Interstate 69 project hits major milestone

by Wally Northway

Published: September 22,2010

Tags: bridges, construction, highways, interstates, roads, transportation, travel

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — A major milestone has been reached in the progress toward the Interstate 69 project for Northwest Mississippi as the Record of Decision on a significant Mississippi section of the highway was signed by the Federal Highway Administration Monday.

“The dream of Interstate 69 took a major step to completion yesterday with the signing of the Record of Decision,” said Delta Council president Cass Pennington of Indianola. “There are many more steps that must be achieved, but this decision now allows transportation and public officials to focus attention on the highway’s right-of-way and construction activities.”

The decision officially validated the construction of a 120-mile multi-lane divided interstate highway in a southwest-northeast direction from south of Benoit near State Route 1 in Bolivar County to east of Robinsonville near State Route 304 – referred to as Section of Independent Utility 11 (SIU 11) of the national I-69 Corridor. The selected alternative is a modified version of what has been called the “Central Alternative,” which uses an upgrade to U.S. 61 to the greatest extent feasible. In addition to the 120 miles of interstate highway, the selected alternative includes improving or constructing connector roads at interchange locations and the widening of State Route 8 to four lanes between State Route 1 and Cleveland.

For a copy of the Record of Decision and a map of SIU 11, visit www.deltacouncil.org.

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