Sam Cooper traffic woes plague Memphis drivers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sam Cooper traffic woes plague Memphis drivers

(WMC-TV) - Even on a weekend morning, eastbound traffic along Sam Cooper Boulevard snarled as drivers approached the 40/240 split, not knowing which lane to get into and what to do. Drivers along Sam Cooper say Memphis' growing pains are not easy.

"It's a mess, gigantic headache," says driver Les Taylor.

Some say  their patience is already wearing thin.

"Oh I have no advice. Get it done, get it over; why does it have to take so long?" asks driver Mary Benson.

Traffic east bound Sam Cooper had already started to slow by lunchtime Saturday. These lane closures are part of an overall widening project leading up to the 40/240 interchange.

"So, for the next four years, I'm gonna try to do something, get a helicopter or something," adds Les Taylor.

Taylor works at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He travels from their Macon campus to the downtown campus almost every day. He says he will plan to stay off Sam Cooper until all the work is done.

"Gotta do it. At least my boss will know why I'm late, at least he won't think I stopped off to eat somewhere," he adds.

Summer and Walnut Grove are logical alternate routes. But, many drivers fear they too will now be more crowded than ever with those trying to avoid this construction nightmare all together.

"I don't know what to do, but it's gonna be rough cause we have a lot of crazy folks out here," adds driver Robert Givan.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation says westbound Sam Cooper will be down to one lane next weekend. Then, after that, Sam Cooper will be down to one lane in each direction for approximately 18 months.   

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