State Route 4 (US 78, Lamar Avenue)

Shelby County

TDOT released its 10-Year Project Plan on December 18. Project information included on this webpage is subject to change.

State Route 4 (US 78), widely known as Lamar Avenue, is a heavily traveled corridor beginning southeast of downtown Memphis and running to the Mississippi state line in Shelby County. The route supports a mix of freight and commute-oriented traffic within a highly dense local network of freight, trucking, and industrial development. The project for Lamar Avenue includes widening the roadway for approximately 5.1 miles.

The corridor faces crippling congestion, severely impacting the operations of freight facilities, warehouses and distribution centers. The proposed improvements are intended to address congestion and improve safety. Improvements will also enhance the efficient delivery of products to both domestic and international markets and will promote economic investment and job growth in the region.

Due to the size of the project along Lamar Avenue, TDOT split construction into three segments. Construction is complete from the Mississippi state line to just south of Shelby Drive. Right-of-way is complete for the middle segment, from Shelby Drive to the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange, and construction is scheduled in Fiscal Year 2024 of TDOT's 10-Year Project Plan. Right-of-way is underway for the third segment from the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange to SR 176 (Getwell Road), and construction is scheduuled in Fiscal Year 2027 of TDOT's 10-Year Project Plan.

Current Status: One segment is complete. Two segments are identified for funding in TDOT's 10-Year Project Plan.

Construction start:

From the Mississippi state line to Shelby Drive: Completed July 2023

From Shelby Drive to the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange: Estimated Fiscal Year 2024.

From the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange to SR 176 (Getwell Road): Estimated Fiscal Year 2027.

Estimated completion*:

From the Mississippi state line to Shelby Drive: Completed July 2023

From Shelby Drive to the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange: TBD

From the Raines/Perkins Road Interchange to SR 176 (Getwell Road): TBD

Funding Type: All three segments of improvements to Lamar Avenue were identified in the IMPROVE Act. $71.1 million of funding for this project comes from a federal INFRA grant that TDOT and the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) applied for and received in 2018. TDOT anticipates that a portion of some segments may be funded through the Transportation Modernization Fund.

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History and Background

Lamar Avenue is an urban arterial roadway on the National Highway System. 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.

Improving mobility and reducing congestion on Lamar Avenue has been a focus of study for over 15 years among both public and private stakeholders. The total cost to complete the proposed improvements is estimated at $258 million, which has created funding challenges that have prevented the project from moving forward. TDOT has worked closely with its federal, state, and local partners to aggressively seek funding assistance, and named the project as one of the highest priorities in the Tennessee Statewide Multimodal Freight Plan (approved February 2016).

In June 2016, TDOT applied for Lamar Avenue project funding through the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant program, but the project was not selected.

In April 2017, the state passed the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act, which helped provide critical funding for the Lamar Avenue project and more than 900 other projects in all 95 Tennessee counties.

In June 2018, TDOT applied for Lamar Avenue project funding through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program and was awarded $71.1 million.

The combined funds from the state’s IMPROVE Act and the federal INFRA grant will completely pay for the remaining phases of the three Lamar Avenue projects.

Due to the significant size of the project, the proposed improvements will be separated into three smaller sections or phases.

·  from Mississippi state line to south of Shelby Drive (1.4 miles)

·  from south of Shelby Drive to near the Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange (1.9 miles)

·  from near the Raines Road/Perkins Road Interchange to State Route 176 (Getwell Road) (1.8 miles)

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.

Additionally, improvements will include complementary technology investments to support active traffic management of the corridor to improve travel reliability.

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Public Involvement and Engagement

A Public Meeting was held on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at Crowne Plaza Memphis East, 2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input for the section of Lamar Avenue from south of Shelby Drive to State Route 176 (Getwell Road) in Shelby County.

Public Meeting Presentation PDF
Public Meeting Handout PDF

Project Contacts

Nichole Lawrence
TDOT Region 4 Community Relations Officer (Media)
Phone: 731.935.0318
Email: Nichole.Lawrence@tn.gov

Dennis Moultrie
TDOT Region 4 Project Development Manager (Development)

Phone: 731.935.0339|
Email: Dennis.Moultrie@tn.gov

Katie McGinnis
TDOT Region 4 District Manager (Construction)

Phone: 901-475-2519
Email: Katie.McGinnis@tn.gov