In the Middle of Everywhere

The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley region possesses unbeatable transportation resources that offer distinct advantages for product and supply distribution, just-in-time delivery and business travel.

  • Centrally located at the junction of three major interstates: I-40, I-75, and I-81
  • Within a day’s drive of 60% of the U.S. population
  • McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) provides nonstop flights to 18 domestic locations through 6 major airlines
  • Rail service provided Norfolk Southern, CSX and short-line Knoxville & Holston River Railroad
  • Low-cost barge transportation on the Tennessee River
  • Intermodal services such as those offered by Burkhart Enterprises, offering barge, truck, and rail transfer options as well as bulk storage facilities

The full range of dependable utility services is available, including communication networks, reliable, abundant TVA electricity, natural gas, and other infrastructure assets.

The area is also a hub for transportation research:


Connected to the World

Up-to-date communications systems are highly affordable and widely available in the Innovation Valley, and utilities and energy resources provide superior reliability at below-average cost. Knoxville is the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation’s largest public power provider.

  • Fiber optics
  • Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
  • Digital subscriber line
  • Cable Internet
  • Broadband
  • Multi-carrier local telecom, digital, and analog wireless services
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority supplies electricity through local distributors and also offers direct service to a number of large industries.
  • Industrial rates are 19 percent below the national average; commercial rates are 11 percent below average.
  • TVA has achieved 99.999 percent reliability every year since 2000.
  • TVA has never dropped firm load to any customer.
Natural Gas
  • East Tennessee Natural Gas supplies most gas distributed in the region.
  • Large-volume gas is available with prior notification and approval.
  • Interruptible gas is available, with appropriate backup systems in place.
  • Large gas users can purchase gas on the open market and pay a modest delivery fee to local utility district.


The Regional Approach to Competitive Airfare

A regional partnership has been formed to enhance low-fare air service to the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley region. The Competitive Airfare Partnership, which currently includes the City of Knoxville, Blount County, Knox County, Innovation Valley, Visit Knoxville and the Knoxville Chamber, is a public/private initiative with a fundraising goal of $3 million. To date, $2 million has been committed to the initiative. These funds will not only assist in recruitment efforts but also in developing a long term communication strategy to garner support from the business community for low fare service.

Learn more about the Competitive Airfare Partnership or download the Competitive Airfare Partnership Fact Sheet.pdf

To view the Knoxville News Sentinel Editorial on the Competitive Airfare Partnership, click here.

Transportation Maps

Convenient Connections to Your Markets

The Knoxville-Oak Ridge area offers easy access to major highways for fast, convenient connections to every part of the U.S.:

  • At the junction of three main interstate highways: I-40, I-75, and I-81
  • Interstate-40 named best interstate system in the U.S. by Overdrive magazine
  • Within a day’s drive of 60% of the U.S. population
  • Served by an excellent network of 11 federal highways and 16 state highways
  • Mild winters that don’t take an excessive toll on road conditions
  • Distribution services offered by about 40 general commodity motor carriers and numerous specialized carriers
Airline Services Link You to the World

Comprehensive airline services provide fast access from the Innovation Valley to the nation and the world.

  • Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) offers 120 flights daily with nonstop flights to 18 destinations.
  • Nine general aviation airports also serve the region.
A Railway Hub

The Innovation Valley offers outstanding rail transportation services for shipping large volumes of goods:

  • Located at the junction of major east-west and north-south railway systems
  • Service provided by Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation
  • Shortline railroad service by Gulf & Ohio Railways, which offers repair and leasing services through Knoxville Locomotive Works as well as transloading services for truck and rail connections
  • Innovation Valley currently has over 840 acres of combined available industrial rail access sites. The sites range from 11 to 150 acres.
Low-Cost River Transport

The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley area has the distinct advantage of access to low-cost barge transportation, especially suitable for products shipped in bulk:

  • The Tennessee River is navigable for 652 miles from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky, where it meets the Ohio River
  • The river forms part of the Inland Waterway System, linking the area directly with 21 states, the Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes
  • Through its connection with the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in northeast Mississippi, the river offers direct access to the port of Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico