Another Major Truck Stop Permanently Closes Due to $258 MILLION Highway Project

Memphis, TN – Truckers will soon have fewer places to park in the Memphis area as the completion of a $258 million highway project is forcing yet another truck stop location to close.

On Friday, Pilot-Flying J notified customers the Pilot Travel Center located at 4949 Lamar Avenue (#405) will be closing permanently on Wednesday, September 8, due to eminent domain in order to facilitate a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) project to widen the roadway for approximately 5.1 miles.


According to Pilot-Flying J, location #405 stop boasts 100 public parking spaces, 15 Prime Parking spaces for $15/night, seven fuel lanes, five showers, a Subway restaurant and a CAT Scale.

Nichole Lawrence, community relations officer with TDOT, spoke with Transportation Nation Network (TNN) back in June when the Pilot-Flying J location at 5021 Highway 78/Lamar Avenue was shut down for the same reasons.

The closure of that location eradicated 85 parking spaces, seven fuel lanes and five showers.

At the time, Lawrence alerted TNN a second Pilot-Flying J in the area would be closed by eminent domain over the course of the project, but the details had not yet been finalized.

As a result of the closures, Pilot-Flying J suggest drivers use the following nearby locations:

• Flying J #677: 4740 Bethel Road, Olive Branch, MS
• Pilot #429: 1100 Martin Luther King Blvd., West Memphis, AR
• Flying J #607: 3400 West Service Loop Road, West Memphis, AR

The Project 

U.S. 78 (otherwise known as Lamar Avenue) is a heavily-traveled corridor beginning southeast of downtown Memphis and running to the Tennessee/Mississippi state line in Shelby County.

It is a nationally and regionally significant multimodal corridor linking interstate highways, airports, maritime ports, and rail.

It connects Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, and other major metropolitan cities in the southeast.


TDOT says this stretch of U.S. 78 faces “crippling congestion” which severely impacts the operations of freight facilities, as well as warehouse and distribution centers.

The proposed improvements, TDOT says, will reduce congestion and improve safety.

Specifically, the proposed improvements include widening Lamar Avenue from four to six lanes and construction of three new interchanges at Holmes Road, Shelby Drive, and Winchester Road, as well as modifications to the existing interchanges at Raines Road/Perkins Road and Getwell Road.

“The project will also address pavement deficiencies along the existing lanes of travel,” TDOT says.


In total, the project is estimated to cost $258 million and will be completed in three phases:

Phase I – from Mississippi state line to south of Shelby Drive (1.4 miles)

Phase II – from south of Shelby Drive to near Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange (1.9 miles)

Phase III – from near Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange to State Route 176 (Getwell Road) (1.8 miles)

In 2018, TDOT was awarded $71.1 million through the United States Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program to provide the funds necessary to green light the project.

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