Tennessee Roads - US 11E

US 11E

Photos progress southward and are SB unless otherwise stated.

The city of Bristol is known for straddling the VA/TN line, but Bristol Motor Speedway is firmly in TN.

TN 390 begins here and follows former US 11E/19 through Bluff City.

In 2014, the intersection where US 19E split from US 11E/19 was being reconfigured into an interchange, moving the split ever so slightly farther south than usual for a spell.

As you see, US 19 minus US 19E equals US 19W and a very wide TN 36.

This northbound sign courtesy Lou Corsaro has to be recent, because why else would it have an I-26 shield on it? Okay, that's really replacing an I-181 shield, and since I-181 was a north-south route, the sign was perfect back then. Even though I-26 East actually travels slightly West as it moves steadily South, it still requires the additional directional banner. Then US 23 was moved here, further complicating this poor northbound sign. US 19W NB comes off of I-26 to join US 11E straight ahead for a bannered-route multiplex.

Okay, if this sign is the same age as the last one, why does it look even worse? Here's my best answer - this originally said I-181 NORTH Kingsport. The I-26 shield fit over the I-181 shield, and then the US 23 shield had to be patched onto the sign over "North." Since directions were thus completely obscured, they had to be supplied by the attached banners. I can't imagine what other answer/excuse there is.

One more time, this time without a US 23 shield. I'm almost out of guesses here, but let's try "they put I-26 over US 23 and there was never an I-181."

Old, narrow-shield goodness at Hillcrest Drive in Johnson City, the turnoff for Eastern Tennessee State University, courtesy Lou Corsaro.

On the other side of the gantry, the northbound side gets even better signs, again from Lou because they were gone when I got there. I have no way of telling how old the signs are, but the arrows have not been used in many years, and the type of gantry poles used were obsolete by the 1950's (and probably had different signs before these). Notice how different the numerals and letters are on the left sign versus the right sign - squint and you might be able to tell that all of those routes are a patch job. My guess is TN 91 had to be added to the sign at a more recent time. In the most recent times, however, US 23 was rerouted onto the freeway that is now also I-26 (and was for a long time I-181), and US 19W has also moved there. Really, it should just be US 11E to the left and "S.R. 91" to the right. But that would require replacing these beautiful signs. Which then happened, sadly.

Riding through Greeneville (slowly) to around Bulls Gap. You know it's a tourist trap when it starts getting painted on dilapidated barns dozens of miles away.

Another school, but not in session, in Russellville around TN 344.

Nice scenery and a slightly less decrepit barn around New Market.

US 11E ends here as it bears left to merge with US 11W and form plain US 11. The ramp to the right heads to US 11W NB, which I am doing.

South on mainline US 11
Over to US 11W

Into Virginia on US 11
Onto US 421
Onto US 23 (and I-26)
Onto TN 91
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