Alternate Route Around Nashville (Best Time To Avoid Traffic)

It is all about traffic. Nashville is not as large as say Chicago or Detroit, thus traffic issues may not be as severe in this city as it is in those examples. However, if you are on a schedule finding a good alternative route to bypass the traffic is a good idea.

The consensus of some owners talking about this topic is to keep using the I-40 as the traffic is not that bad in Nashville. But if you do not want to chance it, there is always the I-840 and the I-440. The former should add a lot of miles to your journey.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about before you reach Nashville. Finding an alternative route is always a good idea when you are reaching any city during peak driving times.

An Alternate Route Around Nashville


While we mentioned the I-840 we looked at a map and did not see it listed in the area of Nashville. It may be there. However, we found a good bypass route and it is state highway 155.

On the north and east side of the city, this state highway loops around Nashville connecting the I-40 with I-65 and I-24. Then it circles back to the west side of Nashville and picks up the I-40 once again.

This highway is not a complete loop as there is a broken section in the west and the south of the city which is a very small road that will follow the I-440. The I440 will connect with the southern parts of the I-65 and the I-24

It will also connect you with state highway 6 as will the 155 route. The northern 155 loop is also called the Briley Parkway which s one of the scenic drives recommended on another list.

Briley Parkway will also take you to the Nashville International Airport and connects with state highway 1 in that location.

Best Route Around Nashville TN (Fastest)

Some owners say that even with traffic, the fastest route around Nashville will be the I-40. It saves time as you are driving a basic straight line through the city and out the other side. All alternative routes will take you miles out of your way and add maybe an hour or so to your driving time.

If you need to connect to some other Interstate, then either the Briley Parkway or the I-440 would be your best bets. The Briley Parkway, although a lot longer, will help you connect with other state highways if you like to drive the scenic routes to your destination.

That would be if you are going north at any time around this city. The southern routes are not as good as the northern ones. Your route would be the I-40 until you get to the I-440 connection.

This is for when you are going east. Coming from the east you would have to take the I-40 to the I-24 to the I-440 to get around this city. It may save you a little time but not much.

Best Time To Avoid Nashville Traffic


Under ideal conditions, the times to avoid Nashville traffic would be to drive during non-rush hour time periods. Those time periods are 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm.

However, there may be higher than usual traffic during the time between rush hour time slots. From 9 am to 4 pm, there may be slightly more traffic on the road than there would be between 6 pm to 7 am.

We say ideal conditions because that would be when there were no accidents, no road construction, or other road issues taking place. When there is an accident or road construction, etc., then no time is the best time to avoid traffic in this city.

You just have to plan your driving time to be through the city before rush hour begins unless you are planning to stop in the city for a short stay. If you have a road map app, you should use those to help you plan your driving time when you are planning to go through this area on your next trip.

155 Route Around Nashville

This is called Briley Parkway and it takes the northern route around the city. It is also #3 on a top 9 most scenic drives in this area. That means that not only will you miss traffic, but you will also get to see some of the natural beauty surrounding Nashville.

This is not a fully developed complete loop around the city. It turns into White Bridge Road on the west and south side of the I-40 and continues through the southern section of Nashville till Berry Hill and the I-65.

Then it seems to be a wider highway as it goes from Berry Hill to the International Airport and connects up with itself on the eastern side of the city. It is called Briley Parkway from the I65 and Berry Hill sections of town.

We cannot be certain of the condition of this road or how many lanes it has in its southern sectors. We should mention that the southern 155 turns from White Bridge Road into Woodmount Avenue before heading east to the I65.

Route 840 Around Nashville


This seems to be a new addition to the highway system and there is a reason we did not initially see it on a road map of Nashville. Its route takes you well south of the city through Thompson Station before heading back north to connect with the I-40.

It connects with I-40 at Lebanon on the eastern side of Nashville and takes you to almost Dickson on the west. Because it was built with state funds, this alternative route was first listed as an SR road and not an interstate.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the I-840 became part of the interstate system. One of its best features is that it does connect with the Natchez Trace Parkway which leads you south through several more states.

This highway took roughly 20 years to complete with construction starting in 1991 and finishing in 2011. it is a nice road to take if you are going to hit Nashville during peak driving times.

You should see a lot of the Nashville suburbs as well as a lot of Tennessee rural areas.

How Long is The 840 Bypass Around Nashville?

According to Wikipedia, this road is 77.28 miles long and it is said to be the 10th largest auxiliary highway in the nation. That may seem like you are adding a lot of time to your travel.

But when you check the mileage from Lebanon to Dickson TN, where the I840 connects approx. The I-40 route only saves you about 5 miles of travel. The distance between these two cities is 72 miles.

The I-40 is still the fastest route to take to go through the city. But if you do not want to get caught up in traffic, you may be only losing about 5 to 10 minutes of driving time taking the I-840.

That time frame will depend on how fast you drive and if there is a lot of traffic or not. Factor in longer time frames if an accident does occur. The Briley Parkway will be quicker than the I-840 but it is also shorter and covers less area circumventing the city.

Is There a Scenic Route Around Nashville?


There seem to be several scenic routes around this city. The I840 may have some scenery but it may not be as beautiful as the Briley Parkway to the north and west.

It is listed as the third most scenic drive in Nashville so you can look forward to seeing some great natural beauty areas as you drive. There are other scenic drives in the area but whether or not they take you away from or around the city is another matter.

The famous Natchez Trace Parkway is one of those routes that take you to the south. Then there is Tyne Blvd and Hillsboro Pike but the list does not give exact locations of these nice roads.

Clarksville Pike will lead you away from the city and into the back hills of the area. There are several State Roads that would do the same thing. They will lead you away from the city into the rural sections of the state that are very pretty to look at.

Some Additional Words

Unlike other larger cities, Nashville does not have that many alternative routes to choose from. The few that they do have may not save you any time and driving straight through on the I-40 may be your fastest route even if there is traffic.

But if you are not stopping in Nashville, then plan a nice scenic trip through the back State Roads to get the most out of your visit to the area. It seems to be a pretty state to take your time driving through.

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