MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The drive down Lamar Avenue should get a little faster, thanks to assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Tuesday, the department announced a $71.2 million grant to fix the road and add lanes between Getwell Road and the state line.
The corridor is especially critical for freight being transported to airports, river ports, and rail yards.
"These businesses operating up and down Lamar are not operating at full capacity and by putting in more lanes there, it will really result in job growth," said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
The Greater Memphis Chambers said the Lamar freight corridor supports 71,000 local jobs and serves 20 Fortune 500 companies.
"The Lamar Avenue improvements will create thousands of new jobs and significantly reduce unemployment and poverty in the region," said Phil Trenary, President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. "As we work on moving Memphis forward, this type of success is significant for Memphis businesses and for our recruitment and retention efforts because it further strengthens our position as the center of business in North America."
The Lamar corridor is a nationally and regionally significant multimodal freight corridor linking interstate highways, airports, maritime ports and rail.
It connects Memphis and Shelby County to Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia, and other major metropolitan cities in the Southeast, moving regional, national and global goods.
Congressman Steve Cohen, a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation as well as the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, released this statement: