State Route 194 Extension / Exit 39

(Blue Oval City)

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 proposed roadway improvements include a south-north extension of State Route (SR) 194 (proposed SR 194 extension) on a new alignment from the existing intersection of SR 59 and SR 194 in Fayette County to a new intersection with SR 1 (US 70) in Tipton County, a new interchange on I-40 at proposed Exit 39, a west-east connector (proposed SR 468) on a new alignment between the proposed SR 194 extension and existing SR 222 and interchange modifications on I-40 at existing Exit 42. The proposed improvements would total approximately 13.7 miles in length.

These proposed improvements are needed to accommodate ongoing development in the region, improve operational efficiency, and improve the connection between the Memphis Regional Megasite and the surrounding area.

The needs for the proposed Interstate 40/SR 194 (Project Blue Oval) have been identified as the following:

·       Support ongoing development in the region

·       Existing operational deficiencies

·       Insufficient connectivity to the Memphis Regional Megasite and the surrounding area

The purpose of the proposed Interstate 40/State Route 194 (Project Blue Oval) has been identified as the following:

·       Accommodate ongoing development in the region

·       Improve traffic operational efficiency

·       Improved connections to the Memphis Regional Megasite and the surrounding area

Current Status: TDOT is currently developing the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA)

Construction start: 2024

Estimated completion*: The estimated completion for the project’s first phase, an initial access road within Blue Oval City boundary is January 2025. Additional phases are estimated to be complete by the end of 2028.




Traffic Impacts [only to be included for projects under construction]

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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.  The Memphis Regional Megasite is one of the largest available Megasite properties in the southeast[1].  Currently, one existing interstate interchange serves the Memphis Regional Megasite, I-40 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 Memphis Regional Megasite. 

On September 27, 2021, Governor Bill Lee announced that the Ford Motor Company had selected the Memphis Regional Megasite for a vehicle and battery manufacturing campus.  The Ford Motor Company Campus (Blue Oval City) is expected to occupy approximately 3,600 acres of the total Memphis Regional Megasite acreage.  In total, approximately 5,800 jobs are anticipated to be created at the Ford Motor Company Campus, 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 Memphis Regional Megasite is anticipated to increase when the Memphis Regional Megasite is fully developed and operational. Nearby economic development is anticipated as well.

Design Element 1 (G2 South)
The proposed extension of SR-194 from the intersection with the existing SR-59 in Fayette County to the proposed SR-194/I-40 interchange (Exit 39). 
*Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2025, with a partial opening in late 2027.           

Design Element 2 (G1)
The proposed SR-194/I-40 interchange (Exit 39)
*Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2025, with a partial opening in mid-2027.   

Design Element 3 (G1)
The proposed SR-194 extension between the proposed SR-194/I-40 interchange (Exit 39) and the intersection with the proposed SR-194 and the proposed Blue Oval City Connector (Proposed SR-468). 
*Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2025, with a partial opening in mid-2027.   

Design Element 4 (G1)
The proposed intersection with the proposed SR-194 and proposed Blue Oval City Connector (proposed SR-468).
*Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2025, with a partial opening in mid-2027.          

Design Element 5 (G1)
The proposed Blue Oval City Connector (proposed SR-468) between the intersection with the proposed SR-194  and the intersection with SR-222.
*Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2024, with a partial opening of the intersection in late 2025.   

Design Element 6 (G2 North)
The proposed SR-194 extension between the intersection with the proposed Blue Oval City Connector  (proposed SR-468) and the intersection of SR-1 (US 70/79).
*Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2026, with a partial opening in late 2028.

Design Element 7 (Exit 42)
The existing SR-222/I-40 interchange (Exit 42) modifications.
For more information on additional SR-222 improvements click here.


No-Build Alternative - The No-Build Alternative is required by federal regulations to be evaluated in the NEPA document. The No-Build Alternative provides a baseline for comparing against the other project alternative(s). The No-Build Alternative would leave the project area surrounding the Memphis Regional Megasite as it currently exists, other than routine maintenance of the existing roadway system as needed.  

A relocation study or Conceptual State Relocation Plan is being prepared as part of the Environmental Assessment to estimate the number of persons who may be displaced by the project. This data will be correlated with an inventory of available rental and sales housing locations. This information will be included as part of the approved Environmental Assessment expected to be released for public review in Quarter 2 of 2023.

If you have a question regarding the TDOT Right of Way Acquisition or Relocation Process, please call 1(800) 558-6564 and leave a voicemail message with your name, phone number, and question/comment. Questions will be responded to within 7 business days by a TDOT representative.  For more information about the TDOT Right of Way Acquisition and Relocation processes, see the TDOT Right of Way webpage.

[1] Memphis Regional Megasite Site Assessment Study, Gresham Smith, 2021.




Public Involvement and Engagement

The TDOT mailed informational flyers to a number of homes and businesses in the surrounding area, along with handing out flyers at local pop-up events. BlueOval Flyer (EN)

BlueOval Flyer (SP)

Design Public Meeting (11/17/22)


Design Public Meeting  (7/7/22)







TDOT is currently evaluating the environmental impacts related to the Build Alternative.  The No-Build Alternative will also be carried forward, primarily as a baseline against which to compare the Build Alternative.

In order to complete the environmental technical studies for the proposed project, an Environmental Technical Study Area (ETSA) was developed by TDOT.  An ETSA is developed for a project 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 ETSA for the project is based on conceptual-level roadway design plans and extends beyond the immediate footprint of the proposed improvements described under the Build Alternative.   The ETSA boundaries for the proposed project encompass an area that is generally 150-500 feet on either side of the proposed centerline. The ETSA for the Build Alternative encompasses approximately 1,742 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 comments on the anticipated environmental impacts during the Public Hearing which is tentatively scheduled for early Quarter 2 of 2023.



Key Project Milestones

G1 – Initial Access Road within Blue Oval City Boundary Estimated Completion – January 31, 2025 (IN RED)

G1 - I-40 Exit 39 interchange and Initial Access Road Estimated Open to Traffic-May 31, 2027 (IN RED)

G2 – South of I-40 to SR59 Roadway Improvements Estimated to Open to Traffic-November 30. 2027 (IN BLUE)

G2 - North Initial Access Road to SR1 Roadway Improvements Estimated Open to Traffic-November 30, 2028 (IN BLUE)

Tentative Timeline  Map 

Interstate 40/SR 194 (Blue Oval City Project) - Anticipated Project Schedule


Anticipated Time Frame for Completion*

Conduct Environmental Technical Studies

Quarter 4 of 2022

Neighborhood pop-up events in Fayette, Tipton, and Haywood Counties

Quarter 4 of 2022

Environmental Assessment Approval

Quarter 2 of 2023

Hold NEPA Public Hearing

Quarter 3 of 2023

Approval of Final Environmental Document**

Quarter 4 of 2023

Right-of-Way Acquisition  Phase


Construction Phase



Project Contacts

Nichole Lawrence
TDOT Region 4 Community Relations Officer (Media)
Phone: 731.935.0318

Gary Scruggs
TDOT Region 4 Project Development Manager (Development)
Phone: 731.935.0149

John Ward
TDOT Region 4 District Engineer (Construction)

Phone: 731.352.8648

Send an email to for more information.