Is Exit 408 Coming to Sevierville TN? Here’s What We Know

buc-ee's sign

Buc-ee's is likely going to bring a lot more traffic to an already crowded interstate exit when it opens (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and a partner of other affiliate programs including, CJ and Tripster, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases via links found in this article.

There’s an avalanche coming, and I’m afraid it’s too late to stop it. 

This summer at Exit 407 on I-40, Buc-ee’s, the convenience store phenomenon, will open what will be its largest facility in the country. At least, the largest for a short time.

The 74,000 sq foot flagship Buc-ee’s Family Travel Center, complete with 120 fueling positions, EV charging stations and a car wash over 250 feet long, will be part of a 200-acre development.

It is currently set to open this May.

Area Deals and Discounts

Subscribe to our newsletter and we will instantly deliver the best area discounts to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

Buc-ees Road Contstruction Severiville
Above: Buc-ee’s construction along Exit 407 as of September 2022 (photo by Daniel Munson/

Wait. It won’t actually be the largest Buc-ee’s?

It was announced that way when the plans were revealed.

But Buc-ee’s officials recently announced plans to build a 75,000 sq foot facility back home in Texas. 

Is Buc-ee’s coming to Exit 407 a bad idea?

It is not. Buc-ee’s is a wonder. I’m planning on taking a tent and camping out opening weekend just to watch the wonderful chaos unfold. 

But the question I have is if the infrastructure is in place to handle it. 

It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that the answer is “no”. 

Of course, I haven’t visited all the Buc-ee’s in the country. In fact, I haven’t even been to half of them.

However, as I’ve traveled North, South and West in the last 18 months, we made several Buc-ee’s visits. And it seemed as if Buc-ee’s was going out of its way to pick exits with little competition and plenty of room to spread out and dominate. 

But it also appears that when we pass a Buc-ee’s in Sevierville, traffic is threatening to back up on the interstate. 

Buc-ee’s – for all its wonders – brings traffic. And what is the one thing Exit 407 doesn’t need? Traffic. 

Read Also: What is the best food at Buc-ee’s? 17 snacks, ranked

quail eggs at buc-ee's
Buc-ee’s has a wide selection of snacks, like the popular pickled quail eggs (photo by Alaina O’Neal/

What exit is Pigeon Forge off I-40?

Exit 407, serving Kodak, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, is one of the busier exits in the country. It handles roughly 75,000-80,000 people per day. 

With what is being built at Exit 407, that traffic is going to increase, by a lot. 

What else is being built at Exit 407 in Sevierville TN? 

Buc-ee’s is only part of a 200-acre development on land owned by The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians called the 407 Gateway to Adventure.

The EBCI is also partnering with multiple developers on the site.

This will include the first U.S. facility from the European theme park company Puy du Fou.

In addition to the immersive experience, a walk-through attraction that highlights the role of the Cherokee tribe in World War I, the plan includes hotels, restaurants, retailers and other special attractions. 

Matthew Cross, the CEO of OE Experiences, told WBIR they expect between 18,000 and 20,000 more cars coming into the 407 interchanges as early as next year because of this development. 

Oh. Yeah. I think you see where this is going. 

Show in the theme park Le Puy du Fou in France
A new theme park is also going to be part of the development. Above: Le Puy du Fou in France (photo by Page Frederique/

How bad will all of this be?

Have you ever tried to go East on I-40 from Exit 407 when Shadrack’s, the Christmas light show, is open?

A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of not taking the back way on the route home. As a result, I was stuck in massive traffic as people tried to reach Smokies Stadium, the exit and the gas station. It was an absolute nightmare. 

Eventually, I was able to get out of the non-moving turn lane and over to the right lane. From there, I exited onto I-40 until I could find a spot to turn around. 

Mercifully, Shadrack’s is fully moving to Soaky Mountain Waterpark during the winter season of next year. However, I submit to you that Buc-ee’s and 407 Gateway to Adventure is going to bring a lot more traffic to a place that is often choked with it. 

Read Also: Buc-ee’s Sevierville TN opening date: Massive travel center coming soon

What is the solution?

Short of a time machine? There’s nothing that can be done in time for Buc-ee’s opening in May 2023.

Things are going to get worse before they get better. 

There has begun to be a push from stakeholders to construct a new exit – presumably Exit 408 – but that process isn’t assured and it isn’t quick. 

It will involve getting a plan approved followed by engineering for the additional exit. 

At that point, it would go to the Federal Highway Administration for environmental and archeological studies. 

Land acquisition may be easier than normal if all the land needed is owned by the stakeholders that want the exit, but all of that has to be done before construction could even begin. 

Can anything else be done with road access?

Well, yes. Sort of. But it’s also not quick. There have long been efforts by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to extend 4-lane access from Newport at I-40 Exit 432 to Sevier County via Highway 411.

Last year’s budget had $52 million dedicated to extending the four-lane from the Newport side, just past the Bush Beans plant from Highway 92 to Simms Road. 

That work will take about three years and leave another six miles of work to finish the four-lane from Simms Road to the Weigel’s at Pittman Center Road.

The land acquisition phase for that is already complete. The last step is for the funds in the budget to be approved by Gov. Bill Lee. 

house made chips in front of bucees store
Buc-ee’s will open long before the road situation is resolved (photo by Morgan Overholt/

How would a four-lane access help?

Full four-lane access from Exit 432 to Sevierville and Veterans Boulevard will give visitors from the North and East an easy – and faster – route into town.

It will relieve some of the stress at Exit 407. Will it relieve enough to offset the coming increases? I don’t know. But it would help.

How likely is either project to get approved? 

The Exit 432 four-lane project will be done. It’s already approved and when the current stage is finished, all that will remain is to put the final leg in the budget. 

Also, it’s important to the region that it be done. 

The finished project will mean full four-lane access from Exit 432 to Dollywood via Veterans Parkway. 

Dollywood currently brings in about 3 million visitors. My understanding is that with the new hotels and attractions planned, Dollywood officials believe that number will increase to 4 million annually. 

Having a direct conduit from the interstate to Dollywood and the far side of Pigeon Forge will improve traffic flow throughout the region and will go a long way to ensuring the continued success of the area for decades to come. 

I would imagine there is enough available funding that the final phase will start just as soon as the current one ends. 

So what about Exit 408?

For the additional exit near 407, what we assume could be Exit 408, I think it’s needed. I think it’s necessary and I think that if there are enough stakeholders that want it to happen that it will. 

But the Tennessee Department of Transportation isn’t going to jump just because some important people want it to. 

There are procedures and policies and processes to follow. Sevier County isn’t the only county in need of major road projects. I don’t think they’re going to wave their hands and let Sevier County jump the line. 

The truth is, I don’t see how the planners and developers involved got this far into the process before turning to the state for the new exit. I would have thought it would have been part of the planning from the beginning.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is beautiful in the fall
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country (photo by jdross75/

Are there any other major new interchanges or roads planned? 

Not that I’m aware of, though I imagine somewhere there’s a plan to expand the roads through Cosby to get easier access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park without going through Pigeon Forge.

But that would be a long, long way off.

What do you think about the interstate developments? Let us know in the comments below.

Things to do

Best theme parks in the Smokies
Best Shows and Theaters in the smokies
Best attractions in the Smokies
Best tours in the Smokies
Best mini golf in the Smokies
Best ATV and side by side rentals in the Smokies
Best go karts in the Smokies
Best ziplining in the Smokies
Best zoos and farms in the Smokies
Best rafting in the Smokies

The History of Mountain Dew, What Does It Have To Do With Moonshine?

Is the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Worth It? [2023]

Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

12 thoughts on “Is Exit 408 Coming to Sevierville TN? Here’s What We Know”

  1. What about the people who live here and travel that interstate daily wouldn’t a 405 exit be better for us also ! We have to sit in this traffic daily and we pray for the winter months to come so the traffic slows down !

  2. I’d say leave 408 as a last resort. Open up and widen hwy 92 to Pitman center which runs into Dollywood. And widen Crosby. U need to releive your 3 attraction towns of the presure it’s experiencing. And if there’s other exits widen them also. If indeed there’s 4 million as u stated coming and expansion, than is there enough rd expansion to quickly evacuate? In case of any unforeseen situation? I’m all for more people and expansion, but there has to be a better flow. As they say : go Big or go Home.

  3. New exit 232 is an excellent idea. 407 is miles & miles in back-ups. To get into town to do the simplest of errands takes about an hour or more, when it should only take 15-20 minutes on a good day.
    People who work in town can sit over an hour or two to get to their jobs. Which is ridiculous.
    Don’t forget w/ Bucees coming in, even though it has its own exit will still back up to 407 exit, causing more traffic problems.
    So much going on in Pigeon Forge & it continues to grow, we need these new roads getting into town is essential to keep up w/ the amount of people coming in.

  4. Another major road project in Sevierville is the extension of Veterans Blvd to 66. This is in the works. The surveyors for the project have already been on my property setting pins for where it’s supposed to go.

  5. This lays entirely at the feet of Mayor Larry Waters, the aldermen and the planning commission. It’s about greed for revenue with zero regard for the citizens of this county and their continued failure to plan any expansion of infrastructure to support the rapid growth snd expansion of business in the county.

  6. Really bad planning for local residents, who pay taxes. Even if they put a light at the only entrance to Buc-cees 407 and 66 will be a nightmare. There is only 1 backroad (2 lanes)to get to Ashville Hwy, the only other way to get to Knoxville, which is 30 miles out of the way.

  7. Build a 4 lane by-pass around Sevierville and Pigeon Forge so people can quickly get to the park . I know that merchants don’t want to hear it but traffic will be tied up forever on the parkway if a by-pass isn’t done . People are gonna visit the by-passed towns anyway but let them get to their housing destinations first so they can unwind and lay out a game plan . Maybe we need a Dollywood train that runs from the 407 to Gatlinburg and a large free parking area at 407 for people who are just doing the day trip thing to the smokies . It could run right. thru the 3 towns and into the park with multiple stops in every town , what a neat train ride .

  8. If not a steam train then make it an elevated train that follows route 66 and 441/321 right into Gatlinburg and put in as many stop platforms as is necessary . People like to ride trains and others other than day-trippers would use it

  9. Between the heavy flow of traffic at 407 already, and the poorly planned Northview Junior Academy access tying up Hwy 66 during the week, adding Bucee’s traffic and additional development is a local resident’s nightmare. I pity those who have to commute into the City of Sevierville every day. Not only is an additional exit off of I-40 necessary, a bypass once on Highway 66, and maybe an expansion of Asheville Highway for those who commute back and forth to Knoxville is necessary. Sevier County infrastructure is not ready for the growth it has already experienced, much less that which is coming.

  10. I travel from Snyder road into Sevierville for work. It’s hard enough getting thru the traffic from the interstate and school traffic and all the red light stop and go traffic. What should take me 25 minutes to work takes 45 now. We need another exit Buckees.

Leave a Comment