Interstate 81 Tennessee - Northbound

Interstate 81 North
Interstate 81 northbound reassurance marker posted after the Exit 50 parclo interchange with Tennessee 93 at Fall Branch. The four-lane freeway travels six miles northeast to Sullivan County and the Tri-Cities Crossing from here. Photo taken 07/18/04.
The Tri-Cities Crossing exit of Interstate 81 northbound (Exit 56) links the freeway with adjacent Fordtown and Kendrick Creek Roads south of Kingsport. Use Kendrick Creek Road east for Summersville and Fordtown Road for Fordtown. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 81 northbound expands to three lanes with the addition of an auxiliary lane from Exit 56 to Exit 57A (Interstate 26 east & U.S. 23 south). The forthcoming cloverleaf interchange joins Interstate 81 with Interstate 26 west & U.S. 23 north to Kingsport and south to Johnson City. Interstate 26 saw extension from Asheville northward to the Tri-Cities upon completion of a freeway segment between Sams Gap and Mars Hill, North Carolina on August 5, 2003. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Exit 57A departs Interstate 81 north for Interstate 26 east for the freeway south to Johnson city. U.S. 23 overlaps with Interstate 26 throughout its entirety in the Volunteer State. Asheville, North Carolina lies 70 miles to the south. Northward, Interstate 26 overtook Interstate 181 in August 2005 after AASHTO approved the renumbering to Kingsport. Photo taken 07/18/04.
Interstate 81 enters the Colonial Heights vicinity south of Kingsport on the approach to Tennessee 36 (Fort Henry Drive). State Secondary 36 entails the historic routing of U.S. 23 between Johnson City and Kingsport. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Northbound at the Exit 59 off-ramp to Tennessee 36 (Fort Henry Drive). Fort Henry Drive constitutes a north-south arterial between the freeway, Colonial Heights, and Kingsport. Southward, State Secondary 36 continues to Spurgeon and Oak Grove in Washington County along Kingsport Highway. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Continuing northeast, Interstate 81 enters Warriors Path State Park along side King Ridge to the south. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Spanning the Holston River along Interstate 81 northbound. Holston River feeds Boone Lake to the southeast. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Next in line for northbound drivers is the Exit 63 diamond interchange with Tennessee 357, a north-south road linking Interstate 81 with Tri-Cities Regional Airport and Northeast State Technical Community College. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Tennessee 357 (Airport Parkway) travels 2.5 miles overall as along an expressway between Interstate 81 (Exit 63) and the terminal to Tri-Cities Regional Airport at junction Tennessee 75 (Bristol Highway). Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 81 stays north of Centenary Ridge on the approach to junction Tennessee 126 (Exit 66). Tennessee 126 (Memorial Boulevard) heads east from downtown Kingsport to Indian Springs and Interstate 81 at Gunnings. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Exit 66 leaves Interstate 81 north at the Shadowtown Road under crossing for Tennessee 126 (Memorial Boulevard). Memorial Boulevard ends 3.1 miles at junction Tennessee 75 (Bristol Highway) outside of Blountville. State Secondary 126 continues on a parallel alignment to Interstate 81 northeast to Maple Hill, Walnut Hill, and Bristol. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Bristol and Roanoke mileage sign posted after the Interstate 81 on-ramp from Exit 66. Tennessee 394 travels north from Blountville to the Exit 69 diamond interchange with the freeway ahead. Tennessee 394 heads north to U.S. 11W and south to U.S. 11E & 19 near Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11W continues east from Kingsport and junction Tennessee 394 to cross paths with Interstate 81 at Exit 74 in west Bristol. The U.S. highway follows State Street 1.4 miles east Exit 74A to the Virginia state line. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 81 widens to six lanes from the Exit 74 three-quarter cloverleaf interchange northward into Virginia. Interstate 81 stays north of Bristol while U.S. 11W and U.S. 11 travel into downtown from the bypassing freeway. U.S. 11W merges with U.S. 11E in downtown Bristol, Virginia. Exit 74A serves interests to King College in Bristol, Tennessee. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Beyond the Exit 74A/B interchange with U.S. 11W, Interstate 81 approaches the Virginia state line and Virginia Welcome Center. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Exit 74B loops onto U.S. 11W south (west) back to Kingsport. U.S. 11W constitutes a four-lane divided highway 15 miles between Bristol and Kingsport. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 81 northbound sees its final Tennessee reassurance shield beyond the Exit 74 directional cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 11W (Lee Highway). Ahead is the city of Bristol (pop. 17,367) and Washington County, Virginia. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 81 and U.S. 11W briefly parallel one another through to the state line area. The Virginia Welcome Center resides just north of the border and northbound on-ramp from U.S. 11W south. Photo taken 07/16/05.

Page Updated November 18, 2007.

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