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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.

Crawford introduces I-555 amendment in Highway Bill

U.S. Representative Rick Crawford introduced an amendment that, if passed, could bring the future Interstate 555 closer to reality. 

If US Highway 63 was designated as an interstate, agricultural vehicles would not be allowed to use certain bridges on the highway. 

State Highway officials estimate that a new span to cross the St. Francis Floodway by Marked Tree would cost $30-50 million. 

In his amendment that was included in the House’s version of the federal Highway Bill, Crawford introduced an exemption for agricultural vehicles, which would allow Interstate 555 to be a reality without the new span. 

US Senator John Boozman has also submitted similar language to the Senate’s version of the Highway Bill. 

Representative Crawford has been chosen as a conferee and will help reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.