CORNING, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford and Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson visited Corning and Pocahontas today as part of a caravan touring Highway 67.
Missouri has nearly completed their portion of 67 while Arkansas lags behind in construction of its portion to the border.
"With this big project North of Poplar Bluff there was a big push and now we're within ten miles so now the focus needs to be down here. "
Says William Robison who represents the 67 Coalition. He along with Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford and Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson took a drive from Poplar Bluff to Pocahontas on 67.
Emerson says getting the road cut through the mountains in Missouri was a great boost to the highway and the state. That portion of the project began in 2009 and opened this past August.
Emerson, "Our part of Highway 67 finished about a year and some weeks under time and about a Hundred Million dollars under budget as well." Emerson said that Poplar Bluff taxed itself to infuse cash to the project to cut the highway through the mountains.
At the moment Highway 67 stops about 45 miles from Corning, about two miles from the 63/67 intersection at Hoxie.
Congressman Crawford says the completion of the highway is economically important.
Crawford, "It's a great opportunity to cooperate with our neighbors to the North. Economic development takes place better on paved 4-lane roads. "
Emerson is on the house appropriations committee and Crawford is on the transportation committee. Emerson said the new transportation bill is currently being written.
Emerson, "Hopefully there will be funds available to help this project along."
Robison says his coalition has accomplished great things and in order for commerce to grow the 67 link is vital.
Robison, "The entire corridor being four-laned is important for that purpose and I think that's where the two states come together and there is a common goal of seeing that completed and I think we can work together to accomplish that."
Currently there is no time frame for the Arkansas portion of 67 to be completed to the Missouri border.