U.S. Route 421 in Tennessee

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U.S. Route 421 marker

U.S. Route 421
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length: 43.4 mi[1] (69.8 km)
Existed: 1933 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 421 at the NC line near Trade
North end: US 421 at the VA line in Bristol
Counties: Johnson, Sullivan
Highway system
SR 420 SR 421

U.S. Route 421 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 43.4 miles (69.8 km) in East Tennessee, connecting the cities of Mountain City and Bristol.

Route description[edit]

US-421 enters Tennessee just north of Zionville, North Carolina, going in a northwesterly direction to, the oldest unincorporated community in the state, Trade. Connecting with SR-67 (hidden concurrency), it soon forms the eastern boundary of the Cherokee National Forest at the intersection of Bulldog Road; then completely in the National Forest after passing Old Prison Camp Road.

In Mountain City, SR-67 splits-off, going southwest towards Elizabethton; SR-91 soon joins afterwards (hidden concurrency). Soon afterwards, US-421 makes traverses through the Iron Mountains, where the road becomes aggressively curvy with elevation changes throughout; at Sandy Gap, US-421 will reach the highest point of its route in Tennessee at 3,862 feet (1,177 m). Once descended from the Iron Mountains, US-421 goes through Shady Valley, where SR-91 splits-off in on a southwesterly direction towards Elizabethton. Soon the highway climbs up Holston Mountain, entering Sullivan County, from Johnson County at Low Gap. This is the second stretch of aggressively curvy with constant elevation changing along US-421, which continues until it reaches Holston Valley, located west of Holston Lake. This whole section, between Mountain City and Holston Valley, is very popular with cycle enthusiasts.

US-421 is joined with SR-44 (hidden concurrency) at Holston Valley, where travelers can make their first chance towards Interstate 81 in Abingdon, Virginia. At Vinegar Hill, US-421 widens to a divided four-lane highway; soon afterwards SR-44 splits-off, continuing southwesterly direction to Bluff City.

Entering Bristol city limits at the intersection of SR-394 and SR-435, the highway reverts to a two-lane road, as it goes through the Fairmount Neighborhood. Near the state line, US-421 connects to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard via Andrew Street, before heading north into Virginia.

The entire route is overlapped with SR-34, which was mostly hidden throughout.


Junction list[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Johnson 0.0 0.0 US 421 south – Boone Continuation from North Carolina
Trade 0.8 1.3 SR 67 east – Warrensville East end of SR-67 overlap
8.9 14.3 SR 167
Mountain City 10.5 16.9 SR 418 north (Church Street)
11.2 18.0 SR 67 west / SR 418 south (Main Street) – Elizabethton West end of SR-67 overlap
11.8 19.0 SR 91 north – Damascus North end of SR-91 overlap
Shady Valley 22.1 35.6 SR 91 south / SR 133 north – Elizabethton, Damascus South end of SR-91 overlap
Sullivan Holston Valley 34.2 55.0 SR 44 north – Abingdon North end of SR-44 overlap
Vinegar Hill 35.9 57.8 SR 435 south (Bristol Caverns Highway)
38.5 62.0 SR 44 south (Hickory Tree Road) – Bluff City South end of SR-44 overlap
Bristol 40.3 64.9 SR 394 west / SR 435 north (Bristol Caverns Highway)
42.9 69.0 SR 34 north (Pennsylvania Avenue) North end of SR-34 overlap
43.2 69.5 SR 34 south (Anderson Street) South end of SR-34 overlap
TennesseeVirginia line 43.4 69.8 SR 34 north (State Street) North end of SR-34 overlap
US 421 north (Commonwealth Avenue) – Gate City Continuation into Virginia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google (February 24, 2013). "U.S. Route 421 in Tennessee" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]

U.S. Route 421
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North Carolina
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