Nashville, Tennessee

According to jibin123, Nashville is the capital and largest city of the state of Tennessee in the United States. The city has 679,000 inhabitants with an agglomeration of 2,012,000 inhabitants (2021).


Nashville is centrally located in the state of Tennessee, on the Cumberland River. It is the main hub of the state. The city is located 310 miles northeast of Memphis, 295 miles north of Birmingham, 260 miles west of Knoxville, and 400 miles south of Indianapolis. Nashville is located in a flat area surrounded by hilly areas, particularly north and west of the city. The city is known as a music city and as the capital of country music in particular. It is the second most important music city in the United States after New York.

The metropolitan area consists of a city-county, which means that Nashville has annexed its surrounding suburbs, especially since 1970 when the population grew by 162%. Since then, the population has steadily increased. Further north are cities where the population is mainly declining, but that is not the case in Nashville. The region is one of the fastest growing in the Appalachian Mountains, growing faster than many nearby metropolitan areas in surrounding states, with the exception of Atlanta. Originally, Memphis was bigger than Nashville, but since 2013, Nashville is bigger and growing faster too. In 2021, the Nashville metropolitan area grew through the 2 million population barrier.

Road network

The highway network of the Nashville region.

The Nashville skyline from I-24/65.

Nashville is an important interchange and one of the few places from which a major route of an Interstate Highway radiates in 6 directions. I-24 comes from the northwest, from western Kentucky and heads toward Chattanooga in the southeast. I-40 comes from the west, out of Memphis, and runs to Knoxville in the east. I-65 comes from Alabama from the south and heads toward Louisville. In addition, I-440 forms a southern bypass. A second ring is the SR-155 which is a highway on the northern half. Interstate 840 forms the large ring road that runs far outside the city. Currently, only the southern half of it is open. The total ring would be 287 kilometers long, the longest in the world. The Ellington Parkway forms a parallel highway for I-65. SR-386 opens up the northeastern suburbs. There are no toll roads or toll lanes in the Nashville area.


Construction of the highway network in the Nashville area began with the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956. In 1963, the metropolitan area’s first freeway opened, a stretch of I-40 east of downtown. During the 1960s, I-40 and I-65 were completed between Nashville and other cities. An exception, however, was the construction of the freeways around downtown, only opening I-40 and I-65 along downtown in the early 1970s, with I-65 originally running along the west side of downtown. Interstate 24 opened in the 1970s, the last part in 1978 in northern Nashville. It wasn’t until 1985 that I-24 (current I-65) opened along the east side of downtown. I-440 along the south side opened in two phases in 1986 and 1987. At that time, the eastern part of the Briley Parkway was also opened to form Nashville’s northern beltway. The reason highway construction started relatively late was that in the 1960s, Nashville was still a relatively insignificant city, coincidentally located at a junction of Interstates. It was only from the 1970s and 1980s that the urban area really started to grow, and new highways were needed. The western portion of the Briley Parkway opened about 1994, the last freeway opening in Nashville.

Beginning in 1995, Interstate 840, the major southern beltway located quite far outside of Nashville, was opened. The highway was built quite slowly in phases, and the entire southern ring road was not completed until the end of 2012. The highway was numbered as State Route 840 until 2016. A northern ring road may also be built at a later date, in which case the ring would be about 290 kilometers long, one of the longest ring roads in the world. In recent years, a number of highways have been widened, most notably Interstate 65, both south and north of downtown. The eastern part of the Briley Parkway has also been widened. In most cases, 2 lanes in each direction were immediately added to accommodate the population growth in the region.

One of the problems in the region is that all through traffic goes directly through downtown Nashville. A lot of through freight traffic converges in this area, especially on I-40 and I-65, but also on I-24. I-440 barely extends out of downtown and still passes through densely populated areas. However, the newer State Route 840 is again far too far to relieve the city of I-40, but this route is interesting for traffic from Memphis to Chattanooga.


Nashville is doing a lot to improve the road network and adapt to population growth. Despite this, traffic jams can occur, especially around the city center. Because there are quite a few routes, there are fall-back options available in case of incidents.

Nashville, Tennessee