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Transportation of Tennessee

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The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT ) is responsible to provide the best transportation system to the citizens of Tennessee. TDOT is a multimodal agency with responsibilities in aviation, railroads, transit, waterways and bicycle and pedestrians. The involvement of TDOT ranges from airport improvements to funding transit buses to planning for river ports. The mission of the department is to plan, maintain, implement and manage an integrated transportation system for the movement of people and products.

Contact Details
Tennessee Department of Transportation
James K. Polk Building, Suite 700
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0349
Phone: 615.741.2848
Fax: 615.741.2508
Email: TDOT.Comments@tn.gov
Website: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/

Transportation Milestones in Tennessee

  • Walton Road was the first road built by the state in 1799 [1].
  • The federal government first recognized that roads were of national significance in 1916.
  • The Division of Aeronautics was created as part of the Department of Highways and Public Works in 1929.
  • In 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law the creation of the US Interstate System.

Tennessee Road Transportation

The TDOT is responsible to provide safe and reliable road transportation system in Tennessee. The involvement of TDOT ranges from maintenance to funding to planning to executing roadways plan in the state. Road transportation in Tennessee comprises of highways, transit buses, and bicycle and pedestrian system.

Highways in Tennessee

Highways serve as one of the significant modes of transportation in Tennessee. Since 1998 a national trade magazine has voted Tennessee as having one of the top five highway systems in the country. The TDOT administers and maintains highways in the state. It provides funds for highway beautification. Highway beautification programs like Stop Litter, Adopt-A-Highway, and Roadscapes programs are administered by the department.

Highway System of Tennessee [2]
  • Bridges: 19,740 (8,291 state owned bridges and 11,449 locally owned bridges)
  • Interstate miles: 1,104
  • State maintained highway miles: 13,884
  • Total highway miles: 95,523
  • 18 interstate rest areas
  • 14 interstate welcome centers
  • 10 truck weigh stations

Highway Programs in Tennessee

The Adopt-A-Highway, Scenic Highways, and Gateways to Tennessee programs feature opportunities for citizens to participate in the preservation of scenic vistas, landscapes, building and roadside of the state.

The Scenic Highways/Tennessee Parkways/National Scenic Byways Program showcases the splendid historical, recreational, archeological, cultural, natural and scenic resources along the public highways of Tennessee.

Contact Details
James K. Polk Building, Suite 400
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0333
Phone 615.741.0803
Fax 615.532.5995

The Adopt-A-Highway Program of Tennessee provides the people the opportunity to take an active role in preserving and protecting the natural beauty of the state.

Contact Details

Adopt-A-Highway Program
James K. Polk Building, Suite 400
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0333
Phone: 615.741.0803

Public Transit in Tennessee

Tennessee offers many options for convenient and economical public transportation. From city buses to neighborhood Transitshuttles, people have the finest options of travel in Tennessee. Information can be received about public transit options, including fixed-route bus service, access ride services, express buses, shuttles and much more by clicking on the links below.


Nashville MTA

Clarksville Transit System

Franklin Transit Authority

Bicycle/Pedestrian System of Tennessee

Sidewalks, bike ways and paths play an important role in providing transportation choices for people across Tennessee. Tennessee with its urban neighborhoods, quiet rural roads for bicycle touring and recreational riding and historic trails and green ways provides one of the best opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian transport.

Contact Details
Jessica Wilson
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
Phone: (615) 741-5025
Email: Jessica.L.Wilson@tn.gov

Bicycle/Pedestrian System of Tennessee

  • 4,500 highway miles with 4-foot shoulders to accommodate bicycles
  • 103 miles of state routes with designated bike lanes
  • 270 miles of green ways, sidewalks and trails
  • 172 miles of designated U.S. Bicycle Routes

Rest areas and welcome centers

The Department of Transportation maintains 18 rest areas and 14 welcome centers across the state which provides comfort stop for weary motorists and tourist information.

Rest Areas

Tennessee Department of Transportation
Phone: 615.741.2027

Welcome Centers

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Phone: 615.741.9035

Tennessee 511

Under Tennessee 511 travelers can get information about road and travel conditions.511
Log on to www.TN511.com or dial 511 for more information.

TDOT SmartWay

TNSmartWay provides information for motorists on highway incidents, traffic information, including cameras and massage board and construction activities.

For more information click here

Rail Transportation in Tennessee


The TDOT looks after the development of rail transportation in the state. The department supports improvements in railroads and rail service in Tennessee. Railways are an important mode of interstate and intercity connectivity as well as for freight movements.

Rail System of Tennessee

  • 18 short line railroads on 842 miles of rail
  • 6 major rail lines on 2,177 miles of rail
  • 20 short line railroads operating on 836 miles of rail

Short Line Railroad Service in Tennessee

Given below are the short line railroads providing service in Tennessee.

Caney Fork and Western Railroad
PO Box 451
132 Bridge Street
McMinnville, TN 37110
Phone: 931-473-4910
Fax: 931-473-7717

Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway Company
413 West Villanow Street
Lafayette, GA 30728-1842
Phone: 706-638-9552
Fax: 706-638-9553
Email: hholiman@alltel.net

R. J. Corman Railroad Company
145 East 1st Street
PO Box 337
Guthrie, KY 42234
Phone: 270-483-9000
Fax: 270-483-9009

East Chattanooga Belt Railway
c/o TVRM 4119 Cromwell Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone: 423-894-8028
Fax: 423-894-8029

East Tennessee Railway, LP
PO Box 1479
132 Legion Street
Johnson City, TN 37605-1479
Phone: 423-928-3721
Fax: 423-928-8854

Franklin Industrial Minerals
10583 Highway 70 East
Crab Orchard, TN 37223

Heritage Railroad Corporation
107 Lea Way/PO Box 2110
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Phone: 865-482-9890
Fax: 865-482-9891

Knoxville and Holston River Railroad
301 West Quincey, Bldg. 28
Knoxville, TN 37917
Phone: 865-521-9324
Fax: 865-522-9437

KWT Railway, Inc.
908 Depot Street
Paris, TN 38242
Phone: 731-642-7942
Fax: 731-642-8767

Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corporation
514 Knoxville Avenue
Lebanon, TN 37087
Phone: 615-444-1434/1567
Fax: 615-444-4682

Sequatchie Valley Railroad
109 Second Street
South Pittsburg, TN 37382
Phone: 931-695-5066
Fax: 931-695-5078

South Central Tennessee Railroad Company, LLC
P.O. Box 259
340 South Central Road
Centerville, TN 37033
Phone: 931-729-4227
Fax: 931-729-9010

Tennessee Southern Railroad
P.O. Box 32/100 Railroad Street
Mt Pleasant, TN 38474
Phone: 931-379-5824

West Tennessee Railroad Company
1061 James Buchanan Drive
Jackson, TN 38301
Phone: 731-423-4304
Fax: 731-422-6497

Tennessee Air Transportation


The Aeronautics division of TDOT maintains the aviation system of the state. It is responsible for engineering services, aviation planning studies and improvement of airport. It looks after operational safety and efficiency of the state aviation facilities system. The division works to license public airports, monitor compliance with federal grants and provide flight services for state government branches. The TDOT administers funding and assistance in design, construction, location and maintenance of the public airports in the state. The division licenses 142 heliports and 74 public/general aviation airports.

Contact Details
607 Hangar Lane, Building 4219
Nashville, TN 37217
Phone: 615.741.3208
Fax: 615.741.4959

Airport System of Tennessee[3]

  • 74 General Aviation
  • 5 commercial
  • 142 heliports
  • 73 public-use and commercial airports

Listed below are the major airports located in Tennessee:

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

Tri-Cities Regional Airport is a full-service commercial airport located three miles off Interstate 81 - Exit 63. The airport serves several counties in northeastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, Southwestern Virginia, and southeastern Kentucky. Airlines serving the airport include Allegiant, Delta and US Airways Express.

Contact Details
Tri-Cities Regional Airport
2525 Highway 75
Suite 301
Blountville, TN 37617
Phone: (423) 325-6000
Fax: (423) 325-6060
E-mail: comments@triflight.com
Website: http://www.triflight.com/

Chattanooga Airport

Also known as Lovell Field, Chattanooga Airport is a public airport about a ten mile drive west of downtown Chattanooga in Tennessee. Airlines providing service to the airport include US Airways Express, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines and Allegiant Air.

Contact details
Chattanooga Airport
001 Airport Road, Suite 14
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421
Phone: (423) 855-2202
Fax: (423) 855-2212
Airport Pass & ID: (423) 855-2265
Food Court: (423) 855-2263
Parking: (423) 899-4849
Website: http://www.chattairport.com/www/docs/7/Airport-Info

McGhee Tyson Airport

McGhee Tyson Airport is a public and military airport serving the state of Tennessee. The airport is located approximately 12 miles south of Knoxville in Alcoa, Tennessee. Airlines serving the airport include:

Reservation Number: 1-702-505-8888

American Airlines
Reservation Number: 1-800-433-7300

Reservation Number: 1-800-221-1212

Reservation Number: 1-800-432-1359

Reservation Number: 1-800-525-0208

US Airways
Reservation Number: 1-800-428-4322

Contact details
McGhee Tyson Airport
P.O. Box 15600
Knoxville, TN 37901
Phone: (865) 342-3000
Email: info@tys.org
Website: http://www.flyknoxville.com/

Memphis International Airport

Governed by the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, the Memphis International Airport is located nine miles from Downtown Memphis in Southeast Memphis. Airlines serving the airport include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

Contact details
Memphis International Airport
2491 Winchester Road Suite 113 Memphis, TN 38116-3856
Phone: (901) 922-8000
Website: http://www.mscaa.com/

Nashville International Airport

Nashville International Airport is a public and military use airport in Tennessee. The airport is located approximately nine miles from Downtown Nashville in Southeast Nashville. Airlines serving the airport include American, Southwest, Seaport, Delta and US Airways.

Contact Details
Nashville International Airport
One Terminal Drive Suite 501
Nashville, TN 37214
Phone: (615) 275-1675
Website: http://www.flynashville.com/Pages/default.aspx

Tennessee Water Transportation

The Department of Transport is responsible for water transport in the state. The department looks after all the water transport related activities in the state. Tennessee has more than 1,062 navigable waterway miles. Tennessee waterways connect terminals on the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries with river ports in 21 states and ocean ports.

Ferry Services

ferry servicesThe State of Tennessee is responsible for the operation of two ferries. These ferries are operated by River Marine Service, Inc.

The Benton-Houston ferry extends through the Tennessee River between Houston and Benton Counties. The ferry lies around 2.35 miles in the western side of McKinnon in Houston County on SR-147.

The Cumberland City Ferry serves through the Cumberland River and is located in Cumberland City in Stewart County.

Hours of operation

Monday, Thursday and Friday– 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday- 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Contact Details
James K. Polk Bulding, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615.741.2027
Fax: 615.532.5995

Listed below are the important ports in Tennessee:

Tellico Public Use Terminal

Facilities of the port include dock, mobile crane, mooring cells and outdoor storage area.

Contact Details

Tellico Public Use Terminal
Phone: (423) 884-6429
Email: trda@tds.net
Website: www.tellico.com

Port of Nickajack

Facilities of the port include dock, crane, mooring cells, knuckleboom loader and front-end loader.

Contact Details
Port of Nickajack
Phone: (423) 837-1050
Email: ganderson@parkertowing.com
Website: www.parkertowing.com

Hardin County Port Authority

Facilities of the port include wharf, storage area and mooring dolphins.

Contact Details
Hardin County Port Authority
Phone: (731) 925-8181
Email: "sbunnell@tourhardincounty.org
Website: www.tourhardincounty.org

Hailey’s Harbor River Transportation Terminal

Facilities of the port include 50,000-square-foot warehouse, 50-acres open storage, 150-ton capacity cranes and 6-yard bucket.

Contact Details
Hailey’s Harbor River Transportation Terminal
Phone: (615) 242-8435
Email: info@haileysharbor.com
Website: www.haileysharbor.com

Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority

Facilities of the port include 420-foot main dock, 1,000-foot mooring cells, 200-ton capacity mobile cranes, 80,000 lbs capacity forklifts, railroad track mobile, storage for 14 barges, humidity-controlled warehouse and truck scales.

Contact Details
Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority
Phone: (662) 423-6088
Fax: (662) 423-2720
Email: eugeneycp@crossroadsisp.com

Port of Itawamba

Facilities of the port include 260-foot by 1100-foot barge fleeting area, 1200-foot mooring and handling space with no more than 4-inch water fluctuation, paved outdoor storage, humidity-controlled warehouse, 60-ton capacity crane roll on/roll off loading and conveyor.

Contact Details
Port of Itawamba
P. O. Box 577, Fulton, MS 38843
Phone: (800) 371-8642
Fax: (662) 862-5637
Website: www.portitawamba.com

  1. Tennessee Transportation Milestone
  2. Tennessee Highway System
  3. Tennessee Airport System
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