Last phase of Lamar Avenue widening revealed

Last phase of Lamar Avenue widening revealed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the most congested roads for Mid-South truckers is about to get a major facelift.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is moving ahead with plans to widen a stretch of Lamar Avenue.

Have you driven down Lamar and noticed all of the traffic, as well as the trucks? That should get a little easier thanks to millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the state and city.

Stephen Edwards with the city engineer’s office says those improvements are paramount.

“It will improve safety. It will improve the ability to see up and down the road, access to the businesses that are there and businesses that will be built. And it will provide more incentives for people to really have hope and see a future in there,” said Edwards.

“Daily traffic on Lamar Avenue is around 40,000 adt a day, in a 24-hour period," said Nichole Lawrence with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

And much of that is truck traffic is servicing 20 Fortune 500 companies like FedEx and Nike.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland points out that the expansion could mean more business being done at the rail yard, which would mean more jobs.

The three-phase project is along a 5.5 mile stretch of Lamar with improvements like additional lanes. Work has already started on the first phase.

Thursday night, the Tennessee Department of Transportation held a public meeting to answer questions about the third phase from the Perkins-Raines interchange to Getwell Road.

The stretch of Lamar being improved has mostly businesses on it.

Some people said they are pleased with the project and others said they’re worried about losing property to the project.

“The Lamar corridor is a key part of our economics in our city. They connect a lot of the railroads, the airport and lot of other facilities up and down.”

The third phase should begin in 2021.

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