State Route 54 (US 641)

Henry County
Henry SR 54

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), in partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), plans to construct improvements on State Route 54 (US 641) in Henry County. Current plans call for SR 54 to be widened to five lanes from north of Paris (the end of the current 5-lane section) to the Kentucky state line. Due to the size of the proposed improvements, this project has been split into two segments—one from Smith Road in Paris to Howard Road north of Puryear, and one from Howard Road to the Kentucky state line.

Improvements along the SR 54 corridor will coordinate with updates to US 641 in Kentucky, provide safe and efficient linkage between Henry County and Murray, KY, and improve passenger vehicle and freight connectivity with the interstate system.

Current Status: Right-of-way acquisition is underway for the northern segment (Phase 1). Surveying is underway for the southern segment (Phase 2), with preliminary engineering scheduled to begin in fall 2024.

Estimated construction start: Phase 1 is scheduled in TDOT’s 10-Year Project Plan to begin construction in Fiscal Year 2026. Phase 2 is scheduled to begin construction in 2029.

Estimated completion*: TBD

Funding Type: TDOT anticipates that both projects will be funded in part through the Transportation Modernization Fund.

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History and Background

Northern Segment

In 2018, KYTC was awarded a Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for $23 million. The BUILD Grant awarded to KYTC was to be used as partial funding for environmental analyses, preliminary and final engineering, ROW acquisition and construction of 6.235 miles of US 641 between the Tennessee/Kentucky state line and the Middle Fork of the Clarks River near Murray, KY. As part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) done in 2019 KYTC developed several alternatives which included improvements in Tennessee to tie their improvements in Kentucky to the existing facility in Tennessee. As part of the EA, several alternatives were eliminated for various reasons and through public involvement along with discussions between KYTC and TDOT, an alignment in Tennessee was selected as the preferred alternative(4i). This alignment involves relocating SR 54 to the west to tie into the KYTC segment.

In October 2019 a bi-state agreement was executed between Kentucky and Tennessee. A project kickoff meeting was also held in October 2019. Survey began in early 2020 and the project design began in late 2020. A design public meeting was held in April 2023, and ROW plans have been distributed.

Southern Segment

In order to connect the existing 5-lane section of SR 54, north of Paris, with the northern segment of SR 54, TDOT plans to widen SR 54 between Paris and Puryear. TDOT completed an Environmental Assessment in 2010 which envisioned two alternatives—one following the existing alignment (Alternative A) and one (Alternative B) bypassing Puryear to the east. The selected alternative at that time was Alternate A due to support from the public and local officials, lessened impacts, and lower cost. TDOT recently conducted outreach to local stakeholders, and Alternative A (following the existing alignment) is still the preferred alternative.   


Public Involvement and Engagement

Northern Segment

March 12, 2019 – KYTC held an informal open-format public meeting at the Hazel Baptist Church in Hazel, KY. The alternatives under consideration for the Kentucky improvements and Tennessee improvements were shown to the attendees.

August 22, 2019 – KYTC held a public hearing at the Hazel Baptist Church in Hazel, KY. The purpose of the 2019 Public Hearing was to provide the public with an update on the project status, introduce the Selected Alternative, gather input on the connector options and provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

April 6, 2023 – TDOT held a Design Public meeting at the Dorothy and Noble Harrelson School in Puryear, TN. The purpose of this meeting was to show the public the current design of the project and allow them to ask questions and provide comments. At this meeting, the public was presented a three-lane design that consisted of three 12-foot travel lanes with one lane in each direction along with a center two-way left turn lane and 8-foot paved shoulders. A three-lane bridge over KWT Railway and existing SR 54 was presented. Numerous attendees at the meeting were opposed to the three-lane design due to lack of passing opportunities, which wouldn’t make the route any safer and that the three-lane design would not provide any more capacity. After the meeting, TDOT Leadership began reviewing options to alleviate the concerns presented by the public. As a result of this review, TDOT has ultimately decided to abandon the three-lane design and construct a five-lane facility.

Southern Segment

January 25, 2011 – TDOT held a public hearing for the whole SR 54 corridor from SR 69/Wood Street in Paris to Crossland Road/Brannon Lane (North of Puryear), which included this segment.

No further public meetings have been held for this project thus far.  This page will be updated when further information becomes available.



Northern Segment

As part of the bi-state agreement between KYTC and TDOT, KYTC completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the section of SR 54 north of Puryear in 2019. The EA approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in July 2019. Subsequently, the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) was approved by FHWA in November 2019.

Southern Segment

TDOT completed an Environmental Assessment in September 2010 for the whole SR 54 corridor from SR 69/Wood Street in Paris to Crossland Road/Brannon Lane (North of Puryear), which included this segment.  Subsequently, the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) was approved by FHWA in June 2011. TDOT completed a ROW re-evaluation of the environmental document in May 2022.  

Project Contacts

Nichole Lawrence
TDOT Region 4 Regional Communications Officer (Media)
Phone: 731.935.0318

Seth Hendren
TDOT Region 4 Project Management
Phone: 731.935.0143