June 7, 2017 Edition

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'Future I-57' designation
beneficial for LawCo.

Gretchen Hunt

With the passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 funding bill, Highway 67 from North Little Rock to the Walnut Ridge/Hoxie area in Lawrence County, has been designated as "Future I-57."

The provision was authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman. Resolutions in support of the designation had been passed by several Chambers, including the Lawrence County Chamber. State and local officials from along the corridor also shared their support for this step in bringing Highway 67 into the interstate highway system.

"The presence of an official interstate highway is one of the key factors that developers consider when determining where to make major investments, such as building new factories," Boozman said. "This designation is an important step to make Arkansas a better-connected state that is open for business."

County Judge John Thomison said the designation and the continued development of the north-south corridor has a major impact for area businesses and investors.

"I-57 will put us on a different kind of map," he said. "I'm excited for what it might do for us and our ability to market Lawrence County."

Arkansas has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make Highway 67 an interstate-quality road. This provision provides the state with the ability to request that any segment of the road that is built to interstate standards be officially added to the federal interstate system as "I-57."

State Rep. Fran Cavenaugh said the designation is good news for her district and all of Northeast Arkansas.

"This designation can further enhance our economic development efforts for Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and all of Northeast Arkansas," she said. "It gives us one more tool for us to use to attract new businesses to our area."

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