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)
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]


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 that the Overton Park route be canceled, 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.

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 much 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.

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 Fall 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.

The entire route is in Memphis, Shelby County.

Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
12A I-40 west – Little Rock
12B Sam Cooper Boulevard
12C I-40 east – Nashville
13 SR 23 (Walnut Grove Road) – Cordova
15A US 72 (Poplar Avenue East) / SR 57 – Germantown
15B US 72 (Poplar Avenue West) / SR 57 – Memphis
16 SR 385 east (Bill Morris Parkway) – Collierville, Millington
17 Mount Moriah Road
18 Perkins Road
20A SR 176 (Getwell Road South)
20B SR 176 (Getwell Road North)
21 US 78 (Lamar Avenue) / SR 4 – Birmingham
23A Airways Boulevard North
23B Airways Boulevard South/Memphis International Airport
24 Millbranch Road
25A I-55 south / I-69 south – Jackson Begins I-69 concurrency
25B I-55 north – West Memphis, St. Louis
26 Norris Road
28A South Parkway East
28B South Parkway West
29 US 78 / SR 4 (Lamar Avenue / E.H. Crump Boulevard)
29 US 78 / SR 4 (Lamar Avenue / E.H. Crump Boulevard)
30 US 51 / US 64 / US 70 / US 79 / SR 3
Madison Avenue Traffic can enter the interstate but not exit
31 I-40 west – Little Rock
32 SR 14 (Jackson Avenue) Clockwise exit and counterclockwise entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[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: Google / Bing