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I-81 drivers could soon have different route to Jonesborough

The route some tourists take to arrive in Jonesborough could soon change if Mayor Kelly Wolfe has anything to say about it.
During a recent visit with Gov. Bill Haslam, Wolfe expressed his desire to remove Jonesborough’s name from Exit 50 on Interstate 81, which currently serves as the Fall Branch/Jonesborough exit for that highway.
“It’s 11 miles off the exit from Jonesborough on a winding road,” Wolfe said.
Instead, Wolfe wants the state to create signage that leads I-81 motorists to Interstate 26 where travelers would get to Jonesborough off of Exit 17, the exit already marked as Boones Creek/Jonesborough.
“It’s much closer to the town and it presents our best foot forward as far as people coming into our town is concerned,” Wolfe explained. “We’re looking at it from a tourist standpoint. It would be much better to use the exit that provides a 6-mile connection on a super two-lane instead of an 11-mile connection on a winding road. It just makes sense.”
According to Wolfe, the I-81 exit for Jonesborough has been there since before I-26 existed and no one has asked for it to be changed.
“It’s not going to be changed if nobody asks,” Wolfe said. “I made the request based on some observations I’ve made over the past few weeks.”
Haslam made no commitment to changing the signage, however Wolfe said he is confident that it will happen.