Interstate 269 Mississippi and Tennessee
Interstate 269 is the designation for the outer beltway around Memphis. Beginning in Hernando, Mississippi, at its interchange with Interstates 55 and 69, Interstate 269 will travel east parallel to Mississippi 304, then curve northward ahead of Byhalia at Interstate 22.
Turning north, Interstate 269 crosses into Tennessee ahead of U.S. 72/High Priority Corridor 7 before overtaking TN 385 from the end of Bill Morris Parkway northward to Arlington. Near Interstate 40 in Arlington, Interstate 269 will overlay the remainder of the Tennessee 385 beltway north and then west to rejoin Interstate 69 and U.S. 51 at Millington.
Parts of the freeway, between Collierville and Millington, preexisted the I-269 designation as Tennessee 385. The section of Tennessee 385 (Bill Morris Parkway) between Interstate 240 and Collierville is not a part of the proposed Interstate 269; however, it is built to Interstate standards.
For a time prior to the I-269 designation, the beltway route was considered for Interstate 69, but the city of Memphis wanted Interstate 69 to pass directly through Downtown, so the bypass had to be numbered as something else. The bypass was briefly referred to as Interstate 669 on misc.transport.road, but Interstate 269 was the designation ultimately chosen.
Bill Morris Parkway
Conceived in 19692 and originally named the Nonconnah Parkway, for the creek which it parallels, Bill Morris Parkway consists of a suburban freeway spurring southeast from Interstate 240 in Memphis to U.S. 72 in Collierville. The contract for the first portion of the Nonconnah Parkway was awarded on August 3, 1990 at a cost of $44.7-million.1. This focused on building the westernmost 4.4 miles of roadway, from I-240 to Ridgeway Road in East Memphis. Work on the second phase was delayed as local officials shifted the proposed route southward from Winchester Road to a parallel alignment along the Nonconnah Creek. Cost increases associated with land acquisition were cited as the rational for relocating the future roadway.2
State officials signed off on the new TN 385 alignment for phase two by July 1991.3 Work commenced on the $45.1-million segment in June 1992, which extended the freeway east of Kirby Parkway at Riverdale. Phase three started in December 1992, with a one mile stretch east to Winchester.4 Work continued with the awarding of a $11.3-million contract for 3.4 miles of freeway between Hacks Cross Road and Bailey Station.5
Controversies also involved the path of the easternmost segment of TN 385. The fourth phase of Nonconnah Parkway was resisted by residents in Collierville who disapproved of a freeway backing up to their homes. State officials shifted the route northward from parallel to Shelby Drive to straddle the south side of Nonconnah Creek. Increasing the costs by 12%, the 4.8 mile freeway between Bailey Station and Quinn Roads included the condemnation of ten homes.6 Work ultimately was broken into smaller portions, with construction beginning in June 1997.7
Additional delays pushed back the fall 1993 completion date of the western leg of Nonconnah Parkway when the original contractor walked away in December 1992 and defaulted on the job in June 1993.8 A new contractor opened the eastbound lanes on December 23, 1993, with the westbound lanes completed by January 15, 1994.9 Delayed due to bad weather, another 2.9 miles of TN 385 was completed as phase two opened to traffic after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 22, 1995.10
Another ribbon cutting ceremony took place on December 29, 1997 at the Riverdale Road interchange, where TN 385 ended from the west. Completion of this segment opened Nonconnah Parkway east to Bailey Station. Total costs for the 6.7-mile stretch were $91-million.11 The next change for Nonconnah Parkway took place on February 26, 1997, when the state legislature approved renaming the freeway to Bill Morris Parkway. Morris was a former Shelby County sheriff and 16-year mayor.12
Final work on the now-Bill Morris Parkway saw the completion of two more miles, between Bailey Station Road and Byhalia Road in Collierville by mid-October 1999.13 Two more miles rounded out the parkway east to U.S. 72 on November 21, 2000, leaving the connection with the planned Collierville-Arlington Parkway leading north to I-40.14
Governor Winfield Dunn Parkway
Tennessee 385 north from Collierville to Arlington started with a $23-million contract awarded in December 2002 for a 2.7-mile section from the end of Bill Morris Parkway at U.S. 72 to Tennessee Secondary 57 (Poplar Avenue). This work ran simultaneously with the four-mile, $18.98-million portion leading south from Interstate 40 to Collierville Arlington-Road, south of U.S. 64 at Eads.15
The 7.7-mile gap between the two aforementioned segments includes a crossing of the Wolf River. Adding to the costs ($12 million) of this portion was a 3,200-foot long bridge, more than four times the span initially planned, to bridge environmentally sensitive wetlands associated with the waterway.16
The extension of Bill Morris Parkway to SSR 57 at Piperton opened to traffic on August 23, 2007.17 Following quickly was the opening of the Eads to Arlington portion, extending TN 385 south 2.48 miles from I-40 to U.S. 64, on September 4, 2007.18 $14-million in construction south from U.S. 64 to Macon Road (TN 193) completed on June 15, 2009 left just a 3.6-mile stretch from Macon Road to Raleigh-LaGrange Drive and 3.7 miles from there to SSR 57.19
Completion of the final $74-million phase of TN 385, between Tennessee Secondary 57 and Tennessee 193 (Macon Road), ran between 2009 and November 22, 2013. The road was formally designated as the Governor Winfield Dunn Parkway during the opening ceremony.20
Paul W. Barret Parkway
Paul W. Barret Parkway, the east-west alignment between Millington and Interstate 40, had its Environmental Impact Statement approved by the Federal Highway Administration in 1975. The initial stretch to open extended east from U.S. 51 to Singleton Parkway (TN 204), with construction following to Austin Peay Highway (TN 14).21
Tennessee 385 (Paul W. Barret Parkway) east from U.S. 51 at Millington to U.S. 70 at Arlington was completed on September 25, 1998 at a cost of $66.9-million. Opening of this 12.7-mile stretch left just 1.6 miles of TN 385 southward to I-40 to build.22 Delays would push this $18.8-million segment back until December 1999.22
One of the first maps to display the proposed route of Interstate 269 appeared in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which showed Interstate 269 following the existing freeway routes in Tennessee (Tennessee 385 and Secondary 205) but offered some alternate alignments in Mississippi (Central Alignment, B-1; Southern Alignment, B-2; and Northern Alignment, B-3).23 Preliminary citizen reaction indicated that the B-1 alignment was preferred,24 ultimately leading to Mississippi transportation agreeing and endorsing Alignment B-1 for I-269 on November 31, 2004.25
Eight projects encompass Interstate 269 through northern Mississippi presently. The first broke ground in July 2012, focusing on grading and bridge work by the future interchange between I-22 and 269. Fall 2012 construction followed west from U.S. 78 to MS 305 and from I-55 & 69 east to Getwell Road.
The first segment of I-269 opened in Mississippi was the five mile extension south from Tennessee 385 to Mississippi 302. It opened following a ribbon cutting ceremony held on October 23, 2015.28 The remaining portions are forecast in 2018.26
|The full-cloverleaf interchange between Interstates 55 and 69 will double as the terminus of I-269 west.|
|Currently I-269 ends at a half-diamond interchange with U.S. 51 at Millington. An extension of the freeway west will be built to coincide with construction of I-69 north from the end of SSR 300 to the south.
"PARKWAY MAY START BY OCT. 1." The Commercial Appeal, September 13, 1990.
"NONCONNAH PLAN CHANGE IS ATTRIBUTED TO LAND COST - STATE SHIFTS ROUTE SOUTH." The Commercial Appeal, October 24, 1990.
"DOT APPROVES NEW SEGMENT FOR PARKWAY - RIVERDALE, BAILEY STATION ROUTE CONSIDERED LESS COSTLY." The Commercial Appeal, July 17, 1991.
"PARKWAY NEIGHBORS AWAIT TRAFFIC - RESIDENTS ANTICIPATE BENEFIT, BANE." The Commercial Appeal, October 15, 1992.
"Parkway continues to move eastward." The Commercial Appeal, December 8, 1994.
"PARKWAY WILL SHIFT TOWARD COLLIERVILLE, TAKE HOMES." The Commercial Appeal, December 24, 1992.
"WORK BEGINS ON C'VILLE STRETCH OF PARKWAY." The Commercial Appeal, June 5, 1997.
"NONCONNAH FINISH PUSHED TOWARD SPRING." The Commercial Appeal, September 2, 1993.
"Eastbound leg of Nonconnah opens today." The Commercial Appeal, December 24, 1993.
"NEW NONCONNAH - Commuters zoom onto parkway." The Commercial Appeal, December 23, 1995.
"NONCONNAH'S OPEN MONDAY TO COLLIERVILLE." The Commercial Appeal, December 24, 1997.
"MORRIS ROAD ZIPS THROUGH LEGISLATURE." The Commercial Appeal, February 27, 1998.
"NONCONNAH 2 MILES CLOSER TO I-40 GOAL - COLLIERVILLE SEGMENT OPENS TO RUSH OF ENGINES." The Commercial Appeal, October 20, 1999.
"MORRIS PARKWAY SECTION TO OPEN." The Commercial Appeal, November 21, 2000.
"EXTENSION TO FAYETTE OF TENN. 385 STARTS." The Commercial Appeal, June 5, 2003.
"Longer span to spare Wolf River wetlands -- But growing bridge adds $12 million to Tenn. 385 project." The Commercial Appeal, March 28, 2005.
"Access: Fayette County -- New stretch of Tenn. 385 puts Piperton on short route ." The Commercial Appeal, August 22, 2007.
"Tenn. 385 opens up Arlington -- New stretch of highway hailed for its access to progress." The Commercial Appeal, September 5, 2007.
"Three-mile segment of 385 opening -- Piperton hopes to benefit from Interstate." The Commercial Appeal, June 14, 2009.
"Final leg of Highway 385 opens to Mid-South drivers" WMC (Memphis, TN), November 22, 2013.
"HIGHWAY PLAN TO INTERRUPT RUSTIC PRIVACY - MILLINGTON-INTERSTATE 40 LINK SLICES AT RURAL HOMES, FARMS." The Commercial Appeal, September 5, 1991.
"PAUL BARRET PARKWAY SLATED FOR OPENING ON FRIDAY." The Commercial Appeal, September 23, 1998.
"NEW BARRET LINK TO I-40 EXPECTED TO BE BOON FOR SUBURBAN AREA." The Commercial Appeal, January 4, 2000.
Interstate 69 Memphis Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/information-office/I69/default.htm, page 4 of 215, map of Interstate 69 and Interstate 269 corridors through Memphis
"I-69/269 go with public flow: Citizens, officials in same lane on routes in Memphis area," by Tom Bailey Jr. and William C. Bayne, Memphis Commercial Appeal, November 7, 2004
"States choose pair of routes for I-69 -- Next up: impact statements, funding." The Commercial Appeal, December 1, 2004.
- Desoto County, Mississippi I-269 Corridor Study construction schedule.
- "I-269 Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for October 2." MDOT, press release, October 19, 2015.
Page Updated October 21, 2015.