The issuance of the ROD concludes the National Environmental Policy Act process and begins the final design and right-of-way acquisition phases for the project, which will construct a 42-mile, four-lane Interstate Highway between Walnut Ridge and the Missouri State line. Design Public Hearings will be held for each construction project before construction begins to present more refined project design information.
“The Future I-57 corridor is critical for commerce in Arkansas and will increase mobility between the south central United States and the Midwest,” said Alec Farmer, Chairman of the Arkansas Highway Commission. “This route also will provide a better connection to an existing and underutilized interstate bridge across the Mississippi River.”
Alternatives 2 and C were chosen as the Selected Alternative due to the high economic growth potential, fewer impacts to properties and farms, fewer stream impacts, close alignment with Highway 67, and being preferred by the public and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The Selected Alternative begins at the Highway 67/Highway 412 interchange in Walnut Ridge, extends north across the Black River east of Pocahontas, then northeast toward Corning, and finally north to the Missouri State line. Interchanges are proposed at County Line Road (Randolph and Lawrence Counties), Highway 304, Hile Road, Duck Levee Road, Highway 67 west of Corning, Highway 67 north of Corning, and State Line Road at the Missouri State line. An interim four-lane connection to Highway 67 was included in the document to provide a short-term connection to Highway 67 should Arkansas complete its portion of I-57 prior to Missouri.
The first phase of construction along this alignment will build a bypass around the City of Corning. Construction of this segment is currently expected to begin in 2025.