Funding for Highway 67 approved

JONESBORO (KAIT) You cannot drive on a 4 lane highway from Texarkana to Pocahontas.

The completed section ends near Cash and begins again outside Hoxie.

But that will be changing.

President Obamas' stimulus plan has given Arkansas 351 million for infrastructure projects. 32 million will be used to finish the last nine miles of four lane between Alicia and Hoxie. I visited with the mayors of both towns today and got their reactions to the news.

Mayor Beth Reynolds of Alicia is looking at the completion for personal reasons, "Well for me it means I can get to my son in Newport a lot faster or to my family in Little Rock a lot faster."

Lots and lots of traffic passes through Alicia everyday. Moving the majority over to a 4 lane means a safer town.

Reynolds, "Probably it will reduce the traffic flow through our 67 and it will eliminate some of the accidents we have had in this area. "

The intermodal facility that Lawrence, Clay and Randolph counties are working on will be closer to reality with the highway completion.

Hoxie mayor Donnie Roberts is all about the commerce. "Definitely help Hoxie and Walnut Ridge, Lawrence county and Randolph and Clay county if we can get the industry in here with the highway and the highway will bring businesses in that's the number one goal is to bring businesses in to this area. "

Alicia currently has no businesses at all. Mayor Reynolds says the new highway may attract a new business.

"It would be nice if it attracted something in this direction. Probably a stop for gas and groceries and a cafe would be nice if they had one within 5 miles of Alicia. "

According to the highway department bids for laying the roadbed, setting culverts and building bridges will be let in May.

Once that is done hopefully they will be able to open bids for the paving of the last stretch.