Interstate 240 (Tennessee)

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Interstate 240 marker

Interstate 240
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length: 19.27 mi[1] (31.01 km)
Existed: 1970 – present
Major junctions
West end: I-40 in Memphis
  US 64 / US 70 / US 79 in Memphis
I-55 in Memphis
US 78 in Memphis
US 72 in Memphis
East end: I-40 in Memphis
Highway system
  • Tennessee State Routes
SR 239 SR 240

Interstate 240 (I-240) is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Running 19.27 miles (31.01 km), it loops southward from Interstate 40 in east Memphis, then turning west at TN 385 (Bill Morris Parkway). At I-55, the highway turns north and runs through midtown to end at I-40. The section in East Memphis around Walnut Grove Road is the busiest interstate in Tennessee, with an AADT of just under 200,000 vehicles.[2]

History[edit]

I-240 was first planned circa 1955, but it was to have been a 30.8-mile (49.6 km) beltway to completely encircle midtown Memphis, with the exception of the segment between Interstates 40 and 55, which was proposed as Interstate 255. Later, that number was decommissioned in favor of I-240 running in a full loop, with I-40 running from downtown to east Memphis. However, in 1957 citizens collected 10,000 signatures protesting the route, which cut through Overton Park in midtown. The controversy lasted until the 1970s, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the citizens. This effectively cancelled the Overton Park routing, shifting I-40 onto the northern leg of I-240. Part of the proposed I-40 route was already built from N. Highland St. east to the I-40/240 junction. The road is now called Sam Cooper Boulevard, and is owned by the city.

In 2000, the City of Memphis built an extension to the former I-40 section of Sam Cooper Blvd. This extension runs west from N. Tillman St. (the former entry/end point for Sam Cooper Boulevard) as a limited access parkway to East Parkway N. (a former exit for the proposed "Overton Park route").

The interstates overlapped around the northern bypass of Memphis for many years, but the northern leg eventually came to be known only as I-40, eliminating the concurrency and turning I-240 into a semi-beltway. Exits were not renumbered.

On January 18, 2008, the Federal Highway Administration authorized the states of Mississippi and Tennessee to extend I-69 from the I-40/TN 300 interchange in north Memphis to the I-55/I-69 interchange in Hernando; however, Tennessee has not yet signed the extension of the route, although Mississippi has already done so.[3]

On March 24, 2010, a sinkhole formed in the two leftmost northbound lanes north of the Walnut Grove interchange. It was initially thought to have been a smaller pothole and had been paved over the day before. It formed around 3:00 in the afternoon and damaged several cars, although no injuries were reported. These two lanes were shut down until March 28 while the sinkhole was filled.

Recent construction[edit]

I-240 has seen significant reconstruction over the past decade, as area growth has demanded increased capacity. Both interchanges with I-40 have been reconstructed due to the amount of traffic taking I-40 through Memphis. The portion between Lamar Ave to Mt Moriah was widened to 8 through lanes in the early 2000s.

A widening project began on the stretch of I-240 from north of TN 385 to north of Walnut Grove Road in April 2011. This was necessary due to increased traffic volumes since the freeway's construction. This included adding a lane to each side (which made it an average of 4 lanes on each side), retaining walls, noise barriers, and a redesigning of the Poplar Avenue interchange: a main source of congestion. The project was completed in late 2014.[4]

In Fall 2013, TDOT began work to reconstruct the I-240/I-40 eastern interchange for a second time. This reconstruction will include construction of two additional flyover ramps and the widening of Sam Cooper Boulevard. Construction is expected to be completed in the Summer of 2017. [5]

Exit list[edit]

The exits on I-240 run clockwise, reflecting their initial numbering as part of a circumferential beltway. They also pick up I-40's exit numbers.

The entire route is in Memphis, Shelby County.

mi km Exit Destinations Notes
12A I-40 west – Little Rock Eastern terminus; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; I-40/Sam Cooper Blvd. exit 10B
12B Sam Cooper Boulevard Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
12C I-40 east – Nashville Eastbound exit and Westbound entrance; I-40/Sam Cooper Blvd. exit 10A
13 Walnut Grove Road (SR 23 east) Signed as exits 13A (west) and 13B (east) westbound
15A US 72 (SR 57 / Poplar Avenue) – Germantown Signed as exits 15A (west) and 15B (east)
16 SR 385 east (Bill Morris Parkway) – Collierville Western terminus of SR 385
17 Mount Moriah Road
18 Perkins Road
20 SR 176 south (Getwell Road South) / Getwell Road North Signed as exits 20A (SR 176) and 20B (Getwell Rd N) eastbound
21 US 78 (Lamar Avenue) / SR 4 – Birmingham
23 Airways Boulevard - Memphis International Airport Signed as exits 23A (north) and 23B (south)
24 Millbranch Road
25A I-55 south / I-69 south – Jackson East end of I-69 overlap; I-55 exit 6A
25B I-55 north – St. Louis I-55 exit 6B
26 Hernando Road to Norris Road Northbound exit only; Hernando Road not signed
26 Norris Road No northbound exit
28 South Parkway East Signed as exits 28A (east) and 28B (west)
29 US 78 (SR 4 / Lamar Avenue / E.H. Crump Boulevard)
30 US 51 / US 64 / US 70 / US 79 (Union Avenue) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; US Routes not signed
30 Madison Avenue Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
31 I-40 west – Little Rock Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; I-40 exit 1E
32 SR 14 (Jackson Avenue) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
I-40 east / I-69 north – Nashville Western terminus; west end of I-69 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (October 31, 2002). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. 
  2. ^ "I-240 Noise Barrier Decision Creates Ruckus in East Memphis". Memphis Commercial Appeal. April 17, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ Capka, J. Richard (January 18, 2008). "Letter to Paul D. Degges]" (PDF). Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Interstate 240 Widening Project". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ "I-40/I-240 Interchange". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing