Proposed parkway will not run through Shelby Farms park - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Proposed parkway will not run through Shelby Farms park

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The proposed $20-plus million project already has funding thanks to the transportation improvement process. The proposed $20-plus million project already has funding thanks to the transportation improvement process.

(WMC-TV) - Transportation leaders say extending Kirby-Whitten Road near Shelby Farms will relieve congestion around Walnut Grove and Farm Road. But others people say it will ruin the area.

"Presently the wait time during the peak time in the morning and afternoon is anywhere from 15 [to] 20 minutes. With the growth, we have it could be up to one or two hours in 10 years if we don't move forward with some type of an improvement," said Shelby County Public Works Tom Needham.

It has been more than 10 years since county leaders proposed the Shelby Farms Parkway. The goal is elevating traffic at the intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road and keeping four lanes of flowing traffic around Shelby Farms.

"And eliminate the stop-and-go traffic which is primarily a safety issues," said Needham.

The proposed $20-plus million project already has funding thanks to the transportation improvement process. Needham says two environmental studies have been done as well as several improvements to the plan.

The project would essentially replace Farm Road as the main north-south route along the 4,500-acre park with a divided four-lane parkway connecting to Walnut Grove.

Park goers like Stan Tucker are not sure about the plan.

"It's been here this long, take it out somewhere else, it just doesn't make any sense to come out and destroy a natural area because you want a bypass running through here," said Tucker.

Needham says the proposed parkway will not run through the park.

"This road is actually at the boarder of the conservancy managed area," he said.

The latest public meeting's purpose is to keep people updated on the project that likely will not be begin until the fall of 2017. It will be hosted by the Department of Transportation, Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Agricenter.

Tucker hopes any parkway or bypass does not mess with the park.

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