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Lawmakers have been working since the 1970s to turn a 44 mile stretch of U.S. Highway 63 into Interstate 555. KASU News has been following the development of this once-in-a-lifetime story and it's impact on Northeast Arkansas.

I-555 could become a reality soon

Representative Rick Crawford says he is working on legislation that will make the future I-555 a reality. 

According to the Sun, the bill Crawford is crafting would exempt some vehicles from weight-limit restrictions that are imposed once a highway is designated as an interstate. 

The one thing that is preventing Highway 63 to being the new I-555 is a three mile stretch of the highway that spans across the St. Francis Floodway.  Highway officials say an access road is needed for agricultural equipment to use, which could cost as much as 50 million to construct. 

Crawford and Highway Commissioner Alec Farmer from Jonesboro are looking at a different approach, which has led to this piece of legislation. 

If passed, it would make the designation more likely and could speed up the process of turning Highway 63 into the new I-555, while also saving taxpayers $50 million. 

Crawford is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.