AR lawmaker propose I-57 expansion connecting Little Rock, Chicago

AR lawmaker propose I-57 expansion connecting Little Rock, Chicago

DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - There's a push to create an interstate linking Little Rock to Chicago and the path goes straight through the Heartland.

This is huge project and could mean thousands of drivers traveling this road heading to Chicago and Little Rock.

Arkansas Senator John Boozman is proposing to extend Highway 67 from North Little Rock to Walnut Ridge and connect it with the existing I-57 here in Sikeston leading to Chicago.

Boozman said this would bring major investments to the area including new factories.

This project is expected to bring more traffic through small towns like Poplar Bluff and Dexter.

Hillary Starnes with Dexter Chamber of Commerce said this project could mean huge things for her town's economy.

"We're stable and have great industries and have great economic development processes," Starnes said. "Just having this interstate connect from Little Rock all the way to Chicago could mean easier transport for our industries, growth in our industries. We have the land, we have the property for the industries, but now to have this interstate it would be even easier for us."

The Missouri Department of Transportation, on the other hand, isn't too sure about the expansion.

Area Engineer David Wyman who said with the thousands of road work needed across the state, finding the money will be hard.

"The big thing we see is that the state of Missouri right now we don't have the funding to expand our system," Wyman said. "We feel comfortable taking care of the system we got, but any expansion of that system would be difficult for us to fund."

Wyman also said they are open to further discuss this proposed plan with Arkansas lawmakers, but there's no word on when those meetings will be held.

We'll keep you posted when a date is set.

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