- Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News
ARDOT seeking feedback on future of I-57
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ark- Residents can let their voices be heard on the future of Interstate-57- which would stretch from Walnut Ridge to the Missouri state line.
“It really is important that we hear anything from anybody that has a concern, a positive or negative or anything else they may have. It’s very critical we hear those details so we can look at them,” says ARDOT District Ten engineer Brad Smithee.
The $545 million dollar proposed future I-57 project would begin in Walnut Ridge.
Take drivers through Randolph and Clay counties before ending at the Missouri state line and Butler County.
“Sometimes we can really impact our designs and make things better for people and the properties that are truly affected. So, it’s very important for us to hear the bits and pieces and the comments from people, so we have a chance to address those concerns,” Smithee said, when emphasizing the need.
The project is still in the very early stages, with additional studies and designs to take place, but the thought has been around for quite some time.
“We’ve advanced the work through Newport, all the way north through the Walnut Ridge/ Hoxie area,” he continued. “And so, it takes a lot of time, and a tremendous amount of planning and funding to make these things happen. So, here we are now with these last miles from the Walnut Ridge area to the [Missouri] state line.”
ARDOT has studied the need for improvements to the Highway 67 corridor since the 1990’s.
Smithee says the creation of this interstate stretch is a no brainer for the economic impact and endless possibilities it could bring.
“[Interstate] Fifty-seven is the interstate that goes from Chicago down to Sikeston, Missouri. So, by connecting sixty from Poplar Bluff across, calling it [Interstate] 57 in the future, and taking [Interstate] 57 and finishing it, that’s a great travel corridor for people, for goods.”
Public comments will be accepted until January 24, 2023.
To submit a comment, you can visit https://future57.transportationplanroom.com/