U.S. Highway 67: A Work in Progress

JANUARY 25, 2007 -- POSTED AT 6:30 P.M. CST

JACKSON COUNTY, AR -- It's on the minds of many drivers between Little Rock and Jonesboro. Will Highway 67 construction ever be complete?

"It just takes up a lot of time. I wish it was done," says David Debrock, a local truck driver.

Debrock has been driving U.S. Highway 67 for 23 years now, a road he says in a major need of an update.

"67 is a highly traveled area anyway but it would be a lot more traveled if you didn't have to come through the small towns and all the construction area," says Debrock.

And that's the purpose of the state highway department's plans to widen and extend 67 from Newport to Jonesboro and all the way to Hoxie/Walnut Ridge. 67 as a divided highway currently ends in Newport at Highway 18. The extension will be completed in phases.

So far, all the way from Newport to Highway 37, they're almost done. But once that's complete, it still won't open until the new 67 carries all the way to 226. From where the four lane ends at Newport, it will run northeast to Highway 37, east of Tuckerman.  The next phase will be to construct 67 from Highway 37 up to Highway 226, taking you close to Jonesboro and when that's done in about 2 years, it will finally open for traffic.

"Everyone has a straight shot from Little Rock to Jonesboro or where ever they are going. I believe it will be great for business," says Forlanda Scott, a Newport resident.

The state highway department said that the funding for this project is allocated in 4 year increments, from 2007 to 2010. So as far as an estimated completion date for the entire project, they say that will all depend on the incoming state and federal funds.