A provision that allows a portion of U-S Highway 67 to have an interstate designation is now law. Highway 67-167 from North Little Rock to Walnut Ridge now has an additional designation as “Future I-57”. The provision was authored by U-S Senator John Boozman. Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department spokesman Danny Straessle says the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 50 years to make Highway 67 an interstate-quality road. He tells what is next in the process to make the highway an interstate.
“We still have a lot of work to do for Arkansas to extend the highway to the Missouri line. In order for it to be an actual interstate, it need to run continuously and that is something it is not doing right now.”
Straessle says there is no time line as to when the state can bring the highway to the Missouri line and both states are in the planning process of finding the best routes for the future interstate and building portions of the interstate.
“Originally, Missouri was going to meet us at the state line with the highway, but they backed off due to budget issues. We did as well in Arkansas and we have been studying how we are going to get the highway from Walnut Ridge to the state line.”
Straessle says the “Future I-57” designation will help in economic development efforts for communities along the highway. He says there is no immediate budget and no time line as to when the state will bring the highway from Walnut Ridge to the Missouri line. Both Arkansas and Missouri are determining the best routes for tying the new portion into the existing Interstate 57 in Missouri.
Crews will be placing “Future I-57” shields on to the highway this summer.