Interstate 26 Eastbound Tennessee

U.S. 23 South
Crossing State Line Road, U.S. 23 leaves the Commonwealth of Virginia and enters the state of Tennessee. Photo taken 05/31/07.
Shortly thereafter, the left two lanes transition onto Tennessee Secondary 36, while the right lane continues south on U.S. 23 south to Kingsport and Johnson City. Note the use of the TO banner for Interstate 26 east, which begins at the U.S. 11W interchange. Photo taken 05/31/07.
At the top of the ramp, U.S. 23 widens to two southbound lanes. Photo taken 05/31/07.
A U.S. 23 south reassurance shield is posted on the nascent freeway after the two ramps merge together. Photo taken 05/31/07.
The next two exits serve the city of Kingsport, which is located mostly within Sullivan County and is part of the Tri-Cities, which also includes Johnson City and Bristol. The population of Kingsport was 44,905 as of the 2000 Census. The next two exits are Exit 1, U.S. 11W and Exit 4, Wilcox Drive. Photo taken 05/31/07.
A Tennessee welcome sign is posted on southbound U.S. 23 shortly thereafter. Photo taken 05/31/07.
The next exit is Exit 1, U.S. 11W/West Stone Drive, one mile. Photo taken 05/31/07.
Southbound U.S. 23 reaches Exit 1, U.S. 11W/West Stone Drive. The parclo interchange of Exit 1 (Old Exit 55) represents the western terminus of Interstate 26 (historic north end of Interstate 181). Here U.S. 11W (West Stone Drive) travels east-west underneath the four lane freeway. West Stone Drive links the freeway with Church Hill (pop. 5,916) and the Holston Army Ammunition Plant and northern reaches of the downtown area. Interstate 26 begins at this interchange. Photo taken 05/31/07.
Upon exiting U.S. 23 south, this set of trailblazer U.S. 11W shields is posted on the offramp. Photo taken 05/31/07.
Interstate 26 East and U.S. 23 South
Skipping ahead, we are now leaving Interstate 81 on Interstate 26 east and U.S. 23 south near Fordtown and Kingsport. What was the first reassurance shield now lies nine miles south of the north end at U.S. 11W. The final Interstate 26 shield is posted within the city of Charleston, South Carolina 338 miles to the south. Photo taken 07/18/04.
The Exit 10 (Old Exit 45) diamond interchange occurs at the Washington and Sullivan County line. Intersecting Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 here is Eastern Star Road. Bob Jobe Road and Mitchell Road tie into Eastern Star Road just east of the freeway. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Tennessee 75 (Suncrest Drive) interchanges with Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 at Exit 13 (Old Exit 42). Suncrest Drive travels miles 1.8 miles between Gray Station Road and the intersection with Bobby Hicks Highway and Old Gray Station Road at the community of Gray. Photo taken 07/18/04.
A loop ramp departs Interstate 26 east & U.S. 23 south for Tennessee 75 (Suncrest Drive) and Gray. Tennessee 75 ends at U.S. 11E & 321 near the Green County line to the southwest and at Tennessee 126 at Blountville to the northeast. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Tennessee 354 bypass Johnson City between U.S. 11E & 321 and Tennessee 36 (N. Roan Street). Boones Creek Road carries the state route underneath Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 at Exit 17 (Old Exit 38). Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 26 east & U.S. 23 south at the Exit 17 off-ramp to Tennessee 354 (Boones Creek Road). Boones Creek Road migrates 6.3 miles south to its end at U.S. 11E & 321 at the town of Jonesborough. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Five interchanges serve Johnson City along Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 within the actual corporate limits of the municipality. The first of these involves a SPUI (Single Point Urban Interchange) with Tennessee 381 (State of Franklin Road). State of Franklin Road constitutes a four-lane divided highway between Sunset Drive and junction Interstate 26 & U.S. 23. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Four lanes of Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 pass over Tennessee 381 (State of Franklin Road) at Exit 19 (Old Exit 36). Tennessee 381 ends at U.S. 11E & 19W (Bristol Highway) 1.4 miles to the east. U.S. 19E & 11W continue from there 13 miles to the city of Bristol. Use Exit 19 also for the Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo taken 07/18/04.
0.75 miles south of the Tennessee 381 interchange is Exit 20 (Old Exit 35) for U.S. 11E & 19W north (Roan Street). U.S. 11E & 19W merge from Interstate 26 northward to the city of Bristol. U.S. 19W southbound joins Interstate 26 east & U.S. 23 south to Erwin. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Browns Mill Road passes underneath Interstate 26 & U.S. 23 just ahead of the three-quarter cloverleaf interchange with Roan Street. U.S. 11 continues along Roan Street south to John Exum Parkway and Market Street for a 3.3-mile drive to its merge with U.S. 321 at Tennessee 381 (State of Franklin Road). Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 26 east & U.S. 19W-23 southbound reassurance shields posted after their merge at Roan Street. U.S. 19W overlaps with the freeway for 20 miles. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Exit 22 (Old Exit 33) for Tennessee 400 (Watauga Avenue) serves downtown Johnson City. A split-diamond interchange joins the freeway with Unaka and Watauga Avenues. Exit 33 ramps join Elm and Oak Streets alongside Interstate 26 & U.S. 19W-23. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 26 east & U.S. 19W-23 southbound at the Exit 23 (Old Exit 32) off-ramp for Tennessee State 91 (Main Street) and Market Street. Tennessee State 91 stems eastward from U.S. 11 (John Exum Parkway) on Main Street through downtown Johnson City to Exit 23. From there the secondary route follows the original U.S. 321 alignment of the Elizabethton Highway through the suburb of Central. Photo taken 07/18/04.
U.S. 321 & Tennessee 67 (University Parkway) junction with Interstate 26 & U.S. 19W-23 at the Exit 24 (Old Exit 31) interchange. The tandem follow a freeway 4.5 miles east to the merge with Tennessee 91 (Elk Avenue) at Riovista. U.S. 321 & Tennessee 67 arrive in Elizabethton three miles east of there. Photo taken 07/18/04.
A parclo interchange joins Interstate 26 & U.S. 19W-23 with U.S. 321 & Tennessee 67 (University Parkway). The exit represents the former southern terminus of Interstate 181. University Parkway loops two miles west to the East Tennessee State University campus its end at State of Franklin Road. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 26 east & U.S. 19W-23 southbound depart Johnson City and Washington County for Carter Country and the Cherokee National Forest between U.S. 321 & Tennessee 67 and Tennessee 359 (Okolona Road). Roan Street (former U.S. 19W & 23) passes underneath the freeway one mile ahead of the Exit 27 (Old Exit 28) diamond interchange. State Secondary 359 turns north onto Roan Street briefly before turning northeast to Milligan College. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 26 eastbound remains within the Cherokee National Forest for the rest of Tennessee to Sams Gap and the North Carolina state line. Exit 27 represents the last Johnson City area interchange with Okolona Road. Okolona Road comprises a short spur between Roan Street and Bill Garland Road otherwise. Photo taken 07/18/04.

Page Updated November 17, 2007.

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