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VIDEO: US Senate Passes 'Future I-57' Provision in 2017 Appropriations Bill

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  The U. S. Senate has passed the 2017 Transportation Appropriations Bill in which includes a provision to designate a portion of U.S. 67 as “Future I-57”.  Senator John Boozman (R-AR) authored the provision to the bill earlier this month.  Boozman told fellow lawmakers on the Senate floor Wednesday about the support the measure has received from communities along US 67.

"This designation is an important step to make Arkansas a better connected state that is open for business," Boozman said.        

He told lawmakers that Arkansas has been missing out on economic growth for some of the communities along the roadway because it was not a part of the interstate system.

"Arkansas has invested hundres and millions of dollars to build an interstate quality road," he said, "and we're not calling it what it is."

The measure would designate 67 and any interstate-quality roadway Arkansas constructs as part of the project as “Future Interstate 57”.  Once completed, the new interstate would connect North Little Rock to Chicago. Currently, I-57 goes from Chicago to as far south as Siekson, Mo.

Watch Boozman address the Senate courtesy of his press office:

The bill also will provide funding for air traffic control towers in Arkansas and locally controlled programs that assists with rural community development (i.e. Community Development Block Grants).