Part of U.S. 67 to be 'Future I-57' with funding bill

Part of U.S. 67 to be 'Future I-57' with funding bill

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - A portion of U.S. Highway 67 is set to become part of the nation's interstate system.

A news release Monday from U.S. Senator John Boozman states Highway 67 from North Little Rock to Walnut Ridge will be designated as "Future I-57."

The designation comes from language included in a provision of the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Sen. Boozman is a member.

In addition, the bill would give Arkansas the ability to request roads "built to interstate standards" be added as "I-57" in the federal interstate system.

"Arkansas has worked for decades to build this road. The time has come to start calling it what it is — an interstate-quality highway that connects Arkansas farms, factories and travelers, to the rest of our country," Boozman said as part of the release.

Interstate 57 extends from Chicago, IL to Sikeston, MO. According to the release, the road in Arkansas is "naturally oriented to eventually connect with the existing I-57 in southeast Missouri."

Boozman's news release states the completion of the interstate will "take a number of years," but the designation establishes in federal law the area is on track to set up a direct connection between Little Rock and Chicago.

Support for the designation has been shown by the Newport Economic Development Commission as well as Chambers of Commerce in Bald Knob, Cabot, Jacksonville, Lawrence County, Newport, Sherwood and Searcy.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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