Delta Regional Authority Proposes $18.5 Billion for Highway Improvements

FEBRUARY 27, 2007 - Posted at 3:39 p.m. CST

MEMPHIS, TN - The Delta Regional Authority wants to improve nearly 4,000 miles of highways in eight states.

If Congress approves the Delta Development Highway Plan, it would further boost Memphis as a distribution hub.  Delta Regional Authority official Rex Nelson says Memphis already has a higher percentage of workers in logistics than many other metro areas in the country.

The highway plan is expected to cost nearly $19 billion.

Among the highways covered in the plan would be portions in northern Mississippi of Interstate 69, which is planned to eventually extend from Indianapolis through most of the Delta states and create a continuous link between Mexico and Canada.

Another element would link Interstate 55 at Batesville, Mississippi, with Brinkley, Arkansas, to divert some through-traffic around crowded interstates in Memphis.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)