A Better Region 8: After 40 years, we have I-555

A Better Region 8: After 40 years, we have I-555

"The road to success is always under construction."  That is a quote Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently used to describe the completion of the state's latest big road project.

Highway 63 from Turrell to Jonesboro is now the new I-555. it took 40 years and some say even longer to make it happen.  According to the Arkansas Highway commission, the project's price tag is $250 million.

So what does this mean? Our state and federal leaders say it's a calling card for economic development.  "Checking the box" saying we have an interstate will be attractive to companies considering Region 8 as a place to do business. The benefits of the interstate designation will be felt far beyond Jonesboro.

Region 8 towns like Marked Tree, Trumann and Turrell should all benefit from the designation as well as surrounding counties.

40 years is a long time and some of the people who started this project are no longer with us.  Others have poured their blood sweat and tears into this project for decades and finally got to see it happen.

Congratulations to the Arkansas Highway commission including Jonesboro's own Alec Farmer. We should also congratulate Governor Asa Hutchinson for his support along with Congressman Rick Crawford and US Senator John Boozman for working on an exemption allowing farm vehicles to cross the floodway.

Their dedication is evident and it's impossible to name everyone who had a role in I-555.  So the question now is: What is the next 40-year project that will help make Region 8 better?  Send us your ideas to abetterregion8@kait8.com.

Accepting growth, understanding the hard work so many contributed in making I-555 happen, and looking toward the future makes this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

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