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City Plans Controversial Road Through Shelby Farms

A battle is brewing over a proposed four-lane highway that could cut right through Shelby Farms.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A battle is brewing over a proposed four-lane highway that could cut right through Shelby Farms.

The project has been discussed for years, but a major federal grant is bringing the project a lot closer to fruition.

"It is quite realistic," said John Cameron, Chief Engineer for the City of Memphis. "What we are trying to do is develop a network of smaller roads so we don't have a dependence on a few very large roads and keep having to add lanes to Germantown Parkway and I-240."

Cameron says there aren't enough roads running North-South, leading to traffic tie-ups on existing roads.

The City, along with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, is proposing a 2.5-mile, four-lane highway from Walnut Grove Road to the intersection of Whitten and Macon Roads.

"If it was ever to actually be done, it would have a massively negative impact," said Scott Gilmer, as he watched his kids play on a Shelby Farms playground.

Cameron says the project will cost around $25 million, and the federal government will cover about 80 percent of the costs.

"We think they should fix up the current roads before they build this $45 million plus road with all of its potential problems," said Steven Sondheim, with the Memphis chapter of the Sierra Club.

Cameron says it will take 2-3 years to finish all the environmental tests and design. After that, construction will take up to another 2 years.


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