Interstate 69 - Segment 9


The project to extend the Interstate 69 corridor, also known as Corridor 18, includes a new interstate route from Hernando, Mississippi, to Millington, Tennessee, covering Desoto and Marshall Counties in Mississippi and Shelby and Fayette Counties in Tennessee. The proposed route is one of multiple segments for the I-69 extension and one of three segments that impact the state of Tennessee.

  • Segment 7 (Fulton, KY to Dyersburg, TN)
  • Segment 8 (Dyersburg, TN to Milington, TN)
  • Segment 9 (Millington, TN to Hernando, MS)

Segment 9 begins near the I-55 / SR 304 Interchange in Hernando, Mississippi, and extends north to near the intersection of US 51 and SR 385 in Millington, Tennessee. The project has two main alternative corridors. Alternative A extends north through the city of Memphis. Alternative B extends east on new location and provides an eastern bypass around the city of Memphis. 

The proposed project will be built to interstate design standards and will be at a minimum four-lane divided, access-controlled facility with interchanges at major crossroads.  A traffic analysis is being prepared to determine the number of traffic lanes needed to safely accommodate the predicted future traffic traveling through the corridor. 

Purpose and Need

I-69 is an integral part of High Priority Corridor 18 across mid-America.  It currently exists from the Michigan/Canada border to the northeast side of Indianapolis, Indiana. Congress passed legislation to extend the corridor from Indianapolis to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

There is no existing interstate facility with Corridor 18 for the full distance from Indianapolis to the Texas/Mexico border. This missing interstate link is in a corridor that has a high demand for North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-associated goods movements. Short- to medium-length trips, however, far outnumber international traffic along the corridor. There will be local and regional trips that will take advantage of an improved facility designed to Interstate highway standards. By diverting these local trips to the I-69 Corridor, the adjacent state and federal highways will likely see a drop in overall traffic levels with attendant increases in travel efficiency and motorist safety.

Throughout its length, I-69 would connect 16 existing Interstate highways crossing Corridor 18 (10 east-west routes and 6 north-south routes).  It would link 10 urban areas of more than 50,000 population along the corridor.  It would also address the following transportation needs:

  • improve safety and mobility
  • provide capacity for current and future traffic volumes
  • promote economic development with an efficient and flexible transportation system
  • improve system linkage (connections to intermodal facilities and major ports along the corridor)
  • upgrade existing facilities

Proposed Design

Three build alternatives are being considered for the proposed project: 1) No-Build Alternative, 2) Build Alternative A, and 3) Build Alternative B. 

The No-Build Alternative will mean that the proposed project will not be constructed and only routine maintenance on existing highways will be performed in the future. 

Alternative A begins at I-55/SR 304 in Hernando, Desoto County, Mississippi, and goes north along I-55 into Shelby County, Tennessee, to I-240.  The Alternative follows I-40/240 through midtown Memphis to Highway 300.  At this point, four alternatives are being investigated to connect with State Route 385 near Millington. 

Alternative B also begins at I-55/SR 304 in Hernando, Mississippi.  Three alternatives on new location are being investigated between Hernando and the state line.  The route extends east towards Byhalia before shifting north into Tennessee and extending along the alignment of SR 385, currently being developed, near Collierville and connecting to Interstate 40.  Alternate B joins existing Paul Barrett Parkway at I-40 and continues along the Parkway into Millington. 

The Build Alternatives will improve the existing highway sections to bring them up to interstate standards.  The typical cross-section will be a minimum four-lane access controlled facility.  Future traffic studies will determine the number of lanes necessary to carry the projected traffic at an acceptable level-of-service.  Interchanges will be located at major road crossings.


A traffic analysis of the project impact area, utilizing the existing Regional Travel Model, is being conducted.  The traffic years for this study will be base year 2010 and design year 2030.  Preliminary traffic studies indicate the Interstate System through Memphis is over capacity.  The traffic analysis will be used to determine the number of traffic lanes needed to accommodate future traffic volumes expected through this area as a result of increased trade and future growth in the Memphis and surrounding areas.