October 21, 2009 Edition

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New stretch of Highway
67 opens to traffic



Lawrence County Judge Alex Latham talks about progress on Highway 67 on Thursday morning following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a stretch of the new highway from Newport to Highway 226. From this overpass on Highway 226 traffic can be seen traveling on the new stretch of highway.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt
Gretchen Hunt
Editor

Several from Lawrence County were among the first to drive on the most-recently completed stretch of the new Highway 67 from Newport to Highway 226 near Swifton.

Gov. Mike Beebe spoke at a brief ceremony prior to the official opening of the highway. The governor then led a procession of cars on an inaugural drive of the new four-lane divided highway.

Among those in attendance from Lawrence County were: State Rep. J.R. Rogers and Arkansas Good Road Council Member Don House, both of Walnut Ridge, Mayor Donnie Roberts and Chamber Board Chair John Allen, both of Hoxie, and County Judge Alex Latham of Portia.

"It's one of the smoothest roads I've ever driven on," Rogers said. "The highway department did a great job."

To access the new section of highway traveling south, drivers will turn east at a stoplight between Swifton and Tuckerman. The on-ramp is approximately seven miles down Highway 226.

House said traveling the new stretch probably will not save much time for Lawrence County residents because of the distance it is off the existing highway. The opening of a new stretch brings it that much closer to the Hoxie bypass, though, which he said is definitely a reason to celebrate.

Work is already underway on the remaining distance, as well.

"Dirt work is finished to Highway 230 at Alicia," House said. "On north to Hoxie, they are putting in culverts and pilings for bridges. Work should continue during the winter months as weather permits."

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