Monday, January 18, 2016
It looks as if Arkansas may soon have another Interstate Highway: as part of the highway spending bill paseed by Congress last December, I-555 has (finallly) officially been approved along US 63 from I-55 near Turrell to Jonesboro.
The biggest hold up was farm vehicle access, which is not allowed on Interstates, meaning an access road would have to be built across the St Francis Floodway. Apparently, that was a problem, in part becasue AHTD didn't have any funds set aside (typical). However, US Representative Rick Crawford of Jonesboro managed to get an exemption for farm vehicles on 555 between Marked Tree and Payneway.
Whether that means that secion of 555 will remain US 63 or not remains to be seen. Of course, knowing AHTD, US 63 will likely "disappear" along I-555 anyway (it's "invisible" along I-55 to West Memphis and I-40 to Hazen).
All that's left now is posting the signs and (of course) the ribbon cutting. I've seen no official timetable, but my guess is the designation will happen late this Spring or early Summer after AHTD gets all 200-something signs posted and all the officiousness can be arranged.
I'm hoping once Spring starts to move in, to make a run over there and check signing progress. Besides, it's been ages since I've driven AR 463 (old US 63) and I am sure there are several bridges waiting for me :)
Unofficial word from AHTD is the Ribbon Cutting for 555 will likely be in March. The sign shop is working on getting signs ready.
KASU radio reports signs are beginning to go up along 555.