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Author Topic: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange  (Read 12182 times)

edwaleni

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #75 on: June 03, 2021, 11:07:16 AM »

So what will be completed first I-73, I-74 or I-69?

What does that have to do with the I-55 Crump Boulevard Interchange?
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #76 on: June 03, 2021, 01:54:03 PM »

So what will be completed first I-73, I-74 or I-69?

What does that have to do with the I-55 Crump Boulevard Interchange?
It’s just become a troll at this point.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 55/Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #77 on: June 03, 2021, 01:59:31 PM »

Maybe Interstate 55 should have followed Interstate 240 northward, and then followed Interstate 40 westward into Arkansas. Existing 55 between 240 and 40 in West Memphis could have been Interstate 255 (which Interstate 240 was between Exits 25 and 31 prior to 1974). An interchange like Crump Blvd. should not exist on a two-digit mainline Interstate Highway.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Interstate 55/Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #78 on: June 03, 2021, 03:25:27 PM »

Maybe Interstate 55 should have followed Interstate 240 northward, and then followed Interstate 40 westward into Arkansas. Existing 55 between 240 and 40 in West Memphis could have been Interstate 255 (which Interstate 240 was between Exits 25 and 31 prior to 1974). An interchange like Crump Blvd. should not exist on a two-digit mainline Interstate Highway.

I proposed this very thing.  The old I-55 would then become Business Loop I-55.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #79 on: June 03, 2021, 05:00:09 PM »

Maybe Interstate 55 should have followed Interstate 240 northward, and then followed Interstate 40 westward into Arkansas. Existing 55 between 240 and 40 in West Memphis could have been Interstate 255 (which Interstate 240 was between Exits 25 and 31 prior to 1974). An interchange like Crump Blvd. should not exist on a two-digit mainline Interstate Highway.

I proposed this very thing.  The old I-55 would then become Business Loop I-55.

Or, even simpler, just reroute I-240 over the old I-55 between West Memphis and the current 55/240 interchange.  There's no I-240 in AR, so it shouldn't pose an issue.   Of course, the DeSoto Bridge will have to be appropriately repaired before this would take place.  Please, no more freeway-bound business loops! 
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edwaleni

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #80 on: June 03, 2021, 10:03:34 PM »

Maybe Interstate 55 should have followed Interstate 240 northward, and then followed Interstate 40 westward into Arkansas. Existing 55 between 240 and 40 in West Memphis could have been Interstate 255 (which Interstate 240 was between Exits 25 and 31 prior to 1974). An interchange like Crump Blvd. should not exist on a two-digit mainline Interstate Highway.

I proposed this very thing.  The old I-55 would then become Business Loop I-55.

Or, even simpler, just reroute I-240 over the old I-55 between West Memphis and the current 55/240 interchange.  There's no I-240 in AR, so it shouldn't pose an issue.   Of course, the DeSoto Bridge will have to be appropriately repaired before this would take place.  Please, no more freeway-bound business loops!

I would be interested in finding out some history around that I-55/Crump Exit. Why did TnDOT have it included in the interstate highway system and then leave it this way? Surely the AADT for this intersection has been high enough to justify a change?  I remember driving down to/from New Orleans in 1995 and seeing this and wondering how it ended up like this. I get that it used to be a US route and they wanted to use the M-A bridge, but is there a website that goes through all the failed attempts to modernize it and why it never happened?
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #81 on: June 03, 2021, 11:13:43 PM »

I would be interested in finding out some history around that I-55/Crump Exit. Why did TnDOT have it included in the interstate highway system and then leave it this way? Surely the AADT for this intersection has been high enough to justify a change?  I remember driving down to/from New Orleans in 1995 and seeing this and wondering how it ended up like this. I get that it used to be a US route and they wanted to use the M-A bridge, but is there a website that goes through all the failed attempts to modernize it and why it never happened?

I'm not aware of such a site...but I'm also not aware of there having historically been too many efforts to upgrade the interchange (aside from the construction of the original cloverleaf, and the removal of the WB»NB petal), up until the past few years.

I-55 hasn't been much of a priority for TDOT for the obvious reason.  And in terms of interstate interchanges in Memphis...there were other interchanges that demanded greater attention for TDOT's limited funds.
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edwaleni

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #82 on: June 04, 2021, 03:01:31 AM »

I would be interested in finding out some history around that I-55/Crump Exit. Why did TnDOT have it included in the interstate highway system and then leave it this way? Surely the AADT for this intersection has been high enough to justify a change?  I remember driving down to/from New Orleans in 1995 and seeing this and wondering how it ended up like this. I get that it used to be a US route and they wanted to use the M-A bridge, but is there a website that goes through all the failed attempts to modernize it and why it never happened?

I'm not aware of such a site...but I'm also not aware of there having historically been too many efforts to upgrade the interchange (aside from the construction of the original cloverleaf, and the removal of the WB»NB petal), up until the past few years.

I-55 hasn't been much of a priority for TDOT for the obvious reason.  And in terms of interstate interchanges in Memphis...there were other interchanges that demanded greater attention for TDOT's limited funds.

Looking at the historical aerials, it appears when the M-A bridge was built, it simply did the "dump on Crump" with a signal at Riverside.

Around 1963 the city started clearing out the rail yards north of Crump (now Rivermont Park) and the row houses west of Riverside south of Crump along the French Fort neighborhood. (now part of DeSoto Park)

Interestingly, the city left behind the rail bridge for that yard over Riverside and that is now Channel 3 Drive.

Shortly after the 1963 urban renewal effort, the city cleared out entire blocks between Illinois and Alston except for 1 spot. It appears there was a large hotel-restaurant at the corner of Illinois, Crump and Riverside.

This lot appears to have caused a problem because it was the only lot not taken in the renewal effort. By not taking it, it kept highway planners later on from allowing I-55 to take a safe, graduated turn south once you cross the M-A bridge.

Mysteriously, when I-55 was finally built, this same hotel was in the way of the new ramp coming off the bridge and going south on the new ROW. It was condemned and removed to make room for the exit ramp. Today it is a vacant lot with a billboard on it.

Seeing how they went all out to maintain that access to Crump in 1967 when I-55 was built, I can only speculate that the city fathers did not want I-55 to become a "passthrough" road from Arkansas to Mississippi.

Since the M-A bridge was designed in the 1950's to bring people into the city from the west, I suspect the city fathers saw I-55 as a way for more people to reach the city from the south and forced the highway planners into the abbreviated clover that it is today.

This makes sense now. M-A brings in people from the west, I-55 brings people from the south, why would anyone want to just drive through without stopping?

But looking back, in 1963 they most definitely had the opportunity to make I-55 a smooth transition to go south.  All the land they cleared out eventually became a typical suburban neighborhood.

The land between Alston and Illinois is vacant once again today. A new hotel was built in 1970 but sat as a vacant hulk for several years until it was torn down in 2017.

Makes me wonder if that was a land swap with the hotel that was condemned for the new ramps.



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bwana39

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #83 on: June 04, 2021, 11:54:03 AM »

I would be interested in finding out some history around that I-55/Crump Exit. Why did TnDOT have it included in the interstate highway system and then leave it this way? Surely the AADT for this intersection has been high enough to justify a change?  I remember driving down to/from New Orleans in 1995 and seeing this and wondering how it ended up like this. I get that it used to be a US route and they wanted to use the M-A bridge, but is there a website that goes through all the failed attempts to modernize it and why it never happened?

I'm not aware of such a site...but I'm also not aware of there having historically been too many efforts to upgrade the interchange (aside from the construction of the original cloverleaf, and the removal of the WB»NB petal), up until the past few years.

I-55 hasn't been much of a priority for TDOT for the obvious reason.  And in terms of interstate interchanges in Memphis...there were other interchanges that demanded greater attention for TDOT's limited funds.

Looking at the historical aerials, it appears when the M-A bridge was built, it simply did the "dump on Crump" with a signal at Riverside.

Around 1963 the city started clearing out the rail yards north of Crump (now Rivermont Park) and the row houses west of Riverside south of Crump along the French Fort neighborhood. (now part of DeSoto Park)

Interestingly, the city left behind the rail bridge for that yard over Riverside and that is now Channel 3 Drive.

Shortly after the 1963 urban renewal effort, the city cleared out entire blocks between Illinois and Alston except for 1 spot. It appears there was a large hotel-restaurant at the corner of Illinois, Crump and Riverside.

This lot appears to have caused a problem because it was the only lot not taken in the renewal effort. By not taking it, it kept highway planners later on from allowing I-55 to take a safe, graduated turn south once you cross the M-A bridge.

Mysteriously, when I-55 was finally built, this same hotel was in the way of the new ramp coming off the bridge and going south on the new ROW. It was condemned and removed to make room for the exit ramp. Today it is a vacant lot with a billboard on it.

Seeing how they went all out to maintain that access to Crump in 1967 when I-55 was built, I can only speculate that the city fathers did not want I-55 to become a "passthrough" road from Arkansas to Mississippi.

Since the M-A bridge was designed in the 1950's to bring people into the city from the west, I suspect the city fathers saw I-55 as a way for more people to reach the city from the south and forced the highway planners into the abbreviated clover that it is today.

This makes sense now. M-A brings in people from the west, I-55 brings people from the south, why would anyone want to just drive through without stopping?

But looking back, in 1963 they most definitely had the opportunity to make I-55 a smooth transition to go south.  All the land they cleared out eventually became a typical suburban neighborhood.

The land between Alston and Illinois is vacant once again today. A new hotel was built in 1970 but sat as a vacant hulk for several years until it was torn down in 2017.

Makes me wonder if that was a land swap with the hotel that was condemned for the new ramps.

In 1963, you have to remember, the HDB was still a decade away. Crump BLVD was still the path for the E/W roads.  It was the crossing for US-72, US-78, US-70, US-72, and US-79 which crossed Memphis from east to west. US-61 was the only crossing that linked to the south.  The PRIMARY road from the M&A bridge was CRUMP. US-61 (I-55) was secondary back then. 

The real question is why it has taken them nearly 50 years since the HDB opened to address the fact that most of the E/W traffic no longer crosses on the M&A.

As an aside, so I understand TDOT already has the ROW for the new flyover set up. It is a monetary / priority (state AND local) issue.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #84 on: June 04, 2021, 01:16:08 PM »

The political clout died off in West Tennessee starting around 2010.  They had to power and the cash to get that done years ago.  I wonder if they just don't want the traffic using the route and they are keeping it as is?
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edwaleni

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #85 on: June 04, 2021, 01:26:52 PM »

I would be interested in finding out some history around that I-55/Crump Exit. Why did TnDOT have it included in the interstate highway system and then leave it this way? Surely the AADT for this intersection has been high enough to justify a change?  I remember driving down to/from New Orleans in 1995 and seeing this and wondering how it ended up like this. I get that it used to be a US route and they wanted to use the M-A bridge, but is there a website that goes through all the failed attempts to modernize it and why it never happened?

I'm not aware of such a site...but I'm also not aware of there having historically been too many efforts to upgrade the interchange (aside from the construction of the original cloverleaf, and the removal of the WB»NB petal), up until the past few years.

I-55 hasn't been much of a priority for TDOT for the obvious reason.  And in terms of interstate interchanges in Memphis...there were other interchanges that demanded greater attention for TDOT's limited funds.

Looking at the historical aerials, it appears when the M-A bridge was built, it simply did the "dump on Crump" with a signal at Riverside.

Around 1963 the city started clearing out the rail yards north of Crump (now Rivermont Park) and the row houses west of Riverside south of Crump along the French Fort neighborhood. (now part of DeSoto Park)

Interestingly, the city left behind the rail bridge for that yard over Riverside and that is now Channel 3 Drive.

Shortly after the 1963 urban renewal effort, the city cleared out entire blocks between Illinois and Alston except for 1 spot. It appears there was a large hotel-restaurant at the corner of Illinois, Crump and Riverside.

This lot appears to have caused a problem because it was the only lot not taken in the renewal effort. By not taking it, it kept highway planners later on from allowing I-55 to take a safe, graduated turn south once you cross the M-A bridge.

Mysteriously, when I-55 was finally built, this same hotel was in the way of the new ramp coming off the bridge and going south on the new ROW. It was condemned and removed to make room for the exit ramp. Today it is a vacant lot with a billboard on it.

Seeing how they went all out to maintain that access to Crump in 1967 when I-55 was built, I can only speculate that the city fathers did not want I-55 to become a "passthrough" road from Arkansas to Mississippi.

Since the M-A bridge was designed in the 1950's to bring people into the city from the west, I suspect the city fathers saw I-55 as a way for more people to reach the city from the south and forced the highway planners into the abbreviated clover that it is today.

This makes sense now. M-A brings in people from the west, I-55 brings people from the south, why would anyone want to just drive through without stopping?

But looking back, in 1963 they most definitely had the opportunity to make I-55 a smooth transition to go south.  All the land they cleared out eventually became a typical suburban neighborhood.

The land between Alston and Illinois is vacant once again today. A new hotel was built in 1970 but sat as a vacant hulk for several years until it was torn down in 2017.

Makes me wonder if that was a land swap with the hotel that was condemned for the new ramps.

In 1963, you have to remember, the HDB was still a decade away. Crump BLVD was still the path for the E/W roads.  It was the crossing for US-72, US-78, US-70, US-72, and US-79 which crossed Memphis from east to west. US-61 was the only crossing that linked to the south.  The PRIMARY road from the M&A bridge was CRUMP. US-61 (I-55) was secondary back then. 

The real question is why it has taken them nearly 50 years since the HDB opened to address the fact that most of the E/W traffic no longer crosses on the M&A.

As an aside, so I understand TDOT already has the ROW for the new flyover set up. It is a monetary / priority (state AND local) issue.

Excellent point on the HDB and I had that in mind when I was literally thinking out loud on this.

I just wanted to highlight that the opportunity did exist back in 1963 when they started their urban renewal project on the southside. But by 1967 they clearly didn't put to much thought into regional logistics.

Auto traffic between Memphis and New Orleans was probably not as significant and the railroads still had a large share of freight at the time so trucks didn't play such a large role as it does today.

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Avalanchez71

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #86 on: June 04, 2021, 01:43:06 PM »

Fed Ex wasn't a thing at the time either.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #87 on: June 04, 2021, 03:38:55 PM »

Fed Ex wasn't a thing at the time either.

I wonder how much of the push for the original Crump/55 rebuild plan came from FedEx, since their hub is more accessible from the west via I-55 than I-40 through downtown. 
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #88 on: June 04, 2021, 05:06:09 PM »

Looking at the historical aerials, it appears when the M-A bridge was built, it simply did the "dump on Crump" with a signal at Riverside.

Around 1963 the city started clearing out the rail yards north of Crump (now Rivermont Park) and the row houses west of Riverside south of Crump along the French Fort neighborhood. (now part of DeSoto Park)

Interestingly, the city left behind the rail bridge for that yard over Riverside and that is now Channel 3 Drive.

Shortly after the 1963 urban renewal effort, the city cleared out entire blocks between Illinois and Alston except for 1 spot. It appears there was a large hotel-restaurant at the corner of Illinois, Crump and Riverside.

This lot appears to have caused a problem because it was the only lot not taken in the renewal effort. By not taking it, it kept highway planners later on from allowing I-55 to take a safe, graduated turn south once you cross the M-A bridge.

Mysteriously, when I-55 was finally built, this same hotel was in the way of the new ramp coming off the bridge and going south on the new ROW. It was condemned and removed to make room for the exit ramp. Today it is a vacant lot with a billboard on it.

Seeing how they went all out to maintain that access to Crump in 1967 when I-55 was built, I can only speculate that the city fathers did not want I-55 to become a "passthrough" road from Arkansas to Mississippi.

Since the M-A bridge was designed in the 1950's to bring people into the city from the west, I suspect the city fathers saw I-55 as a way for more people to reach the city from the south and forced the highway planners into the abbreviated clover that it is today.

This makes sense now. M-A brings in people from the west, I-55 brings people from the south, why would anyone want to just drive through without stopping?

But looking back, in 1963 they most definitely had the opportunity to make I-55 a smooth transition to go south.  All the land they cleared out eventually became a typical suburban neighborhood.

The land between Alston and Illinois is vacant once again today. A new hotel was built in 1970 but sat as a vacant hulk for several years until it was torn down in 2017.

Makes me wonder if that was a land swap with the hotel that was condemned for the new ramps.

A couple of points:

First, the bridge opened in 1949, rather than having been developed in the 1950's.   Crump Blvd was created as a new approach road to the "new" bridge.  There was indeed a complex-for-the day intersection at the foot of the bridge between Crump and Pennsylvania, and aerial photos from 1949 show hints of an upgrade as they started work on the creation of Riverside Drive.

I've mentioned in another thread the Crème de Memph blog, which is maintained by one of my father's former coworkers from the Memphis/Shelby County Office of Planning and Development.  He's run three articles on the "old bridge"; the one that's relevant to our discussion is here: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2014/10/memphis-arkansas-bridge-3.html?q=bridge

Josh also has a post dedicated to the now-demolished hotel at Alston and Illinois: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2017/07/lost-memphis-31-quality-inn.html?q=riverside  ... and the French Fort neighborhood: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2015/10/french-fort.html
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I-39

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #89 on: June 04, 2021, 10:27:51 PM »

I wish a Congressman could introduce a bill to repeal the mandated completion of I-69.  The routing is just ridiculous and now serves no real purpose with the dog legs and zig-zags.

For once, I actually agree with you. I-69 is a complete waste even between Indianapolis and Memphis, considering the I-57 extension will serve the purpose as well. TDOT needs to spend their money elsewhere, including full replacements of both the I-40 and I-55 bridges.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #90 on: June 04, 2021, 11:41:01 PM »

I-69 is a complete waste even between Indianapolis and Memphis
Disagree, and given INDOT, KYTC, and TDOT all have invested into the corridor and have virtually completed the vast majority of it, they disagree as well.
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froggie

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #91 on: June 05, 2021, 12:43:33 AM »

Worth noting that the 1955 Yellow Book did not envision any Interstate utilizing the M&A, nor did it envision what is now I-240 through Midtown.  The proposal at the time had I-55 continuing north of Crump along the Riverside corridor, intersecting I-40 in the middle of Mud Island then crossing the river concurrent with I-40.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #92 on: June 05, 2021, 01:51:50 AM »

Worth noting that the 1955 Yellow Book did not envision any Interstate utilizing the M&A, nor did it envision what is now I-240 through Midtown.  The proposal at the time had I-55 continuing north of Crump along the Riverside corridor, intersecting I-40 in the middle of Mud Island then crossing the river concurrent with I-40.
Was the original cloverleaf constructed with the intent to eventually continue said freeway north along Riverside Dr up to I-40, or had that section of Downtown freeway been canceled by the time it was built?

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bwana39

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #93 on: June 05, 2021, 12:16:09 PM »

Worth noting that the 1955 Yellow Book did not envision any Interstate utilizing the M&A, nor did it envision what is now I-240 through Midtown.  The proposal at the time had I-55 continuing north of Crump along the Riverside corridor, intersecting I-40 in the middle of Mud Island then crossing the river concurrent with I-40.
Was the original cloverleaf constructed with the intent to eventually continue said freeway north along Riverside Dr up to I-40, or had that section of Downtown freeway been canceled by the time it was built?


Worth noting that the 1955 Yellow Book did not envision any Interstate utilizing the M&A, nor did it envision what is now I-240 through Midtown.  The proposal at the time had I-55 continuing north of Crump along the Riverside corridor, intersecting I-40 in the middle of Mud Island then crossing the river concurrent with I-40.
Was the original cloverleaf constructed with the intent to eventually continue said freeway north along Riverside Dr up to I-40, or had that section of Downtown freeway been canceled by the time it was built?

In 1955 the vision was to use the Riverside Expressway (Freeway). I think it is safe to say that I-55 would not have followed Riverside to the south if they had not still had that in mind.  In the sixties, they would have just gone ahead and either followed 3rd street to Crump or extended the freeway to the eventual I-155, I-240, I-69 (MLK / Midtown Freeway) or to East Parkway.

Regardless, everything EXCEPT US-61 (I-55) that crossed the river at that point utilized Crump.  In 1963 when I-55 opened, the HDB was, as I said before, still a decade off.  While ALL of the plans had the HDB in them, it was by no means a certainty.
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Revive 755

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #94 on: June 05, 2021, 12:37:18 PM »

Was the original cloverleaf constructed with the intent to eventually continue said freeway north along Riverside Dr up to I-40, or had that section of Downtown freeway been canceled by the time it was built?

IIRC the Riverside Drive corridor was still proposed after I-55 had been opened on its current alignment.
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bwana39

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #95 on: June 05, 2021, 01:22:51 PM »

Was the original cloverleaf constructed with the intent to eventually continue said freeway north along Riverside Dr up to I-40, or had that section of Downtown freeway been canceled by the time it was built?

IIRC the Riverside Drive corridor was still proposed after I-55 had been opened on its current alignment.

They even built the ramps off of the approaches to the HDB for it.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #96 on: June 05, 2021, 01:56:13 PM »

Does the traffic actually warrant another lane?  Seems like there really isn't anything wrong with the interchange.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #97 on: June 05, 2021, 02:01:26 PM »

Does the traffic actually warrant another lane?  Seems like there really isn't anything wrong with the interchange.
You CLEARLY have never driven through the area, and it shows.

Or simply believe that the congestion is acceptable.
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edwaleni

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #98 on: June 05, 2021, 02:27:21 PM »

Looking at the historical aerials, it appears when the M-A bridge was built, it simply did the "dump on Crump" with a signal at Riverside.

Around 1963 the city started clearing out the rail yards north of Crump (now Rivermont Park) and the row houses west of Riverside south of Crump along the French Fort neighborhood. (now part of DeSoto Park)

Interestingly, the city left behind the rail bridge for that yard over Riverside and that is now Channel 3 Drive.

Shortly after the 1963 urban renewal effort, the city cleared out entire blocks between Illinois and Alston except for 1 spot. It appears there was a large hotel-restaurant at the corner of Illinois, Crump and Riverside.

This lot appears to have caused a problem because it was the only lot not taken in the renewal effort. By not taking it, it kept highway planners later on from allowing I-55 to take a safe, graduated turn south once you cross the M-A bridge.

Mysteriously, when I-55 was finally built, this same hotel was in the way of the new ramp coming off the bridge and going south on the new ROW. It was condemned and removed to make room for the exit ramp. Today it is a vacant lot with a billboard on it.

Seeing how they went all out to maintain that access to Crump in 1967 when I-55 was built, I can only speculate that the city fathers did not want I-55 to become a "passthrough" road from Arkansas to Mississippi.

Since the M-A bridge was designed in the 1950's to bring people into the city from the west, I suspect the city fathers saw I-55 as a way for more people to reach the city from the south and forced the highway planners into the abbreviated clover that it is today.

This makes sense now. M-A brings in people from the west, I-55 brings people from the south, why would anyone want to just drive through without stopping?

But looking back, in 1963 they most definitely had the opportunity to make I-55 a smooth transition to go south.  All the land they cleared out eventually became a typical suburban neighborhood.

The land between Alston and Illinois is vacant once again today. A new hotel was built in 1970 but sat as a vacant hulk for several years until it was torn down in 2017.

Makes me wonder if that was a land swap with the hotel that was condemned for the new ramps.

A couple of points:

First, the bridge opened in 1949, rather than having been developed in the 1950's.   Crump Blvd was created as a new approach road to the "new" bridge.  There was indeed a complex-for-the day intersection at the foot of the bridge between Crump and Pennsylvania, and aerial photos from 1949 show hints of an upgrade as they started work on the creation of Riverside Drive.

I've mentioned in another thread the Crème de Memph blog, which is maintained by one of my father's former coworkers from the Memphis/Shelby County Office of Planning and Development.  He's run three articles on the "old bridge"; the one that's relevant to our discussion is here: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2014/10/memphis-arkansas-bridge-3.html?q=bridge

Josh also has a post dedicated to the now-demolished hotel at Alston and Illinois: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2017/07/lost-memphis-31-quality-inn.html?q=riverside  ... and the French Fort neighborhood: http://cremedememph.blogspot.com/2015/10/french-fort.html

Thanks for the links. I enjoy highway history so i will definitely take a look at these. I could only surmise based on the aerials, but really needed some newspaper or historical recollections to understand the thinking behind it, Much appreciated.
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ran4sh

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Re: Interstate 55/ Crump Boulevard Interchange
« Reply #99 on: June 05, 2021, 03:07:49 PM »

Does the traffic actually warrant another lane?  Seems like there really isn't anything wrong with the interchange.
You CLEARLY have never driven through the area, and it shows.

Or simply believe that the congestion is acceptable.

Or is just an extremist who believes in not building any new roads or any new lanes for existing roads.
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