The transportation system in the study area is framed by three major transportation routes: U.S. 61 on the west, I-55/69 in the middle, and U.S. 78 on the east. The county should consider undertaking the following strategies to improve the efficiency of the transportation system. The completion of I-69/I-269 through the county will add an additional corridor to the region's transportation network as well as creating international transportation opportunities.
This, in combination with the Aerotropolis efforts underway at the Memphis International Airport, will further increase the region's logistical advantages. The established economic base in DeSoto County reflects the Memphis Region's historical strengths in transportation and logistics due to the confluence of infrastructure (river, rail, road, air) in a central location in the Mid-South.
The current transportation network in the study corridor is framed by three major transportation north-south corridors: U.S. 61 on the west, I-55/69 in the middle and U.S. 78 on the east. I-55/69 is the mainline portion of the national I-69 corridor into Memphis, while U.S. 78 is a major U.S. highway corridor that is planned to ultimately be upgraded to interstate standards (I-22). Other north-south roads, primarily minor arterials and collectors, intersect I-269 interchanges at two to four mile intervals.
There are few east-west roads in the study area: North of I-269, Pleasant Hill Road spans a portion of the study east of I-55/69, while Star Landing Road runs from just east of I-55/69 to U.S. 61. South of I-269, SR 304/Byhalia Road runs the entire length of the corridor.
Memphis Area Long Range Transportation Plan
The Memphis Area Long Range Transportation Plan includes plans for the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to widen I-55/69 from four to eight lanes from Goodman Road to Church Road. Planned roadway projects include extensions of existing roads to provide a more robust transportation network. Most notably, Star Landing Road will be extended westward so that it spans the entire length of the corridor.
Memphis has long based economic development efforts on the logistical advantages the region provides. A central U.S./North American location combined with rail access and interstate highway access has created a low cost environment for logistics, distribution, and wholesale trade. Most recently, Memphis is being promoted an "aerotropolis" where the airport infrastructure at Memphis International Airport and the capabilities.
of FedEx provide a global distribution advantage for high-value and time-sensitive goods. DeSoto County offers all the same advantages with regard to location and transportation access. The completion of I-69/I-269 adds to the transportation advantages and increases access to markets extending from Canada to Mexico. With its close proximity to Memphis International Airport, DeSoto is poised to be a part of the growth of the Aerotropolis. The new concept of the Aerotropolis describes a growing trend in urban landscapes-that of cities developing culturally, economically and socially around the presence of an aviation hub.