I-555 Steps Closer to Reality

July 3, 2003 - Posted at: 3:49 p.m. CDT

MARKED TREE, Ark. -- Another step in connecting the Region 8 metro area to the federal Interstate Highway system began Thursday with a ground breaking ceremony in Marked Tree on the future sight of Interstate 555.

Work is now slated to begin building an overpass for Highway 149 as it crosses Highway 63 in Poinsett County. The conversion is funded with federal money and is designated a congressional High Priority Corridor. The final price tag is expected to be $100 million.

"I-555 has been a long time coming," said First District Congressman Marion Berry, on hand for the ground breaking.

Berry says the development of I-555 is about more than just road improvements, it's about providing and economic bonanza for northeast Arkansas.

"I have been working hard on this project since I came to Congress in 1997 because we all know this new road will provide an economic development artery into the heart of Northeast Arkansas," Berry said.

Two-thirds of the I-555 project along Highway 63 between Jonesboro and I-55 is up to standard. There are four, final improvements scheduled to begin in 2004. Those project include interchanges at Highway 118 in Tyronza, and a Highway 135; an interchange for the city of Tyronza, and improvements for the current interchange where Highway 63 and I-55 meet.