Paul Barret Parkway
The Paul Barret Parkway connects I-40 at Arlington with
Millington. The Millington area, like southeastern Shelby County
(along the U.S. 78 corridor), is becoming a prime location for
distribution centers and warehouses. Millington is also the site of
Naval Support Activity Memphis, the future home of the Naval Bureau of
Personnel. It supercedes Millington-Arlington Road (TN 205), a winding
The portion of Paul Barret Parkway between U.S. 51 and James K.
Singleton Parkway (TN 204) is part of the National Highway
System, according to
Paul W. Barret, Sr., was a prominent local politician from northern
Shelby County during the 1940s; the parkway passes near Barretville,
from whence he came.
What are the interchanges like?
Paul Barret Parkway is much more conventional than the
Nonconnah: all of the interchanges are traditional diamonds, except
- TN 385 at U.S. 51: Half-diamond; there is no bridge for a
possible future roadway west of U.S. 51.
- TN 385 at I-40: Cloverleaf with 1-lane collector-distributor
road on I-40. The C/D roads are shared with the TN 205 exit, and
are separated from I-40 with jersey barriers. Six of the eight
ramps are in-place and open... the EB I-40 to SB TN 385 and WB TN
385 to EB I-40 ramps are not there (and nor is any roadway or even
roadbed for the TN 385 mainline south of the cloverleafs); however,
you can “loop around” from WB I-40 to EB I-40 and vice
versa via unsigned, but not barriered, ramps.
- TN 385 at U.S. 70/79: Five-ramp partial cloverleaf. The south
side of the interchange has two cloverleafs, from EB TN 385 to both
directions of U.S. 70 and from WB U.S. 70 to EB U.S. 70, and a ramp
from EB U.S. 70 to EB TN 385.
- Paul Barret Parkway's speed limit was recently raised to
70 mph (112 km/h), due to a new state law allowing
all rural freeways in Tennessee to have rural Interstate speed
limits. (The new law also affects TN 840 near Nashville, the
freeway sections of U.S. 51/future I-69 north of Dyersburg, and
several other routes.)
- Control cities are Millington and Arlington.
- Eastbound TN 385 is also signed with “To I-40”
trailblazer signs; there are no corresponding westbound “To
U.S. 51” signs.
- The U.S. 70 exit doesn't show a U.S. 79 shield, even though
U.S. 79 follows U.S. 70 from Memphis to Brownsville.
- TN 385 is exit 24 from I-40. The exit panels on the I-40 signs
don't have spaces to accomodate letter suffixes for the eventual
- The old sections are still marked with secondary route signs
(the “inverted triangle”); new sections use the primary
route signs. In particular, this creates inconsistent markings at
the TN 204 exit. Some of the signs have since been replaced, but
others have not.
- The road is marked with Paul
Barret Memorial Parkway signs at the I-40 and U.S. 51
interchanges. This seems to contradict Public Chapter 950, which
names the entirety of TN 385 “Bill Morris
- The mileage markers on the north leg range from 8 to 23,
starting from the east end of the highway. Observant readers will
note that the south leg's markers range from 0 to 10, with at least
2 additional miles of road unmarked, and at least a 14
mile gap between the I-40 and Byhalia Road interchanges. I can't
even figure out where they got the starting number from on the
north leg. Somebody made a boo-boo.
- By way of illustrating: here are
photos of milepost 9 on TN 385.
They are about a 25 minute drive from each other on existing roads.
(The first one is WB on the south leg, near Bailey Station; the
second is EB on the north leg at the end of the merge lane from
- One possible explanation: some of the proposed
Collierville-Arlington Parkway will be located in Fayette County.
Since Tennessee highways normally have per-county mile markers,
this may be why there are identically-posted sections.
TN 385 Home
(24 Sep 2003 at 07:46 CDT)