Proposed Kirby Parkway

Shelby County

Project Temporarily on Hold -

TDOT recently met to discuss travel demand modeling and related studies for projects within the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) boundary. The Memphis MPO maintains a Travel Demand Model (TDM), which provides data that TDOT uses in studies relevant to projects in that area. In particular, TDOT discussed concerns with model outputs related to studies being prepared for Kirby Whitten Parkway. 

TDOT is currently conducting re-evaluation of a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for the proposed improvements to Kirby Whitten Parkway from East of Wolf River to Macon Road.  As a part of the re-evaluation, TDOT was updating the traffic analysis for this project. The traffic analysis relies on information pulled from the Memphis MPO TDM.  During the update effort, it was noted that the TDM outputs were not consistent with our understanding of existing ground counts for the area relevant to this project.

Given the questions about TDM outputs relevant to this project, it was decided that this project should be temporarily placed on hold pending the MPO’s completion of the upcoming update to their Travel Demand Model (TDM). Once the update is available, we should then be able to complete the update to the traffic analysis, finalize the NEPA Reevaluation and move toward a Record of Decision for this project. 

 

Overview

The city of Memphis, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), is proposing to construct a new transportation corridor, known as Kirby Parkway, that will extend 2.5 miles, from Walnut Grove Road to the intersection of Whitten and Macon Roads, in Memphis, Shelby County. The new road design consists of a four-lane, median-divided, access-controlled facility.

Project Location Map

Proposed KIrby Parkway Vicinity Map

Proposed Design

Alternative Q is the selected design for the proposed Kirby Parkway. It will include the construction of a new grade-separated interchange with Walnut Grove Road, approximately 1,900 feet east of the newly constructed Wolf River Bridge (east of the Humphreys Boulevard intersection) and 2,500 feet west of the existing signalized intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road. The trumpet interchange is within the existing southern edge of the Walnut Grove Road right-of-way. The design provides Farm Road with right-in/right-out access to westbound Walnut Grove Road, while eliminating access to eastbound Walnut Grove Road. Travel speeds associated with the interchange/ramp system will be 20 mph. The interchange will have 6-foot shoulders.

The section from Walnut Grove Road to Mullins Station Road is to be constructed with a 220-foot right-of-way, four 12-foot traffic lanes (two in each direction), a 30-foot to 100-foot variable-width, depressed median, 12-foot outside shoulders (10-foot paved, 2-foot grass), and 6-foot paved inside shoulders. The design would use an independent roadway concept, wherein the grade and alignment of the parkway would vary to blend into the natural topography.

From the Walnut Grove Road/Kirby Parkway interchange, the parkway alignment will travel in a northerly direction while curving to the west and back to the east, intersecting the proposed Sycamore View Road Extension (a separate project) at a perpendicular angle. The extension will reach Farm Road and the Shelby Farms Visitor’s Center, allowing for direct access from Sycamore View Road and Kirby Parkway at a signalized intersection. The alignment continues north, curving east then west, crossing north of a gas regulator station located within Shelby Farms, then east again before crossing the relocated Mullins Station Road at a slight angle. The signalized Mullins Station Road intersection will be realigned to eliminate an existing angle and provide turn lanes on all approaches. Alternative Q will then continue north along the existing alignment of Whitten Road to Macon Road.

From Mullins Station Road to Macon Road, the right-of-way will be 106 feet, with four 12-foot traffic lanes, a 14-foot center turn lane, 10-foot outside shoulders, and curb and gutter on either side of the roadway.  This section is to be constructed with 5-foot sidewalks, one on each side of the road. A speed limit of 35 mph is proposed; however, the road is designed for 40 mph.