LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR--Four lanes of traffic are open from Interstate 55 through Randolph County now that construction to Highway 63 has been completed. Many residents of Region 8 have driven through the construction on Highway 63 for quite some time. Brett Cooper, former Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce President, says "It's been 6 or 8 years since the project began, maybe even longer than that."
Residents in Lawrence and Randolph Counties have been anticipating not only the new four-lane highway, but also the possibility for new business. It is important for economic development because prospective industries like to have four-lane roads. It helps them get their materials in and out of their factories and that makes a good selling point for the area economically.
There is heavy traffic on this highway and not everything about the new four lanes runs smoothly. Residents near 63 near Walnut Ridge have noticed a few problems, including the traffic light where Highways 63 and 91 meet. Resident Elizabeth Dye notes "they've got it blinking, but it's not working. It's a little tougher to get out. But, as soon as they get the light going it'll make it worth it."
The recent completion of Highway 63 is going to open more than just 4 lanes of traffic. It will allow the region to feel more connected. Cooper says "a road like this helps us to see ourselves that way. To see that we are closely connected to Jonesboro and Jonesboro is closely connected to the communities in Lawrence and Randolph Counties, as well."