Work on I-69 Could Begin by Spring in Mid-South

DECEMBER 5, 2006 - Posted at 3:27 p.m. CST

HERNANDO, MS - Transportation officials in Mississippi expect federal highway officials to give a green light for design work on I-69 between Hernando (MS) and Collierville (TN).

The design work would begin next spring on the 24-mile link, but it would take several years of design, buying right-of-way and construction before the road would be open.

The first Mississippi section of the new interstate opened in October.  The 20-mile stretch runs between Tunica County and Hernando, where it connects with I-55.

Plans call for I-69 to turn north at Hernando, following I-55 and Interstate-240 through Memphis and running west of U.S. 51 until it reaches Tennessee 385 in Millington.

I-269, the interstate's suburban loop around Memphis, will go east from Hernando to U.S. 78 and through Marshall County before hooking up with Tennessee 385, east of Collierville.

A north-south leg of Tennessee 385 on the Shelby-Fayette county line would complete the loop from Hernando to Millington.  The entire loop might not be finished for a decade.

Eventually, I-69 will extend from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)