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Proposed Kirby Parkway

Shelby County

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is issuing a public notice for the solicitation of public comment regarding the preparation of a Reevaluation of the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for the proposed Kirby-Whitten Parkway (Shelby Farms Parkway), from Walnut Grove Road to Macon Road in Memphis, in accordance with 23 CFR 771.129.

The proposed project is part of a larger Kirby-Whitten Parkway (Shelby Farms Parkway) project that involves a 10-mile-long north-to-south corridor in eastern Shelby County. The roadway has been constructed from East Shelby Drive to Humphrey’s Boulevard. This proposed segment of Kirby-Whitten Parkway (Shelby Farms Parkway) is a 2.5-mile portion of the corridor that passes through Shelby Farms Park to connect Walnut Grove Road to the intersection of Whitten Road and Macon Road.

A SFEIS was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on January 30, 2012. The SFEIS presented and analyzed four alternatives, including a No-Build Alternative. Alternative Q was ultimately chosen as the Selected Alternative. Alternative Q proposes the construction of a four-lane roadway section, on new alignment, from Walnut Grove Road to Mullins Station Road. From Mullins Station Road to Macon Road, the existing Whitten Road will be improved to include a five-lane section. Additional improvements include a grade-separated interchange at Walnut Grove Road, modifications to Walnut Grove Road to accommodate the new interchange, and modifications to Mullins Station Road to allow for better sight distances. Lastly, enhanced trail connections within and adjacent to Shelby Farms Park are included as part of this project.

Following the approval of the SFEIS, TDOT held a Public Hearing for the proposed project on September 24, 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to: 1) present a project update to the public; and 2) notify the public of the FHWA’s intention to file a Determination of Section 4(f) de minimis use related to minor project impacts within the Shelby Farms Park. Comments received during the comment period were incorporated in the Public Comment disposition that is included in the Reevaluation, which was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and approved by the FHWA on June 25, 2019.

Additionally, as part of the public comment period in 2013, the Sierra Club proposed a new alternative, which was evaluated and determined by FHWA and TDOT to not meet the project’s purpose and need because it does not improve regional mobility by providing a new north-south roadway to complete the one-mile grid system that is the basis of the Memphis regional transportation plans, nor does it greatly reduce travel time through the area. The proposed Sierra Club alternative was found to only serve as a short-term solution that would provide temporary relief but would not greatly improve the Level of Service, which is a qualitative measure of traffic flow utilized for the project.

Since the publication of the SFEIS, the following new environmental technical information has become available: (1) updated traffic studies; (2) U.S. Census information; (3) updated Conceptual Stage Relocation Plan (CSRP); (4) updated Environmental Justice analysis; (5) farmland impacts; (6) results of the Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs) quantitative assessment, (7) updates on the air quality attainment status, (8) updated noise analysis, (9) updated ecology report; and (10) Section 4(f) de minimis determination. This information was analyzed and presented in the Reevaluation.

The Reevaluation concluded that a supplement to the SFEIS is not required for the following reasons.

  • The changes to the Alternative Q (Selected Alternative) would not result in significant environmental impacts that were not evaluated in the SFEIS.
  • The new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the Alternative Q (Selected Alternative) or its impacts would not result in significant environmental impacts that were not identified in the SFEIS.

Download a copy of the June 2019 Reevaluation of the SFEIS (PDF) here.
Hard copies of the June 2019 Reevaluation of the SFEIS are available for public review at the locations below.

For further information, please contact:
Holly Cantrell, Manager
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Environmental Division
Business Services and Special Projects
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Office: (615) 532-5869

Any comments regarding this public notice should be submitted in writing by August 1, 2019. Written statements can be emailed to TDOT.Comments@tn.gov or mailed to the address below.

Project Comments: Kirby-Whitten Parkway (Shelby Farms Parkway)
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Suite 700, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0332

POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2019

Overview

The city of Memphis, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), is proposing to construct a new transportation corridor, known as Kirby Parkway, that will extend 2.5 miles, from Walnut Grove Road to the intersection of Whitten and Macon Roads, in Memphis, Shelby County. The new road design consists of a four-lane, median-divided, access-controlled facility.

Project Location Map

Proposed Kirby Parkway Vicinity Map

Proposed Design

Alternative Q is the selected design for the proposed Kirby Parkway. It will include the construction of a new grade-separated interchange with Walnut Grove Road, approximately 1,900 feet east of the newly constructed Wolf River Bridge (east of the Humphreys Boulevard intersection) and 2,500 feet west of the existing signalized intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road. The trumpet interchange is within the existing southern edge of the Walnut Grove Road right-of-way. The design provides Farm Road with right-in/right-out access to westbound Walnut Grove Road, while eliminating access to eastbound Walnut Grove Road. Travel speeds associated with the interchange/ramp system will be 20 mph. The interchange will have 6-foot shoulders.

The section from Walnut Grove Road to Mullins Station Road is to be constructed with a 220-foot right-of-way, four 12-foot traffic lanes (two in each direction), a 30-foot to 100-foot variable-width, depressed median, 12-foot outside shoulders (10-foot paved, 2-foot grass), and 6-foot paved inside shoulders. The design would use an independent roadway concept, wherein the grade and alignment of the parkway would vary to blend into the natural topography.

From the Walnut Grove Road/Kirby Parkway interchange, the parkway alignment will travel in a northerly direction while curving to the west and back to the east, intersecting the proposed Sycamore View Road Extension (a separate project) at a perpendicular angle. The extension will reach Farm Road and the Shelby Farms Visitor’s Center, allowing for direct access from Sycamore View Road and Kirby Parkway at a signalized intersection. The alignment continues north, curving east then west, crossing north of a gas regulator station located within Shelby Farms, then east again before crossing the relocated Mullins Station Road at a slight angle. The signalized Mullins Station Road intersection will be realigned to eliminate an existing angle and provide turn lanes on all approaches. Alternative Q will then continue north along the existing alignment of Whitten Road to Macon Road.

From Mullins Station Road to Macon Road, the right-of-way will be 106 feet, with four 12-foot traffic lanes, a 14-foot center turn lane, 10-foot outside shoulders, and curb and gutter on either side of the roadway.  This section is to be constructed with 5-foot sidewalks, one on each side of the road. A speed limit of 35 mph is proposed; however, the road is designed for 40 mph.