Roundabout Link Downtown May Close Bridge for 2 Years

Up on the Bluff are the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Crump Park, U.S. Marine Hospital, Super 8 Motel, Chickasaw Heritage Park,and French Fort Neighborhood. They're south of the "old" bridges in an area that's tricky to reach. Underground, buried beneath the interstate highway, is the once imposing Fort Pickering. In the future is a pedestrian-bike trail across Harahan Bridge to link Memphis and Arkansas.

TN Dept. of Transportation (TDOT) has been working on plans to change the Bridge/I-55/Crump Blvd. interchange and add a roundabout to remedy the confusion and congestion, but last week they revealed that the plan may require shutting down the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge for two years.

According to the TDOT website, the I-55/Crump Boulevard Interchange Improvement Project has gone through the Environmental Phase:
  • March 2009: Complete Preliminary Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS)
  • July 2009: NEPA Hearing
  • August 2009: Review Public Comments
  • November 2009: Decision made to study replacing the existing loop interchange with a roundabout as a way to avoid impacts to the French Fort neighborhood and improve connectivity to Crump Blvd., Riverside Dr., & I-55.
  • June 2010: Public info. meeting held to give the pubic a chance to review and submit comments on the proposed modifications.
  • Sept. 2010: TDOT announced the selection of the alternate plan.
  • January 2012: Environmental Phase of the project concluded. A record of the decision was approved on Jan. 25, 2012.
and is now in the Design Phase, the 4th of 5 stages.

TDOT hopes to let the construction contract by 2014.

Estimated cost of the project: $35.7M, 80% from Federal funds, 20% from State.

Update (10/30/14): TDOT funds cut. Project postponed for a year. Link to Commercial Appeal article.