April 26, 2012

NASHVILLE — To most, it’s known as Nonconnah Parkway.

But that’s not its name.

Or one of its four names.

Tennessee 385 — the eastern semicircle roadway linking the Memphis suburbs — was given a fourth name Thursday, thanks to a state Senate bill: the Governor Winfield Dunn Parkway. It’s in honor of the former Memphis dentist who in 1970 was elected Tennessee’s first Republican governor in 50 years.

Which name is correct depends on where you are on the roadway.

The stretch from U.S. 51 at Millington to near Arlington is designated as Paul W. Barret Parkway, named for a prominent Millington and Shelby County business and government leader.

The section between I-240 in Southeast Memphis to Collierville is designated as Bill Morris Parkway after the former Shelby County mayor and sheriff. It was first known as Nonconnah Parkway.

And the portion between U.S. 70 near Arlington and U.S. 72 at Collierville is named for Dunn. Part of the section is still under construction, but the stretch between I-40 and Macon Road is open.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, and Rep. Barrett Rich, R-Somerville, sponsored the bill for the Dunn naming.

And then there’s this: The northern and eastern legs of the Tenn. 385-Dunn-Barret-Morris parkway will eventually also be designated as Interstate 269.

So that makes five.

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