|Length:||213 mi (343 km)|
|West end:||I-269 near Memphis, TN|
|East end:||I-65 / US-31 in Birmingham, AL|
Interstate 22 (I-22) is an Interstate highway that, upon completion, will follow the U.S. Route 78 (US 78) corridor on a 213-mile-long (343 km) route from Memphis, Tennessee, to Birmingham, Alabama. I-22 will connect I-240 and I-40 and I-55 (indirectly) in the northwest with I-65 and (indirectly) I-20/I-59 in the southeast. Hence, I-22 will help form a freeway to connect downtown Atlanta with Birmingham, Memphis, Little Rock, Fort Smith, and Oklahoma City.
Along its way through the two states, I-22 will also serve the towns of Jasper, Winfield, and Hamilton, Alabama and Fulton, Tupelo, New Albany, and Holly Springs, Mississippi. Major portions of this highway have either been built new or converted to Interstate Highway standards as of early 2011. However, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a connection to another Interstate highway must be completed before this highway is officially designated as part of the Interstate Highway System. To be completed but under construction is an interchange with I-65 near Birmingham. An interchange to be constructed near Byhalia designated as I-269 would be the western terminus of I-22. The portion of I-269 just north of this area was completed by early 2013.
The part of I-22 just east of Fulton, Mississippi, was approved by Congress as "Corridor X" in 1978, as a part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, and parts of I-22 have been under construction ever since. Corridor X was also designated as "High Priority Corridor 10" in the Federal National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, and as "High Priority Corridor 45" in later legislation.
Two small but costly portions of I-22 remain to be completed, and these are under construction as of early 2011. The one missing part in Alabama is only 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long and it is in Jefferson County, and this is from Coalburg Road near Fultondale to U.S. Highway 31 (US 31) on the northern edge of Birmingham. This short section consists mostly of the major highway interchange with I-65 and US 31. The other missing part is the short stretch from the state line between Mississippi and Tennessee to its final interchange with an Interstate Highway just southeast of Memphis. The exact location of this western terminus has not yet been decided on as of early 2011, but I-269 (when completed) and I-240 are two possibilities. It is also possible that I-22 may follow I-269 west to end at the I-55/I-69/I-269 interchange near Hernando.
Future I-22 now covers nearly the full distance between Birmingham and suburban Memphis, stopping short of its lone major interchange in Alabama at I-65. In Mississippi, I-22 runs from the Alabama state line across the state, and past the location of its prospective interchange with I-269 to the Tennessee state line at the Memphis city limits. This is about four miles (6.4 km) short of an interchange with I-240 in Shelby County, Tennessee. However, whether a highway all the way to I-240 is ever constructed is still an open question because such a highway would need to go through a heavily-industrialized area of Memphis. This includes a large intermodal railroad and highway facility adjacent to the current US 78. Government funding for the two remaining sections of I-22 has been a priority for Senator Richard Shelby, who served as the Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Subcommittee.
In 2004, Corridor X was designated as Future I-22 by Public Law Number 108-199, and the designation was made official on April 18, 2005. In Alabama and Mississippi, blue signs reading "FUTURE/I-22/CORRIDOR" at left and an I-22 shield with "FUTURE" instead of "INTERSTATE" at the right were unveiled on April 18, 2005.
U.S. Highway 78
Future I-22 is also called US 78. Nearly all of US 78 today has been moved from its original roadway from Graysville, Alabama, through to Memphis. The fate of US 78 once Corridor X officially becomes I-22 is still undecided. Its original highway between Graysville and Memphis now bears several different state highway designations. From Graysville to Jasper, it is called State Route 5 (SR-5). For a short stretch in western Jasper, it is designated as SR-69, but once it turns south in western Jasper, the highway becomes SR-118. This remains its designation as until it reaches Winfield, where it becomes US 43, and at Guin, US 278 joins the highway. This continues through the town of Hamilton. In Hamilton, the former route of US 78 becomes SR-74 westward to its intersection with I-22 at exit 7. From that exit though the Mississippi state line, the current US 78 and Future I-22 are the same highway. (Here, the new I-22 has been built on top of the old US 78.)
At the Mississippi state line, travelers can look to the north to see the old US 78. This is still used today as a local road, but it is not accessible from Corridor X. At exit 113 on Corridor X, the old highway is accessible via Mississippi Highway 23 (MS 23) just north of Corridor X, and westbound from there it is MS 178.
MS 178 continues into Fulton, Miss. At Fulton, due to the existence of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, the original highway no longer exists just west of downtown Fulton. Then it can be entered again via I-22 at exit 101 as MS 178 again. The old highway (as MS 178) continues to run parallel with and south of I-22 into and past the town of Tupelo where it crosses Corridor X again at exit 81. The original routing remains parallel to and north of Corridor X through Sherman, Blue Springs, New Albany, Myrtle, and Hickory Flat before crossing Corridor X again at exit 48. It now runs parallel to and south of Corridor X through Potts Camp before crossing Corridor X the last time between Potts Camp and Lake Center and then it continues into Holly Springs, Red Banks, Victoria, Byhalia, and finally through Olive Branch before reconnecting with I-22 at an at-grade intersection just inside Tennessee near the present end of the controlled access highway. The decision to be made by the three departments of transportation is to whether to decommission US 78 from Birmingham all the way to downtown Memphis; or to redesignate the former US 78 routing once again as US 78; or to have I-22 also designated as US 78 on its entire distance between Birmingham and Memphis. There has been no indication as of January 2011 as to when such a decision might be made.
Approximately 93 miles (150 km) of Future I-22 is open to traffic in Alabama. The completed section of the route between the Mississippi state line and Jasper was opened to traffic on November 22, 2005. Exits on the Jasper Bypass portion of I-22 were originally numbered using a kilometer-based sequence because at the time this stretch was opened it appeared that all highways in the U.S. were going to be measured using the metric system. The final decision was made to remain using miles, and they have been renumbered according to the highway's mileposts. A six-mile (9.7 km) segment between Graysville and Brookside was opened in June 2007, and another 20-mile (32 km) section of Future I-22 between Jasper and Graysville was opened in November 2007. A 1.8-mile (2.9 km) segment between Cherry Avenue in Forestdale to a point about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) short of I-65 near Fultondale, including an interchange with Coalburg Road, which was opened in December 2009. This has been the last segment of I-22 in Alabama to open for traffic so far. Next comes the connection of I-22 with I-65 and US 31. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) also plans to widen Coalburg Road from its interchange with I-22 southward to Daniel Payne Drive (which leads to I-65) in order to allow heavy trucks to use it. However, no timetable for this project has been announced by ALDOT. Signs are now in place on Daniel Payne Drive (westbound) informing truckers that access to I-22 is not allowed from Daniel Payne Drive.
Plans call for I-22 to be completed to I-65 in October 2014, with the 14-bridge stack interchange in Birmingham. Construction to widen I-65 to four lanes in both directions has begun from just south of the upcoming highway interchange southward to the 16th Street interchange in Birmingham. Under the present design, I-22 will terminate at I-65, but the highway will continue a short distance beyond I-65 as a long pair of ramps to US 31. Another associated project is a widening of I-65 from its interchange with I-22 northward to the Walker Chapel Road exit. This work (as of early 2011) is underway. The expansion of I-65 south of the I-22 interchange to the interchange with I-65 and I-20/I-59 has been completed south of exit 264.
ALDOT had announced that the awarding of contracts for the construction of the final segment of I-22, including its large interchange with I-65 and US 31, would have been carried out in August 2009—with the construction to begin shortly afterwards. However funding delays postponed these into 2010. On March 19, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act into law, which included an extension of federal highway funding through the end of 2010. This extension gave the ALDOT the opportunity to proceed with its plans for the construction of final segment of I-22 in Alabama. The opening of the bids for this project began on May 21, 2010. ALDOT announced on June 16, 2010, that the project has been awarded to the company Archer Western Contractors for $168,600,000.
The construction work began in October 2010, and it has a projected completion date of October 15, 2014. This project is the most expensive highway project ever undertaken in Jefferson County, and it the highest-priced contract that the Alabama Department of Transportation has ever awarded.
Various lighting projects have been completed along I-22 since 2008. These include lighting at exits 85, 30, and 14. I-22 is a six-lane highway between exit 63, at Jasper, and the current terminus of the highway at exit 93, at Coalburg Road. A stretch of I-22 between exits 57 and 52 is also six-lane freeway. ALDOT, as of July 2010, has no plans to construct an Alabama Welcome Center for eastbound travelers from Mississippi into Alabama.
Exit 53 is currently an unnamed exit. ALDOT stated that the original intent was for this interchange to serve as SR-102 and connect to the existing SR-102 at Townley. The mileage signs on the interchange bridge facings indicate the route as SR-102 but ALDOT has stated that funds are not currently available to extend SR-102 from I-22 to the intersection of SR-124 and SR-102 at Townley. This unbuilt roadway is approximately five miles (8.0 km) long. As of summer 2011, this exit serves only as a connection to SR-118 (the old US 78) on the northside of I-22 and as a local road serving a few residences on the southside of I-22.
In April 2013 the first actual Interstate 22 shields were deployed in Marion County, Alabama, immediately east of the Mississippi state line. It is noted that such signage will extend east at least through Walker County into the outskirts of Birmingham.
Portions of the highway in Mississippi must be upgraded to current Interstate standards. The main areas involved are an approximately two-mile (3.2 km) portion through New Albany where both an insufficient median and substandard bridges exist. Another area is scattered along the entire Mississippi portion where work to improve the shoulders to Interstate standards is yet to be done as well as repaving some of the oldest portions of the existing freeway between Holly Springs and Olive Branch which will probably occur once construction of the I-269/I-22 interchange near Byhalia commences. Portions of the freeway between New Albany and Tupelo have been repaved and the shoulders brought up to Interstate standards including a revamped interchange at Blue Springs to accommodate a Toyota manufacturing facility there.
At the western end of the route, the connection between I-22 and the other interstates in the vicinity of Memphis is most likely to make use of the I-269 Outer Memphis Beltway, which is currently in various stages of planning and construction. One possible routing takes I-22 westward along I-269 to the existing I-55/I-69 interchange near Hernando, Mississippi. Another possibility is that I-22 would terminate at the interchange with I-269 or that it would eventually continue westward into Memphis and eventually connect with I-240 in suburban Memphis.
Roadway lighting is now in place at the following Mississippi exits: 2 (Olive Branch), 26 and 30 (Holly Springs), 61 (New Albany), 86 (Tupelo), and 104 (Fulton). Roadway lighting is also being installed as of August 2010 at exits 73 and 76 (Blue Springs and Sherman) which provide access to the Toyota automotive facility.
Mississippi also has currently one welcome center for westbound travelers approximately two miles (3.2 km) from the Alabama state line. There are also truck weigh stations near Fulton and Olive Branch.
Due to the commercial heavy industrial commerce areas along US 78 between the Mississippi–Tennessee state line and the junction with I-240 in Memphis, a distinct possibility exists that I-22 will not be routed north and west of the new I-22/I-269 interchange to be built near Byhalia, Mississippi. I-22 would either terminate at that interchange or be routed westward and co-signed with I-269 to the existing I-55/I-69 interchange just north of Hernando where both I-269 and I-22 would terminate. As of early 2012, neither MDOT nor TDOT have announced any decision regarding how the routing will ultimately be done.
I-269 will run north from the new I-22 and I-269 interchange near Byhalia and cross the state line near Collierville, and then northward to I-40 northeast of Memphis. From there, I-269 will continue northwest and west to a new interchange with I-69 northeast of Millington. Most of the portion of this highway in Tennessee has been completed except for a half mile (0.8 km) stretch of it south of Collierville to the Mississippi state line. The unfinished Tennessee portion was opened for traffic in 2013. The segment from Tennessee State Route 385 (SR-385) at Collierville southward into Mississippi to an interchange was constructed at MS 302.
U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus announced in The Birmingham News in May 2009 that the proposed Northern Beltline had been numbered as I-422. This Interstate Highway should intersect with I-22 near Graysville, and then continue southwest to connect with Interstate 20/Interstate 59, and also from I-22 eastward to connect with I-59 near Argo.
The plans for this highway call for a short spur from I-22, near mile marker 86, northward to connect with I-422. I-422 would pass over I-22 just west of Graysville without an interchange there. Drivers on I-22 would need to use the spur to transit from I-22 to I-422 under this current plan.
||This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by .|
|Shelby||Memphis||Lamar Avenue||Begin/end limited access; signed only as US-78|
|Tennessee–Mississippi state line|
|DeSoto||Olive Branch||1||Craft Road||Serves Olive Branch|
|2||MS 302 – Olive Branch, Southaven||Also known as Goodman Road|
|4||MS 305 – Olive Branch, Independence||Serves Olive Branch city center|
|6||Bethel Road, Hacks Cross Road||Access northbound to SR-385 and eastern Memphis suburbs|
|10||Ingrams Mill, West Byhalia|
|Marshall||Byhalia||14||MS 309 – Byhalia||Future I-269 interchange will be built near here|
|18||Victoria, East Byhalia|
|Holly Springs||26||MS 4 / MS 7 – Holly Springs||Access to Mount Pleasant via MS 311 north, MS 4 and MS 7 now bypass the downtown area of Holly Springs|
|30||MS 4 / MS 7 – Holly Springs, Oxford||Access to Senatobia via MS 7|
|Potts Camp||41||To MS 349 – Potts Camp|
|Benton||Hickory Flat||48||MS 178 – Hickory Flat||Access to MS 2 and MS 5|
|New Albany||60||Glenfield||Connector to MS 30 and to a Wal-Mart distribution center|
|61||MS 30 west – West New Albany, Oxford||West end of MS 30 overlap|
|63||Downtown New Albany|
|64||MS 15 / MS 30 east – Pontotoc, Ripley||East end of MS 30 overlap|
|73||MS 9 north – Blue Springs||West end of MS 9 overlap and service to a new Toyota plant|
|Pontotoc||Sherman||76||MS 9 south (MS 178) – Sherman, Pontotoc||East end of MS 9 overlap and accesses the new Toyota plant|
|Lee||Tupelo||81||MS 178 (McCullough Boulevard) – West Tupelo|
|85||Natchez Trace Parkway|
|86||US 45 (Corridor V west) – Tupelo, Corinth||West end of Corridor V overlap; signed as exits 86A (south) and 86B (north)|
|87||Veterans Boulevard||Access to Elvis Presley birthplace|
|94||MS 371 – Mantachie, Mooreville|
|Itawamba||97||Fawn Grove Road – Dorsey|
|101||MS 178 / MS 363 – Peppertown, Mantachie||Due to the Tenn-Tom waterway, MS 178 ends on the west bank of the waterway opposite Fulton|
|Fulton||104||MS 25 south – Fulton, Amory||West end of MS 25 overlap, MS 178 resumes eastbound in downtown Fulton|
|108||MS 25 north (Corridor V east) – Belmont, Iuka||East end of MS 25/Corridor V overlap; west end of Corridor X overlap|
|Tremont||113||MS 23 – Tremont, Smithville||MS 178 terminates eastbound at intersection with MS 23 just north of Corridor X|
|Mississippi–Alabama state line|
|Hamilton||7||Weston, Hamilton (SR-74)||Provides access to US-278 east and to SR-19 Red Bay|
|11||SR-17 – Hamilton, Sulligent||Also connects to SR-19|
|16||US-43 / US-278 (SR-171) – Hamilton, Guin|
|26||SR-44 – Brilliant, Guin||Also serves the community of Twin|
|Winfield||30||SR-129 – Brilliant, Winfield|
|34||SR-233 – Glen Allen, Natural Bridge|
|Walker||40||SR-13 – Natural Bridge, Eldridge||Also access to Fayette and Tuscaloosa via SR-13 south|
|Carbon Hill||46||CR-11 – Carbon Hill, Nauvoo|
|52||SR-118 – Carbon Hill|
|53||(no name)||Future SR-102|
|Jasper||57||SR-118 east – Jasper|
|61||SR-69 – Jasper, Tuscaloosa|
|63||SR-269 – Jasper, Parrish||Old exit 101|
|65||Industrial Parkway Road – Jasper||Old exit 104|
|70||CR-22 – Cordova, Parrish|
|72||CR-61 – Cordova|
|78||CR-81 – Dora, Sumiton|
|Jefferson||81||CR-45 – West Jefferson||Alabama Power Miller Steam Plant access (coal fired electric power plant)|
|Graysville||85||US-78 – Birmingham, Adamsville, Graysville||SR-5 – Sumiton, Dora|
|87||CR-112 – Graysville|
|Forestdale||89||CR-65 – Adamsville, Graysville||Hillcrest Road/Minor Parkway|
|91||CR-105 – Brookside||Cherry Avenue and Forestdale|
|93||CR-77 – Coalburg||Directional signs on exit ramp notate north to Coalburg and south to Birmingham|
|Birmingham||95||I-65||Construction began on this exit in October 2010, completion is scheduled for October 2014|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Future I-22". Interstate-guide.com (self-published). Retrieved February 15, 2008.[unreliable source?]
- Google Inc. "Tentative Map of Future I-22". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=1392346378167661835,34.992250,-89.877210%3B13767070516756336538,33.642320,-86.974850&saddr=US-78+E+%4034.992250,+-89.877210&daddr=33.593459,-86.940308&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=11&sll=33.665497,-86.973953&sspn=0.258312,0.462799&ie=UTF8&ll=34.3389,-88.560791&spn=2.050119,3.702393&z=8. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- MacDonald, Ginny (February 21, 2010). "Next step toward I-22 up in the air". The Birmingham News.
- Rutherford, Joe (July 27, 2010). "Largest of I-22 corridor project nears start in Alabama". Northeast Mississippi News.
- McMurray, Jeffery (December 22, 2003). "Shelby's clout has helped put Corridor X on the brink of completion". The Associated Press State & Local Wire.
- "Corridor X opens new section; interchange lags". The Birmingham News. December 10, 2009. p. 2A.
- "Interstate 69, Section of Independent Utility #9, Final Environmental Impact Statement" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Transportation. June 28, 2006. p. 32. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- MacDonald, Ginny (January 28, 2004). "Corridor X gets official seal as I-22". The Birmingham News.
- MacDonald, Ginny (April 15, 2005). "Corridor X becomes I-22: Signs bearing name to be unveiled Monday in Jasper by officials". The Birmingham News. p. 1C.
- Faulk, Kent (November 23, 2005). "Corridor X section opens in west Alabama". The Birmingham News. p. 4C.
- MacDonald, Ginny (June 2, 2007). "13 miles of Corridor X to open: End of long road in sight for I-22". The Birmingham News. p. 1A.
- MacDonald, Ginny (October 31, 2007). "26 miles of Corridor X to open Nov. 14: Stretch offers straight shot from Forestdale to Memphis". The Birmingham News. p. 1A.
- "Alabama's highway system keeps improving". The Birmingham News. December 21, 2009. p. 1B.
- Gray, Jeremy (July 26, 2010). "Birmingham I-65/Corridor X project set to launch August 1". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- MacDonald, Ginny (November 26, 2006). "Roads chief wants I-22 done by 2010: Corridor X connection and I-65 widening to begin next year". The Birmingham News. p. 1A.
- Gray, Jeremy (May 21, 2010). "Alabama Department of Transportation opens bids on Corridor X link to Interstate 65". The Birmingham News. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Gray, Jeremy (June 16, 2010). "Construction contract awarded for final link of Corridor X". The Birmingham News. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
- "Interstate 22 signs going up". Daily Mountain Eagle (Jasper, AL), April 4, 2013.
- "Proposed US 78 Split Diamond Interchange, New Albany, MS" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Transportation. July 19, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- "Rest Areas and Welcome Centers". Mississippi Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- MacDonald, Ginny (May 26, 2009). "Corridor X/ I-65 interchange construction could begin this year". The Birmingham News. Retrieved May 26, 2009.