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I-40 detour from Knoxville to Asheville


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I traveled I-40 to the I-81 interchange the last week in Feb. as I was nearing the I-81 interchange there were signs indicating a detour. I wasn't sure where so I tuned in to the travel advisory and it (Tune to 1630 for travel advisory) said that the stretch of I-40 (near Ashville) would be closed indefinitely. As I was only traveling I-40 to the I-81 interchange I didn't make particular note of the detour, but I think it was (east bound) I-40 to I-81 to I-26. Seems that Southbound on I-81 the detour was off I-81 prior to reaching I-40.

Since the detour has to include truck traffic I would think pulling a camper would be fine.

Bob

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Where are you trying to get to, West? It's out of the way but I-81 north from Knoxville to Johnson City will put you on I-181 and then onto US 23 South back to Asheville. I'd rather drag a camper across the mountain on that than on 25-70 which is a two lane.

Several years back I was coming back from Nashville and had purposely stayed off interstates till I got to the mountains, then I figured I-40 would be better and I could make some time. I got hung up in a bunch of wrecks and finally got off I-40 onto US70 at Old Fort. I was only running about 45 on that, but I was moving, which the Interstate wasn't.

That day, I gained a lot of respect for the folks who drove across the Smokies before I-40 existed.

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Guest Dr. Strangelove

West:

I would travel the detour or I-81 then connect with I-26 into AVL. Rock slides are becomming commonplace on I-40, so I have taken the detour a few times. If you go during a clear day, you will be able to see some spectacular vistas near the TN - NC line where there are pull-offs for photo ops. Also, you adding about an hour to your trip (vs. I-40). When I-40 is shut down, the same truckers that can't read the signs to not travel in the left lanes when I-40 is operational also do not heed the detour signs and end up on the 2 lanes. I've seen that too - thats why I now only use I-81. Have a safe trip!

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The truck detour is up I-81 to I-26, then I-26 to Asheville. I -26 is a top-notch highway just a few years old with little traffic and beautiful views. It's about 50 miles farther than the car detour but maybe not much longer time-wise. There are some long grades that will be hard on your tow vehicle. Watch your brakes on the way down. Same on I-40 east of Asheville.

Don

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