Interstate 69 in Tennessee

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Interstate 69 marker

Interstate 69
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length: 21.0 mi (33.8 km)
Existed: January 18, 2009 (2009-01-18) – present
Major junctions
South end: I-55 / I-69 at Mississippi state line
North end: US 51 / SR 300 in Memphis
Counties: Shelby
Highway system
SR 68 SR 69
I-69 northbound, along with I-55, as it enters Tennessee in Memphis.

Interstate 69 (I-69) is an incomplete U.S. Interstate Highway passing through the western part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, serving the cities of Union City, Troy, Dyersburg, and Memphis. State officials are considering building parts of I-69 as a toll road. Currently (while unsigned), a 21-mile (34 km) section of I-69 exists in the Memphis area. Portions of a 22-mile section between Union City and Troy are under construction.

Route description[edit]

From Fulton, Kentucky, I-69 is planned to continue to the southwest, replacing and bypassing existing U.S. Route 51, serving Union City, Dyersburg (where it will intersect Interstate 155), Ripley, Covington, and Millington. Tennessee is considering legislation that would allow I-69 to be built as a toll road, thereby accelerating its design and construction timetable by several years should such legislation be approved.[1] Tennessee's toll road legislation comes as Congress withdrew $171 million allocated for Tennessee highway projects, including funds for I-69. This federal highway allotment was diverted to fund ongoing military operations in Iraq.[2]

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, Mississippi; however, Tennessee has not yet signed the extension of the route, although Mississippi has already done so.[3]

On January 29, 2010, Senator Dewayne Bunch of the Tennessee General Assembly introduced senate bill 3790, SB3790, in addition to companion bill HB 2785 by Representative Hill, which would have affected the construction of I-69 in Tennessee. The bill would have made it a class E felony to enter into a contract for the design, construction, survey or maintenance of any portion of I-69 or any other interstate or highway project that is designed to link Canada, U.S., and Mexico. The bills did not pass due to lack of overall support in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Planned extension[edit]

I-69 has been divided into three of segments of independent utility (SIUs).

SIU 7[edit]

This segment begins at the Kentucky/Tennessee border in Fulton, and closely follows US Highway 51 to Dyersburg. The 20-mile (32 km) section between Dyersburg and Troy is at Interstate Highway standards—opening with the completion of Interstate 155 west of Dyersburg. An additional 10-mile (16 km) section north of Union City to within 1100 feet of the Kentucky border is also a freeway. Thus, the vast majority of the work on SIU 7 will involve bypassing the 15-mile (24 km) section of US-51 between Troy and Union City (where it is currently a 4-lane surface arterial with at-grade intersections) and redesigning the US 51/US 45 interchange in South Fulton. The southern portion has been divided into five smaller segments. The first two segments make up the Troy Bypass, while the northern three sections represent the Union City Bypass.

As of July 2014, land acquisition and utility relocations are underway in all five sub-sections. The first construction contract was let for SIU 7 on October 30, 2009, covering Section 4 (middle leg of the Union City Bypass). The winning bid for constructing the 4.3-mile (7 km) section between TN-21 and TN-5 northwest of Union City, was awarded to Ford Construction Company of Dyersburg for $33 million. Construction on this portion of the Union City Bypass began in the Spring of 2010, and was completed in the summer of 2012. However, it will remain closed to traffic until adjacent sections are completed. TDOT awarded a construction contract for 2.4 mile Section 3 (southern leg of the Union City Bypass) in March 2016, and plans to let a second contract for Section 5 (northern leg of the Union City Bypass) in December 2016. There is no current timetable for letting contracts to construct the Troy Bypass (Sections 1 and 2).[4] Work began on Section 3 in June 2016[5]

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer estimated in February 2013 that it would take around ten years to gradually complete work on SIU 7 due to lack of funding.[6]

SIU 8[edit]

SIU 8 proceeds south from Dyersburg, paralleling US Highway 51 to a planned interchange with TN-385 (I-269) in Millington. To facilitate work on the Draft EIS this segment, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has divided SIU 8 into three smaller segments. In April 2006 TDOT has announced the preferred routing for the northern and southern subsections, favoring an alignment to the west of Highway 51. Meanwhile, studies are still ongoing for the central section, which include alignments both east and west of the existing US Highway 51. Once TDOT identifies the preferred alignment for the central segment, it is expected that a supplemental draft EIS will be necessary before the final EIS can be prepared.

The routing of I-69 has been criticized by the state Sierra Club chapter for not making use of the existing right-of-way for U.S. 51 and for potentially impacting the Hatchie River, a state-designated scenic river.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has suspended work indefinitely on Segment 8 due to a lack of funding. TDOT has further stated that it does not intend to resume work on the Dyersburg-Millington section until Congress commits federal funding to complete environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition and construction.

SIU 9[edit]

South of Millington, I-69 will intersect the Interstate 269 Memphis Outer Beltway, then continue southwest, roughly parallel to U.S. 51, and connect with Interstate 40 at the existing State Route 300 interchange in the Frayser neighborhood. Interstate 69 follows I-40 for about 3 miles (5 km) to the I-40/I-240 Midtown Interchange, where I-69 continues south along the Midtown portion of I-240 (mileposts 25-31) to the I-240/I-55 interchange in Whitehaven. From that interchange, I-69 continues south, merged with I-55 for approximately 12 miles (19 km), crossing the Mississippi state line. The Mississippi Department of Transportation has been working on widening I-55/I-69 between Hernando and the Tennessee State Line, adding travel lanes in each direction, reconstructing bridges, and improving traffic flow at interchanges. Meanwhile, TDOT is reconstructing I-55 and I-240 from the Mississippi line to downtown Memphis. With much of the route already built and at Interstate standards through Memphis, the FHWA authorized TDOT to sign I-69 over I-55, I-240 and I-40 on January 18, 2008; however, TDOT has not yet done so.

In addition to the I-69 routing through downtown Memphis, SIU 9 also includes construction of the Interstate 269 Memphis Outer Loop. In the EIS, the combination of the I-69 downtown routing combined with the I-269 loop is referred to as the "Systems Option" for SIU-9. As of July 2014, a 64.3-mile (103 km) segment of I-269 from Millington to Collierville is open to traffic (signed as State Route 385). Construction on the 28.6-mile (46.0 km) portion of I-269 between US-72 in Collierville and I-55/I-69/MS-304 in Hernando began in 2012 and is expected to cost $450 million.[7]

The FHWA issued a Record of Decision on January 29, 2007, approving the Final EIS for the "Systems Option" and authorizing Tennessee and Mississippi to begin land acquisition and construction on the remaining portions of I-69 and I-269 through Memphis. Immediately following this decision, Mississippi solicited bids from engineers to complete the final design on its section of I-269. Four engineering firms began preliminary field work and final design on their portion of I-269 on March 22, 2007.[8] MDOT and DeSoto County are also upgrading several local roads that I-269 is planned to cross in preparation for expected growth once the highway is built.[9] As noted above, FHWA has authorized TDOT and MDOT to post the I-69 designation along I-40, I-240, and I-55 in Memphis, officially extending the route into Tennessee from Mississippi.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has suspended work indefinitely on the unbuilt section between TN-300 and the proposed interchange with I-269 near Millington due to a lack of funding. TDOT has further stated that it does not intend to resume work on this section until Congress commits federal funding to complete environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition and construction.

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
TennesseeMississippi line 0.00 0.00 I-55 south / I-69 south Continuation into Mississippi
Shelby Memphis 1.5 2.4 2 SR 175 (Shelby Drive) – Whitehaven, Capleville Signed as exits 2A (east) and 2B (west) southbound; exit numbers follow I-55
4.4 7.1 5 US 51 (Elvis Presley Boulevard, SR 3) / Brooks Road – Graceland Signed as exits 5A (Brooks Road) and 5B (US 51 south) southbound
5.5 8.9 6A
I-55 north / I-240 east – Nashville, Little Rock, Memphis International Airport Signed as exits 6A northbound and 6B southbound; north end of I-55 overlap; south end of I-240 overlap
6.1 9.8 7 Norris Road Exit numbers follow I-240
8.3 13.4 9 South Parkway Signed as exits 28A (east) and 28B (west)
9.6 15.4 10 US 78 (Lamar Avenue, SR 4) / E.H. Crump Boulevard
9.8 15.8 11 US 51 (Union Avenue, SR 4) / US 64 / US 70 / US 79 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
10.5 16.9 Madison Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
10.9 17.5 12 I-40 west – Little Rock Northbound exit and southbound entrance
SR 14 (Jackson Avenue) Signed as exits 12A northbound and 12B southbound
13 I-240 end / I-40 west – Little Rock North end of I-240 overlap; south end of I-40 overlap; southbound left exit and northbound left entrance; I-40 exit 1E
12.5 20.1 14 Chelsea Avenue / Smith Avenue Exit number follows I-40
13.8 22.2 15 I-40 east / SR 300 north – Nashville North end of I-40 overlap; south end of unsigned SR 300 overlap; I-40 exit 2A; southbound exit and northbound entrance each include direct ramps to/from Watkins Street
15.1 24.3 16 US 51 / SR 300 south – Millington Temporary northern end of I-69; northern end of unsigned SR 300 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes[edit]

There are to be two auxiliary routes of I-69 in Tennessee. The first, I-169 in Martin and Union City will be a spur route that is currently designated as SR 22. The second, I-269 is a partially constructed beltway around Memphis; the majority of I-269 is still designated as SR 385.


  1. ^ "Toll roads for a change?". Memphis Commercial Appeal. March 5, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. 
  2. ^ "$18.4 Million in Additional Federal Funds Rescinded from TDOT" (Press release). Tennessee Department of Transportation. June 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ Capka, J. Richard (January 18, 2008). "Letter to Paul D. Degges" (PDF). Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Interstate 69 - Segment 7". TN.Gov. 
  5. ^ Spissinger, Ashley Sanchez, Mike. "Work begins on section of new interstate in Union City". WPSD. 
  6. ^ "Local News: TDOT Commissioner Visits Dyersburg, Speaks on I-69". Dyersburg State Gazette. February 23, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "I-269 Plan Nears Move to Fast Lane". Memphis Commercial Appeal. December 6, 2006. Archived from the original on May 21, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Preliminary Field Survey Scheduled to Begin on I-269 Route" (Press release). Mississippi Department of Transportation. March 22, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. 
  9. ^ Risher, Wayne (October 16, 2007). "I-269 plans envision growth". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
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