US 78
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From:  Memphis (Shelby County)
To:  Mississippi State Line Capleville (Memphis) (Shelby County)
Total Length:
59.6 miles
Nationally, US 78 runs from Memphis to Charleston SC

TN 14, TN 278 Begin: 0 - 0
US 64, US 70, US 79, TN 1: 0.5 - 0.5
TN 4 WB, TN 278 END: 1.3 - 1.8
I-240 (exit 30): 0.2 - 2.0
US 51, TN 3: 0.2 - 2.2
TN 277: 2.6 - 4.8
I-240 (exit 21): 2.5 - 7.3
TN 176: 2.1 - 9.4
TN 175: 3.2 - 12.6
MS STATE LINE: 2.1 - 14.7
Creation: An original US route, which in late 1926 ran essentially as it does now, as an addition to TN 4.
Adjustments: About 1930, US 78 was removed from Pidgeon Roost Rd at the state line; Tuggle Rd/TN 175 at Capleville; the very discontinuos segments of Pidgeon Roost Rd on both sides of the Perkins Ave interchange (the freeway was built over the original US 78 alignment decades later); abandoned segment of Pidgeon Roost Rd to the west that has been destroyed by the I-240 interchange and the neighborhood to the northwest.
In 1954, AASHO turned down a multi-state request to extend US 78 west to Denver CO. In Tennessee this would've just been adding US 78 to US 64-70-79 west to the Mississippi River bridge.
Between 1952-56, US 78 was extended west slightly to 2nd St as TN 14 was put on one-way splits downtown.
Around 1968, US 78 was given, if not officially, at least functionally one-way splits to accomodate the new downtown I-240 interchange. Westbound uses the original routing of Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd to reach Linden. EB started using East St and Crump Blvd.
About 1976, US 78 was removed from the two Old US 78 segments at the state line area
About 1976, US 78 was also removed from what are now two disconnected segments of Old Lamar Ave as part of the Perkins Ave interchange.

1923 Official
TN 4
1923 Official
1929 Official
US 78 added to TN 4
1929 Official

Posting: Fully posted, though poorly west of downtown I-240
Secret TN Route Overlay: TN 278 (1.8 mi)
TN 4 (12.9 mi)
Comment: US 78 southeast of Memphis is extremely busy. Upgrading it to a full freeway east of the outer I-240 interchange would be terrific but this would be hugely expensive given the urbanization of that part of Memphis.
It is odd that US 78 was not truncated to the current routing of US 64-70-79, or moved to Crump Blvd to access I-55. But don't feel bad. This is also the condition on US 78's eastern end in Charleston SC.

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Page last modified 15 August 2021