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State Route 186 (US 45 Bypass) Southern Extension

Madison County

Overview

The City of Jackson, in coordination with TDOT, proposes to extend State Route 186 and the US 45 Bypass from State Route 1/US 70/Airways Boulevard on the west side of Jackson to State Route 5/US 45/South Highland Avenue on the south side of Jackson in Madison County.

Purpose and Need

US 45 is a major arterial highway extending from Mobile, Alabama, to Michigan, and serves as the main route between Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, located approximately 100 miles to the south. US 45 is also the only major crossing of the south fork of the Forked Deer River, connecting downtown Jackson with southern portions of the city. The existing US 45 Bypass, constructed by TDOT in the 1960s, connects US 45 south of downtown Jackson to Interstate 40, which lies north of the project area. (The section of the bypass between I-40 and Airways Boulevard is also designated as SR 186.)

In 2017, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads, and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act.  The legislation increased gasoline and motor fuel taxes to underwrite 962 road and bridge projects across the state.  The US 45 Bypass Extension is included in the legislation’s project list.  The Right-of-Way for the project is currently funded in FY 2021 of TDOT’s Three-Year Work Program.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in May 2013.  The project was put on hold until funding became available from the Improve Act.  Due to the amount of time the project was put on hold, a reevaluation of the EA was required.  The reevaluation was approved by the FHWA in July of 2018.  Both documents are included on this web page.

Proposed Design

The project, described from south to north, is as follows.  A new interchange would provide access to the new alignment from existing US 45 (South Highland Avenue) and would require right-of-way and easements.  The alignment begins on the west side of US 45 north of Edwards Drive and the Bonwood Industrial Park and ends on the north at Airways Boulevard (US 70/SR 1) southwest of downtown Jackson.  This includes ramps over the West Tennessee Railroad (WTNRR) connecting the bypass to existing US 45 and a connector to SR 18 in the vicinity of Raines Springs Road.  It also includes two optional alignments for connecting to existing Airways Boulevard on the north end of the project (Options C and C-1).  The project is approximately 6.78 miles long.

Map of Project

Access control is planned for the project.  Access to US 45 Bypass will be limited to the following locations, from south to north:

·       US 45/South Highland Avenue (interchange with ramps to US 45);

·       Raines Springs Road (signalized intersection);

·       D Street (signalized intersection);

·       Boone Lane (non-signalized intersection);

·       Riverside Drive north of North Fork of Forked Deer River (non-signalized intersection); and

·       Existing US 45 Bypass (signalized intersection).

In addition, culdesacs are proposed at Cane Creek Road and Bemis Cemetery Road.