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Author Topic: Who maintains Sam Cooper Boulevard?  (Read 1274 times)


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Who maintains Sam Cooper Boulevard?
« on: April 29, 2017, 10:43:41 AM »

Who maintains Sam Cooper Boulevard in Memphis?

I'm guessing it was turned over to local control when plans for I-40 were abandoned through Overton Park. (I assume if TDOT still controlled it, it would have a route number of some form or fashion, possibly even I-140.)


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Re: Who maintains Sam Cooper Boulevard?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 11:55:20 AM »

According to Wikipedia, ownership of the route was transferred to the city after the Supreme Court decision to halt construction through Overton Park. The article cites this summary of the case as basis of that claim, but I couldn’t find any specific reference to a transfer of ownership in a quick scan through it.

But as to your point about state-maintained roads and route numbers—I’m unfamiliar with Tennessee’s practices, but let me give you an example of another state where that’s not the case.

In Pennsylvania, PennDOT maintains literally thousands of miles of streets and roads that aren’t numbered traffic routes (i.e. routes without the familiar PA keystone state route shield). Most of these are known simply by name and are only identifiable as state-maintained roads by tiny white segment markers posted inconspicuously by the roadside. These roads do have SR numbers (like SR 4024), but no civilians would refer to them by those numbers.

Even some freeways in Pennsylvania, such as the Airport Connector near Harrisburg or the Central Scranton Expressway, have never had a signed traffic route number.


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Re: Who maintains Sam Cooper Boulevard?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 05:36:09 PM »

As far as I know, it's a city-maintained freeway, like Plough Boulevard; all the signage that doesn't date to the initial construction (except at I-40/240) appears to be city-fabricated signage. I'm not sure why TDOT didn't retain control of it, but my guess is that if they had people would have suspected TDOT still had plans to complete I-40.

Within cities, most state highways in Tennessee are locally-maintained except freeways and (most, if not all, I think) state primary routes, although they may have been initially built by TDOT. That's part of the reason why routes like TN 23 and TN 176 are barely-signed and why figuring out the routings of US routes (which are mostly secondary routes downtown) through downtown Memphis has been a favorite pastime of this board and MTR forever.


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