City of Jackson, Madison County - From State Route 1 (US 70/Airways Blvd) to State Route 5 (US 45/South Highland Ave)
The City of Jackson is proposing the extension of State Route 186 and the US 45 Bypass from State Route 1/US 70/Airways Boulevard (Airways Blvd) on the west side of Jackson to State Route 5/US 45/South Highland Avenue (US 45) on the south side of Jackson.
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 (I-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 2005, $4 million in federal funds became available for an extension of the existing US 45 Bypass from Airways Boulevard to US 45 south of Jackson as part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) High Priority Projects (HPP) Program.
In July 2007, the City of Jackson formally contacted TDOT requesting assistance from the TDOT Local Programs Office and permission to fund a TPR and associated studies with HPP funds. In September 2007, TDOT responded positively, agreeing to match funds for the early portions ofproject development.
The TPR identifies the preliminary need and the goals (purpose) of the project,which include: 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 thatfail to adequately accommodate existing and projected traffic; and inadequate infrastructure to accommodate area growth and economic development.
The TPR document was approved by TDOT in March 2009. Because theproject is proposed to be constructed with federal funds, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessment document is currently being prepared for the project.