Interstate 24 or I -24 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The highway forms a diagonal route through the middle of the state and runs from Clarksville at the Kentucky border through Nashville to the city of Chattanooga in the south, where the interstate connects to Interstate 75 to Atlanta. Interstate 24 also runs several miles through Georgia, just before Chattanooga. Interstate 24 is 290 kilometers long in Tennessee.
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I-24 on the Monteagle Grade.
I-24 in Chattanooga.
Interstate 24 in Kentucky comes from Paducah and heads southeast through northern Tennessee. I-24 passes through the town of Clarksville, where it intersects US 79. Clarksville is a somewhat larger town around Fort Campbell, an important military base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. I-24 then travels 50 kilometers from Clarksville to Nashville. This route passes through mostly wooded areas and is also hilly closer to Nashville. I-24 has 2×2 lanes into Nashville.
I-24 then runs diagonally through Nashville and has short double numbers with Interstate 65 and Interstate 40. I-24 passes downtown Nashville and crosses the Cumberland River. I-24 ranges from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes through Nashville, with a few more lanes at interchanges. The section from the center to the southeast runs through a suburban area for a longer period of time and has 2×4 lanes. Interstate 840 is crossed at the large suburb of Murfreesboro. After Murfreesboro, I-24 narrows to 2×2 lanes.
The highway then continues for 150 kilometers through rural areas to Chattanooga. The most famous point of I-24 is on this stretch, the Monteagle Grade, a steep mountainside with a large lane fork. Here, I-24 descends a short distance of 300 meters into the Tennessee River valley. Not far after that one crosses Nickajack Lake, a reservoir in the Tennessee River. Shortly thereafter, I-24 briefly passes through the state of Georgia, connecting to Interstate 59 from Birmingham.
Next, I-24 passes through the Chattanooga metropolitan area. I-24 crosses the bank of the Tennessee River for a while near downtown Chattanooga, surrounded by steep ridges. The passage through the city of Chattanooga has 2×3 lanes and leads over Missionary Ridge, a distinctive ridge in the city. In eastern Chattanooga, I-24 ends at an interchange with Interstate 75, the highway from Atlanta to Knoxville.
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Before I-24 was built, US 41 was the through route. North of Nashville, US 41 originally continued away from its current route, then numbered US 41 Alternate.
Within the grid of Interstate Highways, I-24 is an east-west route that actually runs diagonally. It was designed as the primary link between the Midwestern and Southeastern United States, for example between Chicago and St. Louis towards Atlanta. Construction on I-24 began after the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956.
Not all opening dates of I-24 are known. The first parts opened in the 1960s in southern Tennessee, such as at Monteagle in 1962 and closer to Chattanooga in the late 1960s. The route between Nashville and Chattanooga was completed in 1971. The northern section between Clarksville and Nashville was not opened until later in the 1970s, between 1970 and 1978. Opening dates for I-24, which is double-numbered with I-65 in Nashville, are unknown.
Exit are sometimes also mileposts.
|Exit 124||Exit 133||14 km||00-07-1962|
|Exit 176||Exit 178||3 km||00-12-1965|
|Exit 166||Exit 173||12 km||00-12-1966|
|Exit 113||Exit 124||18 km||00-07-1967|
|Exit 150||Exit 160||16 km||00-12-1967|
|Exit 133||Exit 140||12 km||00-02-1968|
|Exit 160||Exit 166||10 km||00-11-1968|
|Exit 103||Exit 113||16 km||00-11-1969|
|Exit 62||Exit 69||12 km||00-02-1970|
|Exit 69||Exit 80||18 km||00-07-1970|
|Exit 80||Exit 95||24 km||00-12-1970|
|Exit 95||Exit 103||13 km||00-12-1971|
|Exit 4||Exit 11||12 km||00-06-1976|
|Exit 11||Exit 24||21 km||00-10-1976|
|Exit 24||Exit 44 (I-65)||32 km||00-01-1978|
Around 1999-2000, I-24 southeast of Nashville to SR-840 was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes. In 2006-2008, I-24 between State Route 840 and Murfreesboro was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes. Unwilling to expand this further despite the very strong population growth, Nashville became one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeastern United States in the 21st century, with a significant part of that growth around Murfreesboro. Rutherford County grew from 118,000 in 1990 to 341,000 in 2020. Between 2005 and 2020, traffic on this section of I-24 increased by 60 percent. In combination with the parallel US 41, a form of traffic signaling and dynamic traffic management was applied in the period 2021-2023, this is known as the ‘I-24 SMART Corridor’.
Between 2019 and 2021, the terminus of I-24 in Chattanooga was modified, the interchange with I-75 was reconstructed for $132.6 million.
I-24 south of Nashville.
Every day, 38,000 vehicles pass through the Kentucky border, peaking at 56,000 vehicles passing through Clarksville. This then dips to 47,000 vehicles, before rising again to 62,000 vehicles in northern Nashville. The dual-numbering I-65 in north Nashville has a maximum of 169,000 vehicles per day, with 111,000 vehicles traveling south of the I-65 fork, then rising again to 155,000 vehicles on the Cumberland River bridge near downtown. from Nashville. The dual-numbering I-40 in eastern Nashville has a maximum of 189,000 vehicles per day, which is I-24’s busiest point.
From Nashville to the southeast, the intensities drop slowly initially from 160,000 to 145,000 vehicles at Smyrna and 112,000 vehicles at the interchange with I-840. This then rises again to 122,000 vehicles between I-840 and Murfreesboro, then drops to 42,000 vehicles south of Murfreesboro. Around Monteagle there are 36,000 vehicles per day, rising to 55,000 on the bridge over Nickajack Lake. After I-59 in Georgia, this rises to 65,000 vehicles per day and 106,000 to 126,000 vehicles drive daily through Chattanooga, all the way to I-75.
I-24/65 in northern Nashville.
|Exit 0||Exit 43||2×2|
|Exit 43||Exit 44||2×3||Nashville|
|Exit 44||Exit 46||2×4||double numbering with I-65|
|Exit 46||Exit 49||2×3||Nashville|
|Exit 49||Exit 81||2×4||Nashville / Murfreesboro|
|Exit 81||Exit 161||2×2|
|Exit 174||Exit 178||2×2|
|Exit 178||Exit 180||2×4||Chattanooga|
|Exit 180||Exit 185||2×3||Chattanooga|