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Author Topic: US 78 in Memphis  (Read 7259 times)

US71

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US 78 in Memphis
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:32:42 PM »

US 78 in Memphis needs realigning. It enters from Mississippi along Lamar Ave, then just beyond Bellevue Blvd (US 51), suddenly shifts north and west along  Martin Luther King Blvd and Linden Ave , eventually ending unceremoniously at US 64/70/79. IMO, it should shift slightly SW following EH Crump, since Crump appears to be an extension of Lamar. Crump also eventually becomes 70/79/64/61, so it would make more sense.
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txstateends

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 04:03:57 PM »

I've never really understood why the US highway layout in Memphis is so messy and overly-complicated.
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lordsutch

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 05:36:57 PM »

Simple answer: because TDOT really doesn't care. Virtually nobody follows the signed routes in town and the only routes that matter for inventory and maintenance purposes are the underlying state routes, which are generally, but not always, more rational.

Plus, Memphians generally navigate by street names; you'll never hear anyone talk about a numbered route except an Interstate or if they're headed way outside of town - either the state/county line or crossing the Loossahatchie seems to be the boundary. Inside that area, mention a route number and you'll generally either get a blank stare or a response like "isn't that in Mississippi?"
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hbelkins

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 06:26:10 PM »

Having driven all of 51, 61, 72 and 78 in Memphis, I agree that all of the US routes need better signage. Tennessee in general does a terrible job of signing numbered routes in the cities.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 05:35:26 PM »

Here is my suggestion: Retract US 78 to Birmingham!
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US71

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 09:57:47 AM »

Here is my suggestion: Retract US 78 to Birmingham!

Just move it to Crump, would be simplest
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Avalanchez71

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 12:21:46 PM »

I bet they just want to maximize the state highway funds on as much roadway as possible.
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US71

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2016, 12:39:14 AM »

I bet they just want to maximize the state highway funds on as much roadway as possible.
Possible, but at least sign the darn roads!

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SteveG1988

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 04:21:29 PM »

Here is my suggestion: Retract US 78 to Birmingham!

Just move it to Crump, would be simplest

If they want to have a Route that goes into memphis...sign it between 269 and 240 as "Business Loop 22" and retract 78 to birmingham.
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sparker

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 04:13:52 AM »

Here is my suggestion: Retract US 78 to Birmingham!

Just move it to Crump, would be simplest

If they want to have a Route that goes into memphis...sign it between 269 and 240 as "Business Loop 22" and retract 78 to birmingham.

Actually, "Business SPUR 22" might be more appropriate; echoing the Business SPUR 20 arrangement in Florence, SC east of the I-20/95 interchange.
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codyg1985

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 07:48:43 AM »

Or, one could assign the orphaned freeway west of I-22 as a 3di (maybe I-122) and then the rest of Lamar would just carry the TN 4 designation.
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sparker

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 03:46:45 PM »

Or, one could assign the orphaned freeway west of I-22 as a 3di (maybe I-122) and then the rest of Lamar would just carry the TN 4 designation.

Actually, that's an even better idea.  Also include local trailblazers (on Lamar and intersecting streets only) displaying "TO I-x22"/Tupelo (or Birmingham), since after the completion of the connecting I-269, that freeway facility will constitute the main through-traffic access to and from the other trunk Interstates in the region.  A Lamar/TN 4 + I-x22 corridor would best serve as local access, including to/from the airport.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 05:38:51 PM »

I don't like the idea of adding a 3-digit Interstate off the end of an Interstate if it a 3 digit Interstate of the same number (Example: Interstate 45 becomes Interstate 345 north of Interstate 30, and the remnants of Interstate 181 north of 81 almost became Interstate 126). I think Interstate 22 should go to the Mississippi/Tennessee state line. If it can't, the freeway should become an odd numbered spur of Interstate 69 (e.g. 169).
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CoolAngrybirdsrio4

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Bobby5280

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2021, 11:44:36 PM »

I think it's pretty obvious to everyone Lamar Avenue needs to be a 100% limited access, Interstate quality freeway from I-240 down to the I-269 beltway. The projects TDOT has on the books will bring US-78 much closer to Interstate quality up to the intersection with Getwell Road. Once the new interchange projects at the Holmes, Winchester and Shelby intersections are completed they can then work on diverting miscellaneous driveways and side streets in between.

Once all that work is done US-78 will be down to just the 2 mile gap between I-240 and Getwell Road. There is a lot of heavy truck and other commercial traffic on that route. TDOT will just have to chip away at the problem one property at a time.

Given the nature of Memphis International Airport and the big FedEx hub next door that part of Memphis needs a LOT more in the way of freeway movement. Upgrading US-78 to Interstate quality up to I-240 is not enough. Plough Blvd and its interchange with I-240 needs improvement. I think an excellent case could be made for upgrading Winchester Road between the airport and US-78 to Interstate quality. Shelby Drive between I-55 and US-78 could use some serious upgrades. If not full Interstate quality then at least some grade-separated intersections.

Memphis overall needs a LOT of work on highways all around that metro. The ratty old I-55 Mississippi River bridge is in desperate need of replacement. There are at least plans to improve the Crump Blvd interchange bottleneck. The I-269 beltway is really only halfway complete; another semi-circle needs to be built over into Arkansas.
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froggie

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2021, 12:52:01 AM »

^ Given a number of things:

  • The South's aversion to taxes
  • Property rights in the South
  • Tennessee being strictly a pay-as-you-go-state
  • The Memphis area's status as redheaded stepchild to the rest of the state

...I feel you are asking for way too much there.  78 will not be freewayed in our lifetimes...the gap you speak of is denser than where they are currently putting interchanges.  Winchester has significant development, including residential, right up on it...expanding that would be both expensive and very impactful...including one of the MEM runways and 3 of the 4 north-south taxiways unless you just leave the existing tunnel as-is under those facilities.  Shelby isn't much better than Winchester in that regard, with development right up along the road including houses, businesses, and a fire station.

The only things on your list I can realistically see happening in the next few decades are a 240/Plough upgrade and another bridge over the river, though the latter would require a SIGNIFICANT commitment from the state in a region that they tend to ignore.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2021, 02:53:18 AM »

^

The US-78 upgrade, while certainly challenging, is at least a realistic proposal and has merit based on bottleneck conditions on that route heading to I-240.

The others mentioned, such as the two parallel east-west routes by the airport, seem unrealistic, IMO, and won’t ever happen. Are they even needed?
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thisdj78

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2021, 10:56:17 AM »

^

The US-78 upgrade, while certainly challenging, is at least a realistic proposal and has merit based on bottleneck conditions on that route heading to I-240.

The others mentioned, such as the two parallel east-west routes by the airport, seem unrealistic, IMO, and won’t ever happen. Are they even needed?

If anything, state line rd would be a good East/West candidate for becoming a limited access route. Looks like there is some ROW along the route.
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Bobby5280

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2021, 11:38:50 AM »

Quote from: froggie
I feel you are asking for way too much there.  78 will not be freewayed in our lifetimes...the gap you speak of is denser than where they are currently putting interchanges.  Winchester has significant development, including residential, right up on it...expanding that would be both expensive and very impactful...including one of the MEM runways and 3 of the 4 north-south taxiways unless you just leave the existing tunnel as-is under those facilities.  Shelby isn't much better than Winchester in that regard, with development right up along the road including houses, businesses, and a fire station.

The 2 miles of US-78 from I-240 to Getwell Road is not picturesque at all. The properties alongside the road are mostly commercial/industrial with a mix of convenience stores and other service businesses peppered in there. It's generally easier to buy up that kind of ROW than it is residential property. Since the surroundings in that area are already pretty ugly the option of an elevated freeway built over the top of existing US-78 might not generate a lot of resistance.

I think once all the other improvements are completed on US-78 to the Southeast of Getwell Road it will put more focus on that last 2 mile gap. I've seen dense, cluttered areas of property cleared out before. I lived on the Quantico Marine Corps base in the mid 1980's. US-1 going thru Triangle, VA looked a hell of a lot different than it does now. We're talking a night/day difference. Dozens of properties along US-1 were cleared to widen out the road and "clean up" the main entrance to The Crossroads of the 'Corps.

The FedEx hub generates a great deal of traffic. It's a bit surprising Democrat Road is just a 5-lane surface street running through there. The railroad crossing, going over a busy double-track route, is at-grade rather than grade-separated. That must create some traffic headaches.

Winchester Road has a good deal of residential properties lining its South Side between the Int'l Airport and US-78. But none are high end properties. And the closer you get to US-78 the surroundings grow more industrial in nature.

Memphis is certainly treated as a red-headed step child in Tennessee politics. But doesn't FedEx have some clout? It seems like they might be able to lobby for various improvements, even if they're "spot" improvements targeting one intersection at a time. Such improvements can accumulate over time.
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capt.ron

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2021, 01:23:30 PM »

Quote from: froggie
I feel you are asking for way too much there.  78 will not be freewayed in our lifetimes...the gap you speak of is denser than where they are currently putting interchanges.  Winchester has significant development, including residential, right up on it...expanding that would be both expensive and very impactful...including one of the MEM runways and 3 of the 4 north-south taxiways unless you just leave the existing tunnel as-is under those facilities.  Shelby isn't much better than Winchester in that regard, with development right up along the road including houses, businesses, and a fire station.

The 2 miles of US-78 from I-240 to Getwell Road is not picturesque at all. The properties alongside the road are mostly commercial/industrial with a mix of convenience stores and other service businesses peppered in there. It's generally easier to buy up that kind of ROW than it is residential property. Since the surroundings in that area are already pretty ugly the option of an elevated freeway built over the top of existing US-78 might not generate a lot of resistance.

I think once all the other improvements are completed on US-78 to the Southeast of Getwell Road it will put more focus on that last 2 mile gap. I've seen dense, cluttered areas of property cleared out before. I lived on the Quantico Marine Corps base in the mid 1980's. US-1 going thru Triangle, VA looked a hell of a lot different than it does now. We're talking a night/day difference. Dozens of properties along US-1 were cleared to widen out the road and "clean up" the main entrance to The Crossroads of the 'Corps.

The FedEx hub generates a great deal of traffic. It's a bit surprising Democrat Road is just a 5-lane surface street running through there. The railroad crossing, going over a busy double-track route, is at-grade rather than grade-separated. That must create some traffic headaches.

Winchester Road has a good deal of residential properties lining its South Side between the Int'l Airport and US-78. But none are high end properties. And the closer you get to US-78 the surroundings grow more industrial in nature.

Memphis is certainly treated as a red-headed step child in Tennessee politics. But doesn't FedEx have some clout? It seems like they might be able to lobby for various improvements, even if they're "spot" improvements targeting one intersection at a time. Such improvements can accumulate over time.
In theory, they can build a new US 78 / I-x22 section like they did in Huntsville, AL with the US 431/231 roadway in the early / mid 1980's.
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Tom958

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2021, 02:08:15 PM »

I'm too lazy to look it up, but ten or fifteen years ago there was an alternative analysis done for US 78 between I-240 and the Mississippi line, and it found that full conversion to an Interstate-quality freeway wouldn't be as cost-effective as a more modest package of improvements. For an Interstate-quality link to be built there will require a policy decision to build something that isn't economically justified plus a political decision to come up with a way to fund it.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2021, 02:24:24 PM »

^

Phase it out.

Modest upgrades first, then fill in the gaps overtime.

Or at minimum, eliminate all or most of the traffic signals and have a “jersey freeway” where a full freeway is simply not achievable.
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CoolAngrybirdsrio4

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2021, 03:17:54 PM »

I am just wondering by the end of all of these upgrades and driveway diversions that US 78 will be upgraded to I-22 up to I-240 (or the inner beltway in Memphis).

If it will be signed Interstate 22, when do you think it will be first signed? (I am guessing by the late 2020s or early 2030s.)
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sprjus4

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2021, 03:51:12 PM »

I am just wondering by the end of all of these upgrades and driveway diversions that US 78 will be upgraded to I-22 up to I-240 (or the inner beltway in Memphis).

If it will be signed Interstate 22, when do you think it will be first signed? (I am guessing by the late 2020s or early 2030s.)
It’s not going to be.

That last 2 mile stretch stands in the way, and the segment being upgraded is, unfortunately, not to full interstate standards. There will still be the occasional driveway and cross road, I believe.
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CoolAngrybirdsrio4

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Re: US 78 in Memphis
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2021, 03:55:55 PM »

I am just wondering by the end of all of these upgrades and driveway diversions that US 78 will be upgraded to I-22 up to I-240 (or the inner beltway in Memphis).

If it will be signed Interstate 22, when do you think it will be first signed? (I am guessing by the late 2020s or early 2030s.)
It’s not going to be.

That last 2 mile stretch stands in the way, and the segment being upgraded is, unfortunately, not to full interstate standards. There will still be the occasional driveway and cross road, I believe.

https://www.tn.gov/tdot/projects/region-4/lamar-avenue.html

It also turns out the last 2 miles of US 78 to I-240 isn't on the project list.
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