State Route 194 (Project Blue Oval)

Haywood, Fayette, and Tipton counties
BOC_map_2_052224

Want to ask a question or make a comment about the proposed Community-Based Mitigation Plan for the project?

Complete a Community-Based Mitigation Plan Survey online or by mail, view the Plan Overview, or see the Community Outreach section below for more ways to comment.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposes various roadway improvements in Fayette, Haywood, and Tipton Counties. The roadway improvements are being considered to serve the imminent industrial development at the Ford Motor Company Campus (Blue Oval City), located at the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County, Tennessee.

The proposed roadway improvements include:

  • A south-north extension of State Route 194 on new alignment from the existing intersection at SR 59 and SR 194 in Fayette County to a new intersection with SR 1 (US-70/79) in Tipton County
  • A new interchange on Interstate 40 at proposed Exit 39
  • A portion of a west-east connector (proposed SR 468) on new alignment between proposed SR 194 and the intersection with existing Fredonia Road.

The project is intended to accommodate ongoing development in the region, improve traffic operations and efficiency, and provide improved connections between the Megasite and surrounding areas.

Current Status: TDOT and FHWA are preparing an Environmental Assessment to identify and evaluate the environmental effects of the proposed project and to identify measures to minimize harm.

Estimated construction start: Varies (see Key Project Milestones section)

Estimated completion*: Varies (see Key Project Milestones section)

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History and Background

The 4,100-acre Memphis Regional Megasite was developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 2006 and was ultimately purchased by the State of Tennessee in 2009. Currently, one existing interstate interchange serves the Megasite at SR 222 (Exit 42). In addition, north-south connectivity from the existing roadway network is limited in this portion of northwest Fayette County, with SR 222 being the only north-south route with a direct connection in and around the Megasite.

On September 27, 2021, Governor Bill Lee announced that the Ford Motor Company had selected the Megasite for a vehicle and battery manufacturing campus. The Ford Motor Company Campus (Blue Oval City) is expected to occupy approximately six square miles and will encompass vehicle assembly, battery production and a supplier park.

In total, Ford projects that Blue Oval City will employ approximately 6,000 people between the electric vehicle manufacturing facility and battery manufacturing facility, which is anticipated to increase travel demand for commuter traffic once site operations are underway. In addition, the amount of freight traffic both entering and exiting the Megasite is anticipated to increase when the Megasite is fully developed and operational.

While Blue Oval City will be entirely located on the existing Megasite, additional industrial, commercial and residential development is anticipated to be developed at or near the Megasite in the future. The anticipated additional development is expected to result in increased commuter and freight traffic, which would further increase the travel demand within the existing roadway network

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Public Involvement and Engagement

As part of the development of the Environmental Assessment, TDOT and FHWA determined that the overall population of the areas in and surrounding the Ford Motor Company Campus (Blue Oval City), all contain Environmental Justice (i.e., minority and low-income) populations. Because minority and low-income individuals comprise the majority of the population within the affected project area, TDOT and FHWA determined that there are very likely disproportionate impacts to the minority and low-income community since any impacts from the project are most likely being predominantly borne by the minority and low-income community.

To mitigate impacts of the project on the overall community and provide opportunities for the impacted community to suggest or identify potential mitigation strategies, TDOT is proposing the development of a Community-Based Mitigation Plan.

Executive Order (EO) 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice (EJ) in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (1994) requires FHWA and TDOT to develop a strategy for their programs, policies, and activities to avoid disproportionately high and adverse impacts on minority and low-income populations with respect to human health and the environment.

As outlined earlier, because minority and low-income individuals comprise the majority of the population within the affected project area, TDOT and FHWA determined that there are very likely disproportionate impacts to the minority community since any impacts from the project are most likely being predominantly borne by the minority community.

The purpose of the Community-Based Mitigation Plan is to facilitate meaningful engagement as intended under Executive Order 12898 and United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Order 5610.2C: Final Order to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, thereby ensuring full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process.

To mitigate impacts of the project on the overall community and provide opportunities for the impacted community to suggest or identify potential mitigation strategies, TDOT is proposing the development of a Community-Based Mitigation Plan.

Based on feedback from the community received during previous outreach efforts, the Community-Based Mitigation Plan is framed around the following four areas:

  • Community History / Preservation
  • Education / Job Training
  • Transportation / Multimodal
  • Community Enhancements

The development and implementation of the Community-Based Mitigation Plan is intended to establish trust between the community, TDOT, and FHWA, shed light on the environmental process, and assist in the implementation of measures that not only mitigate project impacts, but also address larger issues and priorities of directly impacted residents and the larger community as a whole.

TDOT and FHWA are conducting public outreach to gather input from community members on ideas for potential mitigation strategies via the attached Community-Based Mitigation Plan Survey. This outreach will provide the community with an opportunity to:

  • Share individual knowledge, experiences, and perspectives;
  • Provide input on community needs and project-related impacts;
  • Provide input to help prioritize the proposed mitigation measures; and,
  • Give community members a strong voice in the process.

May 25, 2024

Exit 56 Blues Fest
West TN Delta Heritage Center
121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville, TN 38012

10:00 AM-6:00 PM

May 26, 2024

Exit 56 Blues Fest
West TN Delta Heritage Center
121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville, TN 38012

10:00 AM-5:00 PM

May 28, 2024

Fayette County Commission Meeting
705 Justice Drive, Somerville, TN, 38068

7:00 PM

June 8, 2024

Covington Farmer’s Market
100 Union Street, Covington, TN 38019

8:00 AM-11:00 AM

June 8, 2024

Juneteenth Celebration in the Park
600 Best St, Covington, TN 38019

9:00 AM-1:00 PM

June 9, 2024

Fredonia Baptist Church
2752 Fredonia Road, Stanton, TN 38069

12:30 PM-2:00 PM

June 10, 2024

Tipton County Welfare Committee
1801 South College Street, Covington, TN 38019

5:00 PM

June 13, 2024

Gallaway Mayor and Commission Meeting
333 Old Brownsville Rd, Gallaway, TN 38002

7:00 PM

June 15, 2024

Fayette County Farmer’s Market
50 Teague Store Road, Somerville, TN 38068

8:00 AM-11:00 AM

June 22, 2024

Brownsville Farmer’s Market
1030 East Jefferson, Brownsville, TN 38012

8:00 AM-11:00 AM

June 30, 2024

St. John MB Church
11055 TN-76, Stanton, TN 38069

9:30 AM-11:00 AM

Other events will be added to the calendar as information becomes available.

Please note that event dates/times are subject to change based on weather.

Want to ask a question or make a comment about the proposed Community-Based Mitigation Plan for the project?

Please use the following methods to make a comment or ask a question to the TDOT project team. Mitigation ideas and/or comments provided/postmarked by July 15, 2024 will be included in the Draft Community-Based Mitigation Plan that TDOT is currently preparing.

  • Toll Free Number – Please call 1 (800) 558-6564 (toll free) and leave a voicemail to:

Ask a Question about the Project – A TDOT representative will respond to your question within 7 business days.

Leave a Verbal Idea or Comment about the Proposed Mitigation – If you require additional information before you provide an idea or make your comment, please request that information by July 5, 2024, so TDOT can be sure to get a response to you in time for you to provide your idea or comment by the deadline.

Request to be Added to the Project Outreach Database – In addition to your name and number, please also leave your mailing address and email address.

INTERSTATE 40/STATE ROUTE 194 (BLUE OVAL PROJECT)
Kimley-Horn
10 Lea Avenue, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37210

TDOT and FHWA will review the community input and summarize the proposed mitigation strategies in a Draft Community-Based Mitigation Plan. The Draft Community-Based Mitigation Plan would include specific projects, anticipated funding, and identify (as appropriate) the entities responsible for implementation of the identified projects. Further, the Draft Community-Based Mitigation Plan would potentially identify additional projects that are beyond the scope of mitigation for Project Blue Oval.

The Draft Community-Based Mitigation Plan would be incorporated into the Environmental Assessment and made available to the public to review and provide comments on during the project’s public hearing process. Any public comments and community preferences for the identified mitigation projects would be incorporated into the Final Community-Based Mitigation Plan that would be made a part of the final environmental document.

After approval of the final environmental document, TDOT would implement the mitigation projects outlined in the Final Community-Based Mitigation Plan and would be accountable for ensuring that the mitigation projects are completed within a reasonable timeframe.

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Project Imagery & Visuals

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Environment

TDOT is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As part of the NEPA process, TDOT is evaluating alternative actions and studying environmental impacts of the proposed project.

No-Build Alternative

Federal regulations require TDOT to evaluate a No-Build Alternative in the Environmental Assessment, which provides a baseline for comparing the other project alternatives against. The No-Build Alternative would leave the project area surrounding the Megasite as it currently exists aside from routine maintenance of the existing roadway system.

Build Alternative

The current Build Alternative proposes to construct the following six design elements (see Project Map):

Design Element #1

Construction of the northern extension of SR 194 from the intersection with existing SR 59 and existing SR 194 in Fayette County to the proposed SR 194/I-40 Interchange (Exit 39).

Design Element #2

Construction of a new interchange (Exit 39) where proposed SR 194 and I-40 intersect.

Design Element #3

Construction of the SR 194 extension between the proposed SR 194/I-40 Interchange (Exit 39) and the intersection with proposed SR 194 and proposed Blue Oval City Connector (Proposed SR 468).

Design Element #4

Construction of the intersection with proposed SR 194 and proposed Blue Oval City Connector (Proposed SR 468).

Design Element #5 (Modified)

Construction of the Blue Oval City Connector (Proposed SR 468) between the intersection with proposed SR 194 and the intersection with existing Fredonia Road.

Design Element #6

Construction of the SR 194 extension between the intersection with the proposed Blue Oval City Connector (Proposed SR 468) and the intersection with existing SR 1 (US 70/79).

Modifications to Build Alternative

TDOT began development of the Environmental Assessment for this project in November 2021. TDOT originally proposed seven design elements under the Build Alternative, with the construction of the entire Proposed SR 468 (Proposed Blue Oval City Connector between the intersection with Proposed SR 194 and the intersection with existing SR 222) identified as Design Element #5 and modifications to the existing I-40 Interchange at Exit 42 identified as Design Element #7. The total project length (including all seven design elements) was approximately 13.70 miles.

During the development of the environmental technical studies for this project, TDOT decided to remove a portion of Design Element #5 (the eastern portion of Proposed SR 468, from Fredonia Road to SR 222) and all of Design Element #7 from consideration under this project.

Instead, the eastern portion of Proposed SR 468, from Fredonia Road to SR 222, and improvements to existing SR 222 were evaluated under a separate Tennessee Environmental Evaluation Report document, which was completed and approved in December 2023.

Additionally, TDOT prepared a Documented Categorical Exclusion for modifications to the existing I-40 Interchange at Exit 42, which FHWA approved in February 2024.

For more information on the SR 222 Reconstruction and Widening (From near the southernmost Stanton-Somerville Road intersection with SR 222 to near the Camp Ground Road intersection with SR 222) click here.
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TDOT is currently evaluating the environmental impacts related to the Build Alternative. The No-Build Alternative will also be carried forward, as a baseline against which to compare the Build Alternative. As part of the Environmental Assessment for this project, environmental technical studies are being conducted based on an Environmental Technical Study Area which encompassed an area that was generally 150-500 feet on either side of the proposed Build Alternative’s centerline in order to document natural, cultural, and community resources within a broader study area than the immediate project footprint. That way, if the Build Alternative’s alignment shifts during the development of the proposed project, TDOT staff are aware of any resources that are present in that larger study area. The Environmental Technical Study Area for the Build Alternative encompasses approximately 1,924 acres.

Several environmental technical studies are still under development, the results of which will be formally published in the Environmental Assessment that TDOT is currently preparing. The public will be asked to provide comment on the anticipated environmental impacts during the Public Hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for Quarter 1 of 2025.

Examples of environmental technical studies under development include:

  • Air Quality
  • Noise
  • Conceptual Stage Relocation Plan (Residential and Business Relocations)
  • Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act- Historic Architecture, Archaeology and Native American Consultation
  • Natural Resources- Threatened and Endangered Species, Streams, Wetlands, and Water Quality
  • Traffic Engineering Studies
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Farmland
  • Section 4(f)/Section 6(f)
  • Floodplains
  • Visual Impacts
  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Socioeconomic, Environmental Justice, and Economic Resources
  • Indirect and Cumulative Effects
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Key Project Milestones

Interstate 40/State Route 194 (Project Blue Oval) Anticipated Project Schedule*
Milestone Anticipated Timeframe for Completion**
Conduct Technical Studies Quarter 3 of 2024
Community Based Mitigation Plan Outreach Quarter 3 of 2024
Environmental Assessment Approval Quarter 1 of 2025
Neighborhood Pop-Up Events in Fayette, Tipton, and Haywood Counties (Round 2) prior to NEPA Public Hearing
Quarter 1 of 2025
NEPA Public Hearing Quarter 1 of 2025
Approval of Final Envionmental Document/Selection of Preferred Alternative***
Quarter 3 of 2025
Right-of-Way Acquisition Ongoing
Estimated Construction 2025 through 2028
*Forecasted Dates are subject to change
**Quarter 1: January-March
Quarter 2: April-June
Quarter 3: July-September
Quarter 4: October-December
***Once the final environmental document is approved by FHWA, the planning and environmental phase is complete.

Different stages of the project are being proposed to be constructed and completed on different timelines:

  • Initial Access Road within Blue Oval City Boundary Open to Traffic (estimated) – January 31, 2025
  • I-40 Exit 39 interchange and Initial Access Road Open to Traffic (estimated) – November 30, 2027
  • South of I-40 to SR 59 Roadway Improvements Open to Traffic (estimated) – November 30, 2028
  • North Initial Access Road to SR 1 Roadway Improvements Open to Traffic (estimated) – November 30, 2028
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Project Contacts

Nichole Lawrence
TDOT Region 4 Regional Communications Officer (Media)
Phone: 731.935.0318
Email: Nichole.Lawrence@tn.gov

Gary Scruggs
TDOT Region 4 Project Development
Phone: 731.935.0149
Email: Gary.Scruggs@tn.gov

Steve Sellers
TDOT Region 4 Alternative Delivery

Phone: 615.741.0789
Email: steve.sellers@tn.gov

Send an email to TDOT.Exit39@tn.gov for more information.

*Subject to change