Interstate 69 Corridor

West Tennessee

Overview

I-69 is an integral part of High Priority Corridor 18 across mid-America.  Corridor 18 originated with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), where the U.S. Congress designated certain highway corridors of national significance to be included in the National Highway System.  I-69 currently exists from the Michigan/Canada border to the northeast side of Indianapolis, Indiana. Congress passed legislation to extend the corridor from Indianapolis to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. 

Development of the proposed I-69 corridor would provide a continuous highway link, designed to interstate highway standards, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, a route length of approximately 1,650 miles. The extension of the corridor incorporates several elements, including a new interstate route (I-69) that will serve Memphis, Tennessee. The proposed route has been divided into multiple segments, three of which impact the state of Tennessee.

  • Segment 7 (Fulton, KY to Dyersburg, TN)
  • Segment 8 (Dyersburg, TN to Milington, TN)
  • Segment 9 (Millington, TN to Hernando, MS)

Purpose and Need

There is no existing interstate facility with Corridor 18 for the full distance from Indianapolis to the Texas/Mexico border. This missing interstate link is in a corridor that has a high demand for North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-associated goods movements. Short- to medium-length trips, however, far outnumber international traffic along the corridor. There will be local and regional trips that will take advantage of an improved facility designed to Interstate highway standards. By diverting these local trips to the I-69 Corridor, the adjacent state and federal highways will likely see a drop in overall traffic levels with attendant increases in travel efficiency and motorist safety.

Throughout its length, I-69 would connect 16 existing Interstate highways crossing Corridor 18 (10 east-west routes and 6 north-south routes).  It would link 10 urban areas of more than 50,000 population along the corridor.  Within urban areas, development of I-69 could provide the means to upgrade existing Interstate routes, connect major transportation corridors and radial freeways with a new facility, and connect modal and multi-modal terminals to the Interstate highway network.

The overall goals for this Interstate facility are defined as follows:

  • To improve international and interstate movement of freight and people by ensuring a safe transportation system that is accessible, integrated, and efficient while offering flexibility of transportation choices in mid-America
  • To enhance the regional and local transportation systems by providing transportation capacity to meet current and future needs
  • To facilitate economic development and enhance economic growth opportunities domestically and internationally through efficient and flexible transportation with particular emphasis being given to economic growth in the Lower Mississippi Delta Region
  • To facilitate connections to intermodal facilities and major ports along the corridor
  • To facilitate the safe and efficient movement of persons and goods by fostering a reduction in incident risk
  • To upgrade existing facilities to be utilized as I-69 within the corridor to design standards suitable for an Interstate highway and commensurate with the projected demand
  • To directly connect the urban areas named by Congress (the "named cities" of Indianapolis, Evansville, Memphis, Shreveport/Bossier City, and Houston and the Lower Rio Grande Valley) with an Interstate highway connection