Traffic plagued by big weekend, construction - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Traffic plagued by big weekend, construction

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

It’s a big weekend in the Bluff City, but expect traffic troubles around the Flyover.

TDOT crews opened the new I-40 westbound flyover Saturday, but there are still be major delays in the area.

"It can take hours, once you get past Sycamore View, if it backs up, you're stuck," said driver Curtis Phillipy. "You're gonna be sitting there until you get to wherever you need to go."

It is all part of TDOT’s plan to expand the I-40/I-240 interchange, which is now the tallest flyover in Tennessee.

As the I-40 westbound flyover opens, crews will start work on the Wolf River Bridge, which will mean traffic on I-40 westbound past the Sycamore View exit could be tricky.

"They are going to close some lanes," said WMC Action News 5 Traffic Tracker Janeen Gordon. "Open I-40 westbound, the flyover. That's not enough, just because there's so many people. You have to think, Southern Heritage Classic, there may be an additional 60 to 70 thousand people in town. They're all driving around."

With so many events this weekend, traffic could get a little dicey.

"The thing to know is that there's so much construction around I-40 eastbound and westbound around Sam Cooper, the flyover we like to call it," said Janeen. "I-40 as many people are traveling in, maybe from Nashville, Jackson, TN, very busy area."

Here is a list of the closure locations and times:

  • Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. one inside lane will close on I-40 at Sycamore View Road to I-40/I-240; three lanes will remain open. This closure is also for the cleaning of median drainage inlets.
  • From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday night, one inside lane will close on I-240 eastbound beginning at westbound Sam Cooper Boulevard to exit 12B, the I-40 westbound merger to Little Rock, Arkansas. The I-240 westbound flyover and the two I-240 westbound lanes beginning at Sycamore View Road to I-240 westbound at the flyover. Detour: Sam Cooper Boulevard to Perkins Road or I-40 westbound to Covington Pike.
  • Sunday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., there is a closed outside lane on I-40 westbound west of Sycamore View Road to I-40/I-240.

If that sounds confusing, don’t worry! There will be detour signs to help you navigate the area. Although we suggest avoiding it altogether, if possible.

If you want to avoid the delays, pack some patience and prepare an alternate route.

"They can use Highway 385. It will take them from Highway 51 in Millington all the way over to Shelby County, I-240 on the south leg around Mount Moriah, so it's a great alternate to use," Janeen suggested.

Yet on Saturday, traffic issues plagued 385 as well. Drivers said the construction all around the city is irritating.

"I'm trying to get to my mother's and when I saw this, I wanted to cry. Oh my god it's annoying," one driver said.

Drivers on 385, just off of I-40, sat in traffic for miles. Construction on the road turned three lanes into one.

"Vey much so. I just came from Wolfchase. There is construction then there's construction here," another driver said.

The opening of the I-40 west flyover cause confusion for some drivers, with many driving slowly or switching lanes out of confusion. 

Drivers said they are tired of the construction and it needs to be fixed.

"They need to get it together because we are tired of it."

The lane closures are expected to stick around until Summer 2016.

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