Heavily-Trafficked Truck Stops Closing in Order to Complete $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 some truck stops to close.
Earlier this week, Pilot-Flying J notified customers its location at 5021 Highway 78 (also known as Lamar Avenue) was closing June 30 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, the closed stop boasts 70 public parking spaces, five Prime Parking spaces for $15/night, seven fuel lanes and five showers.
Nichole Lawrence, community relations officer with TDOT, told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) a second Pilot-Flying J location in the area will also be closed by eminent domain over the course of the project.
However, that deal is not yet finalized.
U.S. 78 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.