If you’re a Tennessee resident driving to Mississippi or Arkansas on Interstate 40 and you desperately want to avoid Memphis and its high crime and sanctuary policies then you have an option to do just that.
If you’re heading westbound on I-40 toward Memphis you can connect with the new Interstate 269 at Arlington and head south to connect to Hernando, Miss. From there you can continue west toward Arkansas or go further south into Mississippi.
I-269 only goes for about three miles in Tennessee before it crosses the state line into Mississippi, said Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman B.J. Doughty, in an email.
Doughty told The Tennessee Star that the route opened in the fall of 2015.
But The Star noticed GPS systems such as Waze and the iPhone Maps app only recently began suggesting the route as a way around Memphis.
“The cost of the 2.9 mile section from Mississippi to SR 385 cost $42,654,646.01,” Doughty said.
“This project cost was split – 20% state and 80% federal.”
According to the Hernando, Miss.-based DeSoto Times-Tribune this month, construction crews completed the portion of the I-269 project, apparently in Mississippi, last fall.
“The new interstate connects Tennessee’s State Route 385 near Collierville, Tenn. with I-55/I-69 north of Hernando,” the paper reported.
As reported this month, Tennessee’s top political leaders, State Senate Speaker Randy McNally and State House Speaker Glen Casada, rebuked Memphis for not going along with a law to detain illegal immigrants for federal officials.
Specifically, Shelby County officials say they won’t cooperate with a new Tennessee law that helps federal officials detain and deport illegal aliens.
The state law took effect Jan. 1.
The law threatens local governments with the loss of future state economic and community development money if they have sanctuary policies.
As The Daily Memphian reported last October, the FBI ranked Memphis’ homicide rate as among the third highest among the country’s 50 largest cities.
“In 2017, there were 181 homicides in Memphis, 28 deaths per 100,000 people in the city, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics released last month,” according to The Daily Memphian.