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Detour options as Walnut Grove/Farm Road construction begins this week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It's high noon, far from the rush hour, and cars are stacked up at Walnut Grove and Farm Road.

"Way too much really. You can be in traffic and run out of gas if you don't have any gas in your tank," says James Martin of Whitehaven.

Mix in a fender bender and suddenly you are going nowhere.

"To get through here with a car, it could be 10 or 15 minutes just to get through this intersection," says Chad Robertson of Germantown.

The quagmire may be in for some relief. Markings are already in place as the city prepares to start digging there to expand the turn lanes from Walnut Grove onto and off of Farm Road.

Those turn lanes are causing the backups.

"I think we really need about four lanes going in each direction out here. I think so," says Martin.

Sometimes it leads to something else.

"People get impatient, and they will make an illegal U-turn here on the Agricenter side of the property," says Brent Perkins of the Shelby County Fire Department.

While construction will happen between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., outside rush hour,  there will still be delays as plenty of people use Walnut Grove over the construction-packed I-40.

"People will need to avoid this area more than they do now," says Robertson.

So what's the best way around it?

There isn't a great one. You can hit Poplar to head east or use Humphries Boulevard off of Walnut Grove to get to Germantown Parkway, but that too gets backed up.

If you are traveling from the West, pick your poison: traffic-packed Farm Road or construction-congested I-40. Then there's the longer route on Summer Avenue.

"We need some help out here, quick," says Martin.

It's going to get worse because once the trucks and machinery start work extending those turn lanes on Walnut Grove, things will slow down even more.

At least it's for a short time. The city expects the project to be complete in a few weeks.