Interstate 155 Missouri / Tennessee

Routing

One of only three Mississippi River crossings from Tennessee westward and the only between the Volunteer State and Missouri, Interstate 155 spurs eastward from Interstate 155 at Hayti to Dyer County.

History

The Mississippi River crossing opened to traffic in 1971.1 The section of Interstate 155 between Exit 4 (Simpson Road) to Exit 16 (Junction U.S. 51 and Tennessee 3) was opened to traffic in November 1979.2

Future Aspirations

The freeway in conjunction with U.S. 51 allows easy access to Interstate 55 from the Julian M. Carroll Parkway of the Kentucky Parkway system. When U.S. 412 was commissioned in the early 1990s, the path included all of Interstate 155. Presently a stub end exists at the western terminus with Interstate 55 for a future U.S. 412 freeway extension south of Hayti.

Looking east, Interstate 155 might be truncated by a few miles so that it ends at Future Interstate 69 once that route is constructed. However, Interstate 155 may also be extended east to meet Interstate 40 in Jackson via U.S. 412 in the future. No plans are firmly in place for this extension.

Further south along the Mississippi River, a fourth span between Tennessee and Arkansas is being contemplated. A Mississippi County, Arkansas economic development organization is about to embark on a $1 million investment attributed to a feasibility study for a new crossing. The proposed bridge will be situated somewhere between Covington and Millington, Tennessee, tying into the future Interstate 69 corridor, westward to Osceola, Arkansas. Backers of the new bridge base their support upon prospects for enhanced economic development on both sides of the river. Origins of the bridge concept can be traced back to the 1960s, when paperwork first appeared. Furthermore, when the Interstate 69 span southwest of Memphis opens to traffic, the stretch between the Interstate 40 and the Interstate 155 bridges will be the longest without a crossing. To help bolster the prospects for this project, developers are considering utilizing tolls to help cover the potential costs.1

Western Terminus - Interstate 55 - Hayti, Missouri
Perspective from Interstate 155/U.S. 412 west
Entering the final two miles of Interstate 155 westbound. This Exit 1A/B guide sign touts Memphis and Saint Louis as the control cities for Interstate 55. There will be no mention of the U.S. 412 westbound control point of Hayti. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 155 ends one mile sign bridge. Extra brackets are in place for an eventual U.S. 412 freeway continuation to the west. U.S. 61, overlapped with Interstate 55 through the Interstate 155 interchange, begins its overlap at Steele (Exit 8) to the south. The overlap concludes to the north at Portageville (Exit 32). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 155 draws to a close at traffic partitions to Exit 1A and 1B. In the background grading is complete for the eventual freeway extension to the west. Although not featured as a control city, Cape Girardeau is the next locale of consequence along Interstate 55 north. The Mississippi River municipality is 74 miles to the north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
A second guide sign for Interstate 55/U.S. 61 north/U.S. 412 west is situated at the Exit 1A gore point. The mainline of Interstate 155 otherwise defaults onto Interstate 55/U.S. 61 southbound. Three miles to the south is the next interchange, that of Exit 14 serving Trunk Route U and the village of Braggadocio. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Perspective from Interstate 55/U.S. 61 south
This mileage sign is featured on Interstate 55 southbound after it passes by the southern terminus of Interstate 57 at Exit 67. Missouri 80 represents the next interchange encountered, that of Exit 58 for East Prairie and Mathews. Otherwise the Interstate 155 is displayed as the next junction of importance, even though it is 48 miles to the south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 55/U.S. 61 southbound at Exit 19 near Hayti. This junction represents the entry point of U.S. 412 eastbound onto Interstate 55. Missouri 84 enters the interchange from the southeast via Caruthersville. The state route continues westward with U.S. 412 to Kennett. 1.50 miles to the south is Interstate 155 and the U.S. 412 departure. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
One-half mile guide sign for Exit 17A/Interstate 155 and U.S. 412 eastbound. There is no Exit 17B at present. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 55 southbound at Exit 17A for Interstate 155 and U.S. 412 eastbound. The freeway serves the Pemiscot county seat of Caruthersville before crossing into Tennessee. The brackets on the sign bridge and ghost ramp are for the future U.S. 412 westward freeway extension from Interstate 155. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Continuing southward to the gore point of Exit 17A on Interstate 55. There are two interchanges of Interstate 155 asides the terminus in Missouri, both of which serve Caruthersville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
What appears to be an original button copy sign for Interstate 155 eastbound beyond the Exit 17A gore point. The sign was amended with the U.S. 412 shield and Exit 17A tab later. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Proceeding eastward on the ramp from Interstate 55/U.S. 61 south, the first eastbound set of Interstate 155/U.S. 412 reassurance shields. The two routes remained overlapped to the Interstate 155 eastern terminus. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Perspective from Interstate 55/U.S. 61 north
The first guide sign for Exit 17 on Interstate 55/U.S. 61 northbound. Space is allocated below the eastbound control city of Dyerburg for Hayti and the completion of the U.S. 412 freeway extension to the west. Photo by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
One mile sign bridge on Interstate 55/U.S. 61 northbound for the western terminus of Interstate 155/Exit 17A. U.S. 412 presently shares pavement with the Interstate through to Exit 19 from Exit 17A. This overlap will be eliminated upon completion of the freeway extension. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Interstate 155 and U.S. 412 eastbound depart in this northbound Interstate 55/U.S. 61 scene at Exit 17A. Carurthersville is the first exit along Interstate 155 and is situated four miles to the east. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Northbound Interstate 55/U.S. 61 at Exit 17A for the eastbound beginning of Interstate 155. U.S. 412 signage exists for the yet to be opened Exit 17B for the freeway extension westward. The U.S. route presently shares pavement with Interstate 55/U.S. 61 northward to the Hayti exit. Photo taken by Robert E. Lee (04/02).
A third perspective of Interstate 55/U.S. 61 northbound at Exit 17A/Interstate 155/U.S. 412 eastbound. The westbound control city for Interstate 155 from Tennessee is Saint Louis. Distance from this interchange to the Gateway to the West sits at 185 miles. Photo by Jeff Morrison (12/29/01).
Eastern Terminus - U.S. 51/Future Interstate 69 - Dyersburg, Tennessee
Perspective from Interstate 155/U.S. 412 east
Situated to the north of Dyersburg, Interstate 155 enters the final mile at this Exit 15 guide sign for U.S. 51 south and U.S. 412 east. U.S. 412 travels southeast of the terminus as a divided highway to the city of Jackson, 38 miles out. The US highway sees several interchanges along the route between Interstate 155 and Interstate 40. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Approaching the departure of U.S. 412 from Interstate 155 east via Exit 15. U.S. 51 enters the freeway at this junction, thus southbound departs in conjunction with U.S. 412 for a short overlap. Dyersburg itself is approximately five miles to the southwest via U.S. 51. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
The departure of U.S. 412 and Exit 15 from Interstate 155 east. Traffic defaults onto U.S. 51 north with the control point of Union City. The Obion County seat is a 30 mile drive to the northeast. This stretch of freeway is apart of the future Interstate 69 corridor between Memphis and Paducah, Kentucky. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
The eastern terminus of Interstate 155 sees this End Interstate 155/Begin U.S. 51 overhead. The signage is somewhat in error, as the southern terminus of U.S. 51 is actually in LaPlace, Louisiana. However, since Interstate 155 directly ties into the U.S. 51 freeway from Dyersburg northward to Troy, the transition of designations for the limited access highway is handled as such. Photo taken by Robert E. Lee (04/02).
Perspective from U.S. 51 south
Southbound on the U.S. 51 freeway as the US route departs and hands over the freeway designation to Interstate 155 and U.S. 412 westbound. U.S. 412 enters the scene from the southeast as it connects Dyersburg to Jackson and Interstate 40 via a divided four lane highway. Photo taken by Robert E. Lee (04/02).
Perspective from U.S. 51 north
U.S. 51 northbound at U.S. 412 northeast of Dyersburg. U.S. 51 joins U.S. 412 along a partially controlled access highway to Interstate 155. This photo shows the cloverleaf ramp entrance of U.S. 51 onto U.S. 412. Traffic continuing straight along the old U.S. 51 will reach Newbern in seven miles as Tennessee State Secondary 211. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
U.S. 51 north and U.S. 412 west part ways at Interstate 155 in this photograph. The junction here is likely to change when Interstate 69 is signed from Union City southwest to Ripley, Covington, and Memphis. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
Perspective from Interstate 155/U.S. 412 west
The first westbound Interstate 155 reassurance shield. U.S. 412 is noticeably absent from this assembly. Interstate 155/U.S. 412 see three interchanges in the Volunteer State: Exit 13 with Tennessee 78 at Dyersburg; Exit 7 with Tennessee State Secondary 162 at Lenox; Exit 2 with Tennessee 181. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).

Sources:

  1. "Feasibility study of toll bridge linking Mississippi County, Ark., to Tipton County, Tenn., contemplated." State Gazette, August 28, 2003.
  2. Tennessee Interstate 50th Anniversary: Maps of Interstate Development (January 2006)

Page Updated March 17, 2006.

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