Interstate 55 in Tennessee

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This article is about the section of Interstate 55 in Tennessee. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 55.

Interstate 55 marker

Interstate 55
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length: 12.00 mi[citation needed] (19.31 km)
Major junctions
South end: I‑55 at the Mississippi state line
  US 51 in Memphis
I‑240 in Memphis
US 61 / US 64 / US 70 / US 79 in Memphis
North end: I‑55 at Arkansas state line
Highway system
  • Tennessee State Routes
SR 54 SR 55
I-55 northbound, along with I-69, as it enters Tennessee in Memphis.

Interstate 55 in Tennessee lies entirely within the city of Memphis, located in Shelby County. The highway enters the city from Southaven in Desoto County, Mississippi and passes through the Whitehaven area of the city, bypassing Memphis International Airport to the west.

Route description[edit]

I–55 enter Tennessee from Mississippi Concurrent with I–69. I–55/I–69 heads due north before turning northwest. Then I–55 has an interchange with Interstate 240, I-55 then turns westward for a brief period before turning northward again. Just before reaching downtown, the highway turns westward again at E.H. Crump Boulevard and crosses the Mississippi River via the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge into West Memphis, in Crittenden County, Arkansas. [1]

There are currently plans to revamp the I-55/Crump Boulevard Interchange. The current design (a cloverleaf interchange) causes northbound motorists, especially truck drivers, to slow down from 55 MPH to 25 MPH when going from the section they are on to the section passing over the Mississippi River. This is due to northbound traffic having to merge into a one-lane loop with a tight radius. This has caused several accidents over the years. A temporary solution has been put into effect by making the NB loop into two lanes, eliminating the I-55 SB to Riverside Drive loop, and creating a left turn lane for the I-55 SB to Riverside Drive traffic. This eliminates having to make a lane change in order to stay on I-55 NB. Within the next few years, the cloverleaf will be eliminated entirely and two flyover ramps will be added, thus creating free-flow traffic for the mainline interstate. A roundabout will be created in place of the cloverleaf for Riverside Drive traffic, E.H. Crump Boulevard traffic, and the I-55 entrance/exit ramps. [2]

I-55 provides an alternate route for motorists who do not want to take Interstates 240 and 40 through downtown to cross the Mississippi River.

History[edit]

On January 18, 2008, the Federal Highway Administration authorized the states of Mississippi and Tennessee to extend I-69 from the I-40/TN 300 interchange in north Memphis to the I-55/I-69 interchange in Hernando; however, Tennessee has not yet signed the extension of the route, although Mississippi has already done so. [3] Interstate 55 is one Tennessee's interstates where the speed limit is 65 MPH instead of 70.

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Mississippi–Tennessee state line 0.0 0.0 I‑55 / I‑69 continue into Mississippi
Shelby Memphis 2 SR 175 (Shelby Drive) – Whitehaven, Capleville Signed as exits 2A (east) and 2B (west) southbound
5 US 51 (Elvis Presley Boulevard, SR 3) / Brooks Road – Graceland Signed as exits 5A (Brooks Road) and 5B (US 51 south)
6 I‑69 north / I‑240 – Nashville, Little Rock Northern end of I–69; signed as exits 6A (east) and 6B (west)
7 US 61 (3rd Street, SR 14) – Vicksburg, Mississippi
8 Horn Lake Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
9 Mallory Avenue
10 South Parkway
11 McLemore Avenue - President's Island
12A US 61 south / US 64 east / US 70 east / US 79 east (Crump Boulevard, SR 1 east) South end of US 61/US 64/US 70/US 79 overlap
12B Riverside Drive - Downtown
12C Metal Museum Drive Serves the National Ornamental Metal Museum
Mississippi River Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (state line)
Crittenden West Memphis 12.00 19.31 I‑55 north – Blytheville
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing


Interstate 55
Previous state:
Mississippi
Tennessee Next state:
Arkansas