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I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study-From Bristol to Memphis, TN

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View video of the I-40/I-81 Corridor Feasibility Study.

Task 1, System Inventory and Data Collection (PDF 12.2 MB) has been completed. The Task 1 Report, dated March 26, 2007, is available for review from TDOT.

In Task 2, Assessment of Deficiencies, TDOT Long Range Planning Division and its consultant team identified corridor segments that are congested based on travel demand forecasts, segments with geometric deficiencies and high accident rates, and segment where freight movements impact interstate performance. In this task the team assessed the performance of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, park and ride lots, and transportation demand management (TDM) programs. During this task, the team also developed a truck-rail diversion model to assess the feasibility of freight and passenger shifts in the corridor, and determine the need for additional access locations in the corridor. The results of this task are documented in theTask 2 Technical Memorandum which can be viewed at:

Task 2 Technical Memorandum (PDF 6.65 MB)

The Technical Memorandum for Task 3, Multi-Modal Solutions, identifies multi-modal solutions within the study corridor to address deficiencies associated with: Capacity; Operations and Safety; Freight Movement/Diversion and Intermodal Facilities; and Economic Access.  The report describes the results of a screening analysis conducted on possible multi-modal solutions for the I-40/I-81 corridor. The analysis was performed on four “packages” of initial solutions that exhibited strong potential for addressing corridor deficiencies:  Roadway Capacity, Corridor Capacity; Rail-Focused Improvement; and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)/Operational Solutions.  The report describes the results of the evaluation, and can be viewed at:

See below to view the Task 3 Technical Memorandum and Appendices A through D.

Click here for PowerPoint slide show presenting a statewide update on the study as of September 2007. (PDF 5.86 MB)

Click here for PowerPoint slide show presented at the Nashville regional technical and public stakeholder meetings on September 4, 2007. (PDF 2.46 MB)

The Technical Memorandum for Task 4, Project Priorities – A Corridor Plan, presents the conclusions of this study and identifies the recommended strategies.  This final technical memorandum describes the benefit-cost (B/C) methodology that aided in the prioritization of multi-modal investments in order to develop a corridor plan of improvement solutions for I-40/I-81.  The corridor plan estimates expenditures for each recommended improvement solution by year between 2010 and 2029.

The strategies recommended in the final plan include:

  • Cost-effective widening of existing I-40 and I-81 along approximately 82 miles in various locations across the state.
  • Construction of improvements that provide an alternative to traveling I-40 and I-81, including
    • New crossing of Mississippi River in Memphis
    • North 2nd/ 3rd Street Connector, also in Memphis
    • Knoxville Parkway (SR-475) in Knoxville
  • Expanded Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Incident Management Programs (such as HELP), with more than 136 miles of additional coverage and new installations in five locations.
  • Operational solutions (interchange, ramp and bridge improvements) at 13 locations along I-40 and I-81 to address specific congestion or safety issues.
  • Truck climbing lanes at 15 locations to address congestion and safety issues associated with trucks traveling up steep grades on I-40 and I-81.

The Plan also identifies strategies and future activities to address freight and operational issues along the corridor.  These strategies and future activities include the following:

  • Assess the public benefits of Norfolk Southern Railroad’s proposed improvements to the Crescent Corridor within Tennessee as they are identified.
  • Inventory truck parking supply along I-40/I-81 to determine any imbalances in demand for overnight truck parking
  • Improve the management and enforcement of existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes located along I-40 in Nashville and Memphis.
  • Study the feasibility of specific active traffic management (ATM) strategies along I-40 and I-81.

See below to view the Task 4 Technical Memorandum: