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.) 

A Transportation Planning Report (TPR), approved by TDOT in March 2009, identified the purpose and need for the project to address the following transportation deficiencies.

  • inadequate crossings of the south fork of the Forked Deer River, posing concerns for emergency responses
  • safety issues along US 45 and the US 45 Bypass
  • roadway geometrics that fail to adequately accommodate existing and projected traffic
  • inadequate infrastructure to accommodate area growth and economic development

Proposed Design

During the TPR process, two 750-foot wide study corridors were developed for consideration.  

Build Alternatives Map (pdf)

Alternative A - No Build Option -  This option would involve no improvements to the existing roadway apart from regular maintenance and necessary safety improvements.

Alternative Corridor B - This option consists of improvements to existing US 45 and one connecting segment on new location (shown in yellow on the map).  The new segment connects US 45 just opposite the West Tennessee Fairgrounds and the US 45 Bypass just south of Airways Boulevard. This alternative would involve widening the existing bridge over the south fork of the Forked Deer River along US 45 and raising the grade on the approaches over the 100-year floodplain.

Alternative Corridor C - This option (shown in red on the map) begins on existing US 45, just south of Bemis, and south and west of Bemis, connecting with the existing US 45 Bypass just south of Airways Boulevard. The alignment is on new location to the south and west of Bemis. Northwest of Bemis, it follows the alignment of Riverside Drive across the south fork of the Forked Deer. Corridor C crosses the south fork of the Forked Deer River within the corridor of the existing bridges on Riverside Drive. It would involve a new main channel bridge and two to three overflow structures raised above the 100-year floodplain.

Alternative Corridor C-1 - This option (shown in orange on the map) provides an alternative connection between the northern end of Corridor C and Airways Boulevard, following the alignment of the existing US 45 bypass.