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Economy & Business

Plans unveiled to extend I-57 into Arkansas

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SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas highway officials have revealed plans to turn U.S. 67 into an extension of Interstate 57.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that officials unveiled six signs on Friday displaying "Future I-57."

Interstate 57 currently stretches from Chicago to southeast Missouri. Extension supporters say linking I-57 to Arkansas will prompt economic development in the state's northeast region.

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman has carved out the 120-mile-long designation by inserting a provision into a transportation budget bill. The provision allows Arkansas to request that any piece of U.S. 67 between North Little Rock and Walnut Ridge built to interstate standards be added to the federal interstate system as I-57.

State highway officials are conducting environmental studies to determine the route that would run between Walnut Ridge and the Arkansas-Missouri border.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com