Proposed Kirby-Whitten Parkway (Shelby Farms Parkway)

Shelby County

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question to reveal the answer in a dropdown box.

In the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, the roadway was called “Kirby Parkway,” beginning at I-240, west of Shelby Farms, and ending at I-40, north of Shelby Farms. At the first resource team meeting, the Shelby Farms Parkway Advisory Team (SFPAT) decided on the name “Shelby Farms Parkway” for the portion of the project passing through Shelby Farms Park to emphasize that the roadway should have a parkway feel and to bring attention to the recreational usages in the park. The name “Kirby Parkway” and "Kirby-Whitten Parkway" has been used in subsequent environmental documents to match the name in the original EIS.

The Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program shows (on page 73) an 80-percent federal share and a 20-percent match by the city of Memphis.

Transportation projects are developed in four phases: Planning and Environmental, Design, Right-of-Way (ROW), and Construction. For this project, the Design, Right-of-Way, and Construction processes will be managed locally with coordination by TDOT Local Programs Office. Information on completed Environmental processes can be found in the Timeline section of this website.

The Selected Alternative design, known as Build Alternative Q, includes new construction and improvements to the existing road system. The new facility consists of a four-lane section on new alignment, from Walnut Grove Road to Mullins Station Road, with four travel lanes (two in each direction) separated by a median. The remainder of the proposed parkway follows existing Whitten Road, from Mullins Station Road to Macon Road, and consists of five lanes with four travel lanes (two in each direction), a dedicated center turn lane, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

For more information on the proposed design, visit the Overview section of this website.

The addition of multi-use paths and sidewalks/side paths is expected to maintain and/or increase continuity and connectivity of the current bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities were developed in concurrence with the ideals expressed in the Shelby Farms Park Master Plan. Six proposed trail segments, including one tunnel, will be constructed as a part of the Kirby Parkway project through Shelby Farms. Three additional segments were constructed between February and November 2015 as part of the Shelby Farms Bicycle, Pedestrian and Equine Trails Transportation Enhancement project.

Build Alternative Q was selected because it best meets the purpose and need of the project, while minimizing impacts to the environment and the community. All practical means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the Selected Alternative have been adopted.

Additionally, the development of this project followed the comprehensive and inclusive Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process. CSS is an approach that leads to preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and environmental resources, while improving or maintaining safety, mobility, and infrastructure conditions. Plans for the proposed project were closely coordinated with the public and stakeholders through a series of meetings and through the Shelby Park Advisory Team (SFPAT), which was comprised of local residents, business owners, and a representative of the Sierra Club.