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Author Topic: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)  (Read 18377 times)

Grzrd

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Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« on: April 22, 2015, 04:01:43 PM »

http://direction2040.com/library/Draft_Chapter_08%20(Implementation%20Plan).pdf
Draft timetable for Lamar Corridor:
2020 - Holmes Road interchange and widen to 6 lanes from Stateline Road to Shelby Drive.
2030 - Interchanges at Winchester Road and Stateline Road, widen to 6 lanes from Raines Rd. to Getwell Rd. and from Shelby Dr. to Raines Rd.
2040 - Interchange at Shelby Drive
(above quote from Interstate 22 thread)
Due to uncertainties associated with federal funding, TDOT Commissioner Schroer has delayed several projects, including construction of the I-55/Crump Boulevard interchange and ROW acquisition on the Lamar Corridor.  Here is a list of the projects delayed from FY 2015 to FY 2106 and a letter from Schroer to the Tennessee General Assembly explaining his decision.
It looks like projects in Tennessee will continue to be delayed until the U.S. Congress enacts the next multi-year reauthorization.
(above quote from Tennessee thread)

The April 19 Commercial Appeal (behind paywall) reports that the city of Memphis has reallocated some funds to allow for the purchase of ROW along Lamar Avenue to begin:

Quote
By moving some money around, local and state transportation officials have revived a stalled, $250 million-plus project to improve chronically congested Lamar Avenue on the southeastern edge of Memphis
The city of Memphis has agreed to shift $2.7 million that had been set aside for a proposed interchange renovation at Perkins and Winchester to the Lamar project. The money will go toward the purchase of right of way for the first phase of improvements, extending from the Mississippi state line to near Shelby Drive.
The reallocation of the funds was endorsed this month by a committee of the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation, facing long-term funding shortages for highway improvements across the state, had asked local governments to contribute money for right of way acquisitions for “large-scale, regionally significant projects,” said Kate Horton, transportation planner with MPO. The new money for Lamar allows officials to “move that project along” and start buying land in fiscal 2016, she said.
TDOT late last year announced delays for Lamar and more than 30 other projects, citing shortfalls in federal support for highway work.
City Engineer John Cameron said the project to redo the Perkins-Winchester interchange will be pushed back to 2017.
The funding shift reflects the high priority assigned to the Lamar project. A critical route serving Memphis’ warehouse and distribution operations, including BNSF Railway’s sprawling intermodal facility, Lamar is clogged almost daily with trucks that back up at the numerous traffic signals. During 2013, an average of nearly 37,000 vehicles a day traveled the route, according to TDOT figures.
The improvement project aims to reduce that congestion by replacing several signals with grade-separated interchanges between Getwell and the Mississippi line. But because the property along the corridor is heavily developed, the projected cost of acquiring right of way ($165.2 million) far exceeds the anticipated bill for construction ($88.1 million).
Officials haven’t released a timetable for completion of the overall improvement work.
“It’s a huge project,” Cameron said.
Improving Lamar long has been a top goal of the Greater Memphis Chamber.
It’s such a vital part of our logistics corridor. Millions of square feet of warehouse, distribution and manufacturing space are in that corridor ...,” said Andre Dean, vice president of public policy and community affairs for the chamber ....
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 04:30:09 PM by Grzrd »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 06:15:31 PM »

Will these improvements allow Interstate 22 to be extended into Tennessee?
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 07:59:51 PM »

Will these improvements allow Interstate 22 to be extended into Tennessee?

This post discusses a Cambridge Systematics study and the respective cost-benefit ratios of full-interstate and other upgrade options for the Lamar Corridor. Here is a link to the study:

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/documents/LamarAvenueCorridor_June2011.pdf

As I understand it, TDOT has elected to build selected interchanges and widen Lamar to six lanes, with several at-grades remaining.  That said, this post discusses how, in 2012, Commissioner Schroer spoke of the cost of the Lamar Corridor upgrade in terms that fit a full-interstate upgrade.  I suppose it is possible that TDOT has chosen an interim solution that would allow for a later upgrade to an interstate, but I do not believe that an interstate upgrade would be likely in either the near term or the mid term, and that an interstate upgrade in the long term would be a remote possibility (which is a primary reason why I started this thread instead of continuing to post Lamar developments in the Interstate 22 thread).
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 09:53:13 AM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 03:01:12 PM »

Recent article discusses Cambridge Systematics study of upgrade options for Lamar Avenue.  Three primary options (with estimated cost) are as follows: (1) build interchanges at Holmes and Winchester Roads and Shelby Drive, leaving Lamar at 4 lanes ($213.2 million), (2) build interchanges at Holmes and Winchester Roads and Shelby Drive, expanding Lamar to 6 lanes ($275.1 million), and (3) fully upgrade Lamar to I-22 ($637.9 million).  Here is link:
http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/aug/26/unlocking-lamar-planners-mull-ways-to-improve-transportation-corridor/
(above quote from Interstate 22 thread)
Here is a link to the Cambridge Systematics/TDOT study of the Lamar Corridor:
http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/documents/LamarAvenueCorridor_June2011.pdf
(above quote from Interstate 22 thread)

This May 12, 2015 USDOT press release discusses the recent visit of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to Memphis and estimates the total cost of the Lamar Avenue improvements to be $262.5 million:

Quote
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was joined by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton today at the Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to discuss the proposed Lamar Avenue project, designed to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by widening SR 4/US 78, may not be completed for several years due to inadequate federal funding for Tennessee and other states ....
According to state estimates, the Lamar Avenue project – though currently unfunded – will cost $262.5 million. Once completed, it will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion on one of western Tennessee’s biggest commuter and freight corridors.
“With BNSF’s massive intermodal facility, numerous major warehouse distribution centers and office complexes that are accessed via US 78, it is a major commercial corridor for our City and the region,” said Mayor Wharton. “The freight truck and commuter traffic is enormous and puts a serious strain on infrastructure. US 78 is in dire need of significant improvements that can only be accomplished with the aid of federal dollars ....

The May 12, 2015 Commercial Appeal also reported on Foxx's visit:

Quote
After hearing Memphis officials emphasize the importance of fixing the chronically congested Lamar Avenue corridor, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke sympathetically Tuesday but offered no immediate help with the $253 million project.
“We have Lamar Avenues all across the country,” Foxx told an audience of elected officials, agency leaders and business representatives at the Greater Memphis Chamber. As much as the project is needed, “we just don’t have the money to pay for it,” he added ....
Foxx commented after local leaders spoke of the need for improvements along Lamar, also known as U.S. 78, particularly the congested stretch from Getwell south to the Mississippi state line. Served by logistics companies with annual sales totaling $4 billion, the route is clogged daily with trucks backed up at the numerous traffic signals along the route.
“While it’s the busiest corridor in the South-Southeast, it’s one that’s causing a lot of damage now,” said Chamber chief executive Phil Trenary.
The project to enhance the corridor includes construction of grade-separated interchanges to replace the signaled intersections. But the enhancement plan is so costly — and funding so scarce — that the City of Memphis recently agreed to shuffle $2.7 million from a another project to pay for initial right of way acquisitions for the Lamar work.
Without the improvements, companies might decide to relocate, Trenary said.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 03:26:43 PM by Grzrd »
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Henry

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 11:22:26 AM »

Maybe it does make sense to end I-22 at I-269 instead of letting it peter out before crossing the state line. Then after the improvements are done, it's a wait-and-see situation.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2015, 07:27:56 AM »

I find it curious that they improvements end at Getwell Road. It might be since the six lane portion of Lamar Avenue ends there.

It may be a little easier to route a freeway along Getwell from there to I-240 instead of continuing along Lamar Avenue. The big issue with that, however, is the neighborhood that it runs through. While the ROW would probably be cheaper, it would probably face a lot of opposition.
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Cody Goodman
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2015, 12:25:17 PM »

I find it curious that the improvements end at Getwell Road. It might be since the six lane portion of Lamar Avenue ends there.
It may be a little easier to route a freeway along Getwell from there to I-240 instead of continuing along Lamar Avenue. The big issue with that, however, is the neighborhood that it runs through. While the ROW would probably be cheaper, it would probably face a lot of opposition.

This May 15 Memphis Business Journal article includes a map that divides the project into three sections from the state line to Getwell Road, and includes the associated ROW and construction costs for each section:

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Henry

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 01:27:23 PM »

I find it curious that the improvements end at Getwell Road. It might be since the six lane portion of Lamar Avenue ends there.
It may be a little easier to route a freeway along Getwell from there to I-240 instead of continuing along Lamar Avenue. The big issue with that, however, is the neighborhood that it runs through. While the ROW would probably be cheaper, it would probably face a lot of opposition.

This May 15 Memphis Business Journal article includes a map that divides the project into three sections from the state line to Getwell Road, and includes the associated ROW and construction costs for each section:


With these eye-popping figures, it could be a while before the improvements actually come, if at all. I'd be for making it an expressway with RIRO access at the side roads.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2015, 09:33:17 PM »

It's not that easy, Henry.  Except in the vicinity of the Raines Rd/Perkins Rd interchange, there's no access control along Lamar.  Which means that adjacent businesses and property owners have direct driveway access onto Lamar Ave.  This is in no small part why the ROW costs are so high.

Even doing what you suggest would carry a high price tag as it would still require dealing with the driveway access.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 06:42:57 AM »

It's not that easy, Henry.  Except in the vicinity of the Raines Rd/Perkins Rd interchange, there's no access control along Lamar.  Which means that adjacent businesses and property owners have direct driveway access onto Lamar Ave.  This is in no small part why the ROW costs are so high.

Even doing what you suggest would carry a high price tag as it would still require dealing with the driveway access.


One possible option would be to do a jersey barrier along the median, do RIRO, and then have some form of U-turns at the major intersections or interchanges, like US 1 between Trenton and Woodbridge. Of course, that isn't easy either, but it would be a cheaper solution than making the whole thing a freeway.
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Cody Goodman
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 03:32:04 PM »

This May 15 Memphis Business Journal article includes a map that divides the project into three sections from the state line to Getwell Road, and includes the associated ROW and construction costs for each section:
With these eye-popping figures, it could be a while before the improvements actually come, if at all.

This August 25 TV video, primarily reporting about Governor Haslam's "listening tour" across Tennessee to identify solutions to fund transportation projects, also indicates that the Lamar Avenue improvements are a focus for Haslam:

Quote
Gov. Bill Haslam is halfway through with meetings being held across the state to discuss ways to fund transportation projects ....
Raising the gas tax is just one of the solutions state leaders are considering to close a staggering gap between transportation needs in Tennessee and available funding.
“The state has about $6 billion worth of backlog projects,” Haslam said.
In Haslam’s travels throughout the state, he has been holding meetings with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and local leaders about transportation funding.
Although he is about halfway through those meetings, Haslam is no closer to taking a stance on a solution.
“We haven’t proposed one thing yet, at all,” he said. “We’ve said it’s really important the state understand the issue, and so we’re out around the state having that conversation to understand the issue.” ....
One project Haslam has been focusing on is Lamar Avenue. He said the cost of fixing it is around $270 million.
His transportation meetings will continue across the state through next month.

The Governor's focus on the improvements may result in at least some of them occurring in the relatively near future.
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2015, 09:31:32 PM »

This May 15 Memphis Business Journal article includes a map that divides the project into three sections from the state line to Getwell Road, and includes the associated ROW and construction costs for each section
This TDOT press release announces the release, by Gov. Haslam, of two highway project lists: (a) currently backlogged projects, and (b) new projects, as part of his public relations campaign to identify increased transportation funding in Tennessee:
Quote
Joined by Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer, Haslam also released two transportation projects lists: a list of 181 backlogged projects that will not be completed or at least under contract until 2034; and a list of 765 new project needs that cannot be considered until 2022 at the earliest, if ever.
(above quote from Tennessee thread)

This article reports that Gov. Haslam spoke at the Memphis Intermodal Facility on November 9, staging the event so that attendees and reporters could see and hear the traffic on Lamar Avenue, and that Haslam believes Tennessee has a three-year window of opportunity to enact some form of transportation funding increase:

Quote
Gov. Bill Haslam said in Memphis on Monday that it was time to put together a new "road plan" in Tennessee and said he hoped the General Assembly would tackle that plan — and how to pay for it — before he leaves office in 2018.
"We think it has to be discussed," Haslam said when asked if he wanted the legislature to take up a plan next year. "I guess I'd say it this way: I think it needs to happen while I'm governor, because if it doesn't, the new governor's not necessarily going to want to take that up in their first two years. There is no way we can keep going the way we are for the next five years. There's just no way it will work. People will feel that. And I think we need to address it while I'm in."
Haslam toured the state Monday, as he did this summer, highlighting the state's infrastructure backlog. He said 181 backlogged projects in 62 of the state's 95 counties won't be completed until 2034 unless the state tackles the issue.
Easing congestion on Lamar — a multiphase, $200 million-plus project — is on the list. ....
Haslam stopped short of proposing a gas tax increase — or any funding solution — Monday.
But he did push what has become a frequent bullet point of his on the topic, that increased fuel economy has led to Tennessee's per-gallon tax not being worth what it used to be.
"There's no other tax you can say it's half what it was 20 years ago," Haslam said.
Haslam's Memphis event — carefully staged so attendees and reporters would see and hear traffic on Lamar as he spoke — was his fourth on a five-city crisscrossing of the state that included similar events in Alcoa, Kingsport, Chattanooga and Lebanon.

I think the Lamar Avenue improvements will be a top priority if and when a funding increase is enacted.  Here is a snip of the Lamar Avenue projects from the backlog list:



A $3.35 million bridge project appears on the "new" list:

« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 10:02:42 PM by Grzrd »
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froggie

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 09:59:54 AM »

Guessing that "new" project is a bridge replacement at the 240/Lamar interchange.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2015, 10:05:45 AM »

Just curious, are these projects bringing Lamar Avenue up to Interstate standards?
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 10:15:29 AM »

No.  They're basically to widen Lamar to 6 lanes (3 each way) where it's currently 4.   From earlier studies, conversion to Interstate standards would be about 3-4 times more expensive (not to mention require a boatload of right-of-way) than what's shown.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2015, 11:10:45 AM »

Hence the ending of I-22 at I-269.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2015, 12:04:47 PM »

Interesting that the ROW costs are going to be more than the construction costs as proposed right now.
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Cody Goodman
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2015, 01:56:08 PM »

Why not just route I-22 onto SR 385 to I-240 and leave us 78 alone?
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 06:42:45 AM »

Why not just route I-22 onto SR 385 to I-240 and leave us 78 alone?

Because the inadequacy of Lamar Avenue is a separate issue from the routing of I-22.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 12:28:21 PM »

Interesting that the ROW costs are going to be more than the construction costs as proposed right now.

Lots of commercial interests that could be affected.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2015, 07:08:44 AM »

This article reports that Gov. Haslam spoke at the Memphis Intermodal Facility on November 9, staging the event so that attendees and reporters could see and hear the traffic on Lamar Avenue, and that Haslam believes Tennessee has a three-year window of opportunity to enact some form of transportation funding increase ....
I think the Lamar Avenue improvements will be a top priority if and when a funding increase is enacted.

This article confirms that the Lamar Avenue upgrade is consistently considered the top priority among Shelby County's backlogged projects:

Quote
... Gov. Bill Haslam ...
recently stood on BNSF property with traffic roaring in the background and talked about the state’s $6 billion backlog of transportation projects, including at least $934 million that touch Shelby County.
Haslam said he wants to work with lawmakers to come up with a plan to fix the issue before he leaves office in 2018 ....
While Shelby’s backlogged projects are all over the map, transportation and logistics industry experts listed Lamar’s $229 million fix as the No. 1 thing that would help move freight through and within Memphis.
“Of the top priorities we’ve had, Lamar Avenue continues to come to the top almost all the time,” said Dexter Muller, a senior advisor for the Greater Memphis Chamber. “It’s a high traffic location, and it’s highly congested. It’s serving 70 plus million square feet of industrial space. It’s also right there where the Burlington Northern is, which is important to us to keep those customers down there to support the BNSF.”
Dan Pallme, senior associate director of the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute at University of Memphis, said Lamar’s service level suffers because of competing demands of passenger vehicles and trucks, but the solution is so costly that it’s slow in coming.
“Obviously the Lamar corridor is primarily F-rated at a majority of times people try to travel. TDOT has a plan. It’s in the long-range vision. The problem is it costs a huge amount of money. (But) the longer we wait, the harder it is for Memphis to get caught up, so to speak,” Pallme said.
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2015, 11:17:56 AM »

This TDOT press release announces the release, by Gov. Haslam, of two highway project lists: (a) currently backlogged projects, and (b) new projects, as part of his public relations campaign to identify increased transportation funding in Tennessee:
Quote
Joined by Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer, Haslam also released two transportation projects lists: a list of 181 backlogged projects that will not be completed or at least under contract until 2034; and a list of 765 new project needs that cannot be considered until 2022 at the earliest, if ever.
(above quote from Tennessee thread)
Here is a snip of the Lamar Avenue projects from the backlog list:

This December 10 article quotes a TDOT deputy commissioner as seeming to suggest that it may take approximately fifty years (instead of the nineteen years suggested by the 2034 date in the TDOT press release for completion or being under contract) to complete the Lamar Avenue backlogged projects if Tennessee's current funding system does not change:

Quote
Tennessee’s $11.4 billion in transportation needs won’t be done for 51 years, assuming 2 percent inflation and nothing new is added to what the Department of Transportation (TDOT) already has on its plate, a TDOT deputy commissioner said Thursday.
Toks Omishakin told an annual State of Freight conference at University of Memphis that improvements to the Lamar Avenue corridor in Memphis and other projects will move agonizingly slow until Congress and the state come up with a sustainable solution to funding transportation infrastructure.
“This is an issue of timing,” he said. “This is an issue of priority. Do we really want to wait 50 years until we get a project like Lamar Avenue completed?”
The TDOT official joined transportation, logistics and planning experts for the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute’s ninth annual Intermodal Conference.
TDOT has a $6.1 billion backlog of projects already authorized by legislators and $5.3 billion in new projects identified. Lamar Avenue, a major artery for freight and passenger traffic, is among nearly a billion dollars in pending projects in Shelby County, Omishakin said.
It will take $270 million to $280 million to remove traffic bottlenecks on Lamar, including more than $100 million in right-of-way purchase alone.
“It’s going to take a lot of assistance from property owners along the way,” he said ....
Omishakin said the biggest win in Congress’s action last week was a freight program that will spend $2 billion to $2.5 billion a year on projects to improve movement of products. However, Congress skirted the issue of making highway users pay more into the system, he said.
“Our work is still cut out for us on the state side,” Omishakin said ....
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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 01:07:44 PM »

This article confirms that the Lamar Avenue upgrade is consistently considered the top priority among Shelby County's backlogged projects

TDOT has released its Proposed Fiscal Years 2017-2019 Comprehensive Multimodal Program and it includes construction on 1.1 miles of US 78 from the Mississippi state line to south of Shelby Drive in FY 2019:

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2016, 08:40:53 PM »

This article confirms that the Lamar Avenue upgrade is consistently considered the top priority among Shelby County's backlogged projects

TDOT has released its Proposed Fiscal Years 2017-2019 Comprehensive Multimodal Program and it includes construction on 1.1 miles of US 78 from the Mississippi state line to south of Shelby Drive in FY 2019:



Does it say exactly what will be constructed?
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Grzrd

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Re: Lamar Avenue Improvements (Memphis)
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2016, 02:30:55 PM »

http://direction2040.com/library/Draft_Chapter_08%20(Implementation%20Plan).pdf
Draft timetable for Lamar Corridor:
2020 - Holmes Road interchange and widen to 6 lanes from Stateline Road to Shelby Drive ,,,
(above quote from Interstate 22 thread)
This TDOT press release announces the release, by Gov. Haslam, of two highway project lists: (a) currently backlogged projects, and (b) new projects, as part of his public relations campaign to identify increased transportation funding in Tennessee
(above quote from Tennessee thread)
Here is a snip of the Lamar Avenue projects from the backlog list:
TDOT has released its Proposed Fiscal Years 2017-2019 Comprehensive Multimodal Program and it includes construction on 1.1 miles of US 78 from the Mississippi state line to south of Shelby Drive in FY 2019:
Does it say exactly what will be constructed?

The Proposed Multimodal Program does not say exactly what will be constructed, but given the $22.4 million construction cost, my best guess is that it will include construction of a Holmes Road interchange along with the widening of Lamar Avenue to six lanes.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 02:59:34 PM by Grzrd »
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