (North Carolina)
|Billy Graham Freeway|
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||9.14 mi (14.71 km)|
|Existed:||Mid-1970s – present|
|West end:||I-26 / I-40 / US 74 near Asheville, NC|
| US 19 / US 23 / US 74A in Asheville, NC
I-26 / US 19 / US 23 / US 70 in Asheville, NC
|East end:||I-40 / US 74A in eastern Asheville|
Interstate 240 (abbreviated I-240) is a 9.1-mile (14.6 km) long Interstate Highway loop in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It serves as an urban connector for Asheville and runs in a half-circle around the north of the city's downtown district between exits 53B and 46B of Interstate 40. Between those points, Interstate 40 continues in an east–west direction further south of the city, roughly parallel to the Swannanoa and French Broad rivers. The western segment of I-240 is now being renumbered as Interstate 26 as part of a larger project extending I-26 from its former western terminus at I-40/I-240 to US Route 23 near Kingsport, Tennessee.
A planned construction project dubbed the I-26 Connector, intended to build a straighter path of I-26 through Asheville (bypassing the I-240/US 19/23/70 interchange), has recently been lowered in priority by the NC Department of Transportation. A major part of this project would have been the construction of a new interstate-standard bridge across the French Broad River. Additional plans for I-240 in west Asheville call for its expansion from 4 lanes to 8 lanes.
Route description 
|This section requires expansion. (May 2008)|
The western section of what is now I-240 was built in 1966. In 1968, eastbound lanes were added to the Smoky Park Bridge, the main connector across the French Broad River. The original lanes, built in 1950, became westbound lanes.
The next step began with the 1964 presentation by J. O. "Buck" Buchanan to the N.C. Highway Commission Board.
An interstate highway was to be built from the east to downtown Asheville to connect with the existing freeway. The best way to do this, it was concluded, was to blast an 800-foot (240 m)-wide passage through Beaucatcher Mountain.
The Beaucatcher Mountain Defense Association, formed in the early 1970s, endorsed a tunnel, which would mean only about 5 percent of the mountain would be disturbed.
In 1977, the North Carolina Department of Transportation selected Asheville Contracting Co. for the project. 3 million cubic feet of rock would have to be moved, and all of it could be used in the construction. The company had several connections to those responsible for the road plan: company president Baxter Taylor was a business partner of Ted Jordan, a highway board member and a member of the Chamber of Commerce Highway Committee; they founded Hyde Insurance Company, which sold $39.9 million in bonds to finance the plan. And Buchanan went on to work in public relations for Asheville Contracting.
One of the Defense Association's arguments was the highway's proximity to Zealandia, the estate of Philip Henry, whose Tudor mansion was covered by the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act. However, when the mansion was named to the National Register of Historic Places on March 14, 1977, the destruction of the mountain had started.
On April 5, 2012, the North Carolina Board of Transportation voted unanimously to rename the Smoky Park Bridge for Capt. Jeffrey Bowen, an Asheville firefighter who died in July 2011 fighting a fire. The board's policy traditionally prohibited naming state roads and bridges for firefighters, but numerous protests of the state's March decision led to the change.
Exit list 
|0.0||0.0||31B||I-26 east / I-40 west / US 74 – Hendersonville, Spartanburg, Canton, Knoxville||East end of I-26 overlap|
|1.0||1.6||1B||NC 191 (Brevard Road) to I-40 east|
|1.4||2.3||1C||Amboy Road||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
US 19 Bus. / US 23 Bus. (Haywood Road) – West Asheville
|South end of US 19/23 Bus. overlap|
|3.0||4.8||3A||US 19 south / US 23 south (Patton Avenue)||South end of US 19/23 overlap, hidden north end of US 19/23 Bus. overlap, hidden west end of US 74A overlap|
|3.1||5.0||3B||Westgate / Resort Drive|
|3.7||6.0||4A||I-26 west / US 19 north / US 23 north / US 70 west – Weaverville, Woodfin, Johnson City||West end of I-26/US 70 overlap, north end of US 19/23 overlap; to UNC Asheville|
|3.8||6.1||4B||Patton Avenue – Downtown||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|4.3||6.9||4C||Montford Avenue / Haywood Street|
|4.8||7.7||5A||US 25 (Merrimon Avenue)|
|5.1||8.2||5B||US 70 east / US 74A east (Charlotte Street) to NC 694||East end of US 70/74A overlap|
|6.2||10.0||6||Tunnel Road / Chunns Cove Road|
|7.0||11.3||7||US 70 (Tunnel Road)||Three-level diamond interchange, to Asheville Mall|
|8.5||13.7||8||US 74A west (Fairview Road) to NC 81||West end of US 74A overlap|
|9.1||14.6||9||I-40 / US 74A east (Charlotte Highway) – Statesville, Bat Cave, Knoxville||East end of US 74A overlap, to Blue Ridge Parkway|
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Interstate 240 (North Carolina)|
- Kurumi - I-240
- Route Log - Auxiliary Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 2
- "Asheville's I-26 Connector project deemed high-cost, low benefit". Retrieved 2011-03-30.
- "NCRoads.com: U.S. 19". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
- "I-240/I-26 Bridges Set to Be Replaced," Asheville Citizen-Times, Sept. 18, 2012, p. B1.
- Mark Barrett, "Smoky Park Bridge could be renamed for Asheville firefighter," Asheville Citizen-Times, Dec. 28, 2011.
- Rob Neufeld, "Visiting Our Past: I-240 Passage Reminds Us How Great Things Were Done," Asheville Citizen-Times, April 1, 2009.
- Rob Neufeld, "Visiting Our Past: Mountain's Majesty Yielded to Transportation Necessity," Asheville Citizen-Times, April 8, 2009.
- Mark Barrett, "Hewitt bridge south of Asheville still important to his family," Asheville Citizen-Times, April 1, 2012.
- Mark Barrett, "Asheville firefighter's name to go on Smoky Park Bridge," Asheville Citizen-Times, April 6, 2012.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – I-240 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-240+E%2FInterstate+26+W&daddr=US-74+Alt+E&hl=en&ll=35.572169,-82.532215&spn=0.117426,0.222988&sll=35.564599,-82.499548&sspn=0.001826,0.003484&geocode=FfePHgIdvn4T-w%3BFUqrHgIdmiwV-w&t=p&mra=dme&mrsp=1&sz=19&z=13. Retrieved 2012-07-31.