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North Second Street Corridor Improvements

Shelby County

NOTICE: Project Temporarily on Hold  

TDOT recently met to discuss travel demand modeling and related studies for projects within the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) boundary. The Memphis MPO maintains a Travel Demand Model (TDM), which provides data that TDOT uses in studies relevant to projects in that area. In particular, TDOT discussed concerns with model outputs related to proposed improvements to North Second Street. 

TDOT is currently developing the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for proposed improvements to North Second Street from Interstate 40 (I-40) to State Route 3 (SR 3) / US 51 and State Route 300 (SR 300). Traffic analysis necessary for the FEIS relies on information from the Memphis MPO TDM. Upon reviewing the outputs from the most recent TDM, it was noted that the TDM outputs were not consistent with our understanding of existing ground counts for the area relevant to this project.  

Given the questions about TDM outputs relevant to this project, it was decided that this project should be temporarily placed on hold pending the MPO’s completion of the upcoming update to its TDM. Once the update is available, TDOT should then be able to finalize the FEIS and move toward a Record of Decision (ROD) for this project.



The North Second Street corridor improvement project is a joint effort between the City of Memphis, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The proposed improvements would extend approximately 4.5 miles, from Interstate 40 to US 51 in Memphis, Shelby County.

General Location map

Purpose and Need

The purpose of the proposed project is to 1) provide a viable secondary access route into the Memphis Central Business District (CBD) from communities north of downtown, while improving traffic circulation within the study corridor; and 2) to stimulate economic development by providing infrastructure that will maintain the existing momentum for reinvestment and create new investment in residential and commercial ventures along the corridor. Overall, the proposed project is intended to serve as an improved gateway into downtown Memphis through the Uptown Community.

Proposed Design

Based on environmental document approval and public input, a build alternative was selected as the Preferred Alternative for the North Second Steet corridor improvement project. The Preferred Alternative begins at the I-40 and North Second Street interchange, extends north and crosses the Wolf River floodplain, ending at the US 51/SR 3 intersection. Improvements actually begin at Jackson Avenue, just north of I-40, with only lane transitions as necessary between I-40 and Jackson Avenue.

The Preferred Alternative maintains North Second and North Third Streets, between Jackson Avenue and Chelsea Avenue, as two-way streets, as opposed to a one-way pair. South of Chelsea Avenue, the route also retains on-street parking for North Second and North Third Streets. The two-way streets will merge and connect to the proposed four-lane parkway, north of Chelsea Avenue, via a proposed roundabout at Henry Avenue.

The Preferred Alternative crosses the Wolf River and involves constructing a new two-lane bridge for southbound traffic, parallel to the existing two-lane bridge, which will be retained for northbound traffic. The proposed alignment extends north on new location across the Wolf River floodplain and ties into the existing Whitney Avenue just east of the old International Harvester Building.

Proposed improvements for the corridor include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. A roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of North Second Street, North Third Street and Henry Avenue. A four-lane roadway will be constructed from Henry Avenue to the US 51/SR 3 intersection in the Frayser community. The number of travel lanes along North Third Street will be reduced in the urbanized area south of the proposed roundabout. This will allow improvements to provide a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly urban neighborhood environment.

Seven different roadway cross-sections are being proposed for this project in order to meet the Purpose and Need of the project and to accommodate new development and on-going redevelopment initiatives, while minimizing the adverse social, economic and environmental impacts of the improvements.

Turn lanes will be provided, where appropriate, for safety and operational benefits, and medians will be constructed in many areas to control access and to improve safety. Several local roads, located between Chelsea Avenue and Cedar Avenue, will be modified as part of the proposed project to improve access control and safety. The roads currently intersect with North Second Street; however, modifications to these roads will not adversely impact access to properties or traffic operations. The proposed modifications are as follows:

  • Henry Avenue on the east side of North Second Street will no longer connect to North Second Street
  • North Third Street will be closed between Henry Avenue and Bickford Avenue
  • Cul-de-sacs will be formed where North Second Street intersects with Hickory Avenue and Reno Avenue
  • Leo Avenue and Fred Street across from Mud Island Road will be closed (Access to properties along these short roads will be provided via Mahannah Avenue.)