TDOT receives $71.1 million grant to fund Lamar Avenue projects

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Memphis: The Tennessee Department of Transportation has been awarded a $71.1 million federal transportation grant to fund the widening of Lamar Avenue (US 78/SR 4) in Memphis. Combined with funds dedicated through the 2017 IMPROVE Act, the grant will help completely pay for the remaining phases of the three Lamar Avenue projects.

TDOT and its federal, state, and local partners have joined together to aggressively seek any available federal grant opportunities to assist with funding for the projects, which are estimated to cost $258 million to complete. Last year, TDOT and the Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization applied for $106 million in INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) Grant funds, of which $71.1 million was awarded to Tennessee.

“In addition to the enormous amount of freight that moves through the Lamar Corridor, thousands of people use this road to get to and from work each day,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Our projects will relieve congestion and improve our ability to attract more industry and jobs to Memphis. We thank Governor Haslam, Tennessee’s congressional delegation, state and local elected officials, and the many stakeholders who provided unwavering support in our efforts to secure this grant.”

The planned improvements include widening Lamar Avenue from four to six lanes from the Tennessee-Mississippi state line continuing north to the currently six lane section at Getwell Road. Three congested intersections would also be upgraded to new interchanges. Lamar Avenue Schedule: From MS state line to south of Shelby Drive (1.4 miles) – Construction to begin Fall 2018. From South of Shelby Drive to near Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange (1.9 miles) – Right of Way acquisition to begin Fall 2018, construction scheduled Fall 2020

  • Near Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange to Getwell Road (1.8 miles) – Right of Way acquisition to begin in Summer 2019, construction scheduled in Fall 2021

Lamar Avenue supports freight and goods to 535 truck terminals, 19 freight intermodal facilities, four rail yards, and three air and truck terminals. It also directly serves Memphis International Airport and is the home of FedExword headquarters.

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About Author

Christine Anne Piesyk has been a journalist for more than 50 years. Her credits include positions as Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Staff Writer specializing in education, leisure living, food and arts and entertainment. She was co-producer, writer and on air persona for the Entertainment Review for 25 years. Now "retired," she finds herself working on online websites and as a book editor. In her other life, she is a costume designer in her daughter's company, Gemini Dream Designs.

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