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Interstate 81 (I-81) is an 855-mile (1,376 km) long expressway stretching from Dandridge, Tennessee northward to the Thousand Islands Bridge at the Canada–US border near Fishers Landing, New York. In Tennessee, I-81 travels 75.66 miles (121.76 km) from its southern terminus at I-40 in Dandridge to the Virginia state line in Bristol.

Interstate 81 marker

Interstate 81
I-81 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length75.66 mi[1] (121.76 km)
Major junctions
South end I-40 near Dandridge
North end I-81 at Bristol
CountiesJefferson, Hamblen, Greene, Washington, Sullivan
Highway system
SR 80SR 81

Route descriptionEdit

I-81 northbound at the SR 394 exit in Blountville

Interstate 81 begins in Tennessee at Interstate 40 in Dandridge. I-81 parallels the Appalachian Mountains for most of Tennessee and Virginia. At mile marker 8, I-81 meets U.S. Route 25E south of Morristown. I-81 doesn't go through either Johnson City or Kingsport; but at mile marker 57, I-81 meets Interstate 26 and U.S. Route 23 which go to Kingsport and Johnson City. At mile marker 75, I-81 leaves Tennessee and enters Virginia.


Construction on I-81 in Tennessee began in the 1960s.[2] The contracts for most sections of the route were awarded in 1969 and 1970.[3] On December 20, 1974, the entirety of the route was opened to traffic, with the opening of a section between US 25E near Morristown and SR 172 near Baileyton, and most was completed.[4][5] The final section in Tennessee was completed in August 1975.[6]

Exit listEdit

JeffersonDandridge0.000.001  I-40 – Asheville, KnoxvilleSouthern terminus; I-40 exit 421; signed as left exit 1A (east) & 1B (west).
White Pine4.47.14  SR 341 (White Pine Road) – White Pine
HamblenMorristown8.613.88  US 25E – White Pine, Morristown
12.420.012  SR 160 – Lowland, Morristown
15.324.615  SR 340 (Fish Hatchery Road)
GreeneMosheim23.137.223  US 11E – Mosheim, Greeneville, Bulls GapAccess to Tusculum College
30.248.630   SR 70 to SR 66 – Rogersville, Greeneville
Baileyton36.258.336  SR 172 (Baileyton Road) – Baileyton, Greeneville
Jearoldstown43.970.744Jearoldstown Road
WashingtonFall Branch50.581.350   SR 93 to SR 81 – Fall Branch, Jonesborough
SullivanKingsport56.190.356Tri-Cities Crossing
57.792.957   I-26 / US 23 – Johnson City, KingsportSigned as Exits 57A (east) & 57B (west), I-26 exits 8A-B; former I-181 south
59.495.659  SR 36 (Fort Henry Drive) – Johnson City, Kingsport, Colonial Heights
63.5102.263    SR 357 south (Airport Parkway) to SR 75 – Tri-Cities Regional AirportAlso access to Northeast State Community College
66.1106.466  SR 126 (Memorial Boulevard) – Blountville, Kingsport
Blountville69.6112.069  SR 394 – Blountville, BristolAccess to Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol74.8120.474  US 11W (West State Street) – Kingsport, BristolSigned as Exits 74A (north) & 74B (south)
75.66121.76  I-81 north – RoanokeVirginia state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routesEdit

I-181 in Johnson City and Kingsport is a former spur route that was renumbered as I-26 by March 2007.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Table 1: Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Where Do We Stand On The Interstate?". Kingsport Times-News. May 2, 1965 – via[page needed]
  3. ^ "81 Moving Along:Chamber". Kingsport Times-News. May 2, 1965. Retrieved June 18, 2018 – via[page needed]
  4. ^ "East Tennessee's Christmas Present". Kingsport Times-News. December 10, 1974. Retrieved June 18, 2018 – via[page needed]
  5. ^ "Dunn Opens 96 Interstate Miles". The Tennessean. Nashville. December 21, 1974. Retrieved April 18, 2018 – via[page needed]
  6. ^ "Interstate 81 Four-Lane Opens". Kingsport Times-News. August 28, 1975.[page needed]

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

  Interstate 81
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