In the state of Illinois, Interstate 24 is a remote, four-lane freeway that travels through hilly rural southern Illinois and the Shawnee National Forest. I-24 is 38.73 miles (62.33 km) in length in Illinois. There are only five mainline exits; of those five, four have services. Interstate 24 crosses into Kentucky via the Interstate 24 Bridge from Metropolis, Illinois to Paducah, Kentucky.
In the state of Kentucky, Interstate 24 runs from Paducah to the Tennessee border just northwest of Clarksville. Along its route are Kentucky Dam which forms Kentucky Lake and Barkley Dam which forms Lake Barkley, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area ("LBL"; under the management of the US Forest Service ), and Fort Campbell.
Future extensions of Interstate 66 and Interstate 69 are proposed to overlap Interstate 24 in the Eddyville to Calvert City corridor.
In the state of Tennessee, Interstate 24 runs from Clarksville to Chattanooga by way of Nashville. Just west of Chattanooga, I-24 drops into Georgia for 4 miles (6 km).
One of the most notoriously hazardous stretches of Interstate highway in the United States is approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Chattanooga on I-24 in Monteagle, where the highway goes over the Cumberland Plateau. Compared to grades elsewhere, Monteagle's 4 to 6% grade does not come close to the steepest highway roads (the Siskiyou Pass of Interstate 5 in Oregon has some the steepest grades in the nation), but the slope is protracted over a distance of several miles.
Interstate 124 is an occasional (currently unsigned) designation of a portion of the US 27 freeway which runs as a spur into downtown Chattanooga and beyond. Also in Chattanooga is the "Ridge Cut", a 1/4 mile section of Missionary Ridge, between the 4th Avenue exit and the Germantown/Belvoir exit. Accidents and severe congestion are common here.