Interstate 69 in Arkansas

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Future Interstate 69

Proposed I-69 corridor in pink and future I-530 in blue
Route information
Maintained by ArDOT
Length185 mi (298 km)
StatusOne section (Monticello Bypass) open with 2 lanes of traffic (signed as US 278 Byp.);[1] remainder of route in various stages of design and land acquisition
Major junctions
South end I-69 at Louisiana state line
Major intersections
North end I-69 / US 278 at Mississippi state line
CountryUnited States
Highway system

Interstate 69 (I-69) is a proposed Interstate Highway that will pass through the southeastern part of the US state of Arkansas. Signs indicating the corridor of the Interstate have been placed at various highways throughout the state. The only section of Future I-69 that is currently open to traffic is the 8.5-mile (13.7 km) eastern leg of the Monticello Bypass. This section of the Monticello Bypass is currently two lanes and signed as US Highway 278 Bypass (US 278 Byp.). As of March 2023, a second section between the eastern end of the Monticello Bypass and Highway 293 (AR 293) is under construction and will be temporarily designated as AR 569 upon opening, until the remainder of I-69 through Arkansas is completed.

Planned extension

I-69 has been divided into a number of sections of independent utility (SIUs).

SIU 12 (Arkansas portion)

I-69 will enter Arkansas on the planned Charles W. Dean Bridge south of Arkansas City, then continue west to US 65 near McGehee; US 278 will also be rerouted there from its present crossing with US 82 at the Greenville Bridge. This is the western portion of SIU 12; the remaining portion consists of the east end of the Dean Bridge, near Greenville, Mississippi. Environmental studies for this segment, including the Dean Bridge, have been completed and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a record of decision (ROD) approving the route through SIU 12 in 2004.

On October 15, 2006, the FHWA directed the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to begin land acquisition for I-69 from US 65 to the west bank of the Mississippi River where the Dean Bridge will be built.[2] The first phase of this section was funded for FY2010 in AHTD's 2010–2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).[3] In January 2017, AHTD reported that the Arkansas portion of SIU 12, including the Charles W. Dean Bridge, is "shovel ready", pending receipt of funding and completion of any actions required on the part of Mississippi to begin construction on the bridge.

SIU 13

US 278 will leave I-69 near McGehee and rejoin its existing routing. I-69 will continue on a separate alignment to Monticello, where it will meet the I-530 extension, then bypass Wilmar and Warren to the south and turn to the southwest, crossing the Ouachita River and running north of El Dorado near Louann to meet US 82 west of El Dorado between Magnolia and El Dorado.

The final environmental impact statement (EIS) on SIU 13 was completed in April 2006, and the FHWA issued an ROD approving the EIS on May 25, 2006. This 103-mile (166 km) segment is currently in the final design phase, with construction expected to cost $784 million.[4] Arkansas further divides SIU 13 into several smaller segments. Construction on the first leg of SIU 13, the 8.5-mile (13.7 km) eastern leg of the Monticello Bypass between US 425 and US 278 east of Monticello, began in November 2011.[5] The first two lanes of the Monticello Bypass (initially signed as US 278 Byp.) opened to traffic on October 11, 2018, and represents the first I-69 mainline project to be completed in Arkansas. Arkansas submitted a $25-million FASTLane grant application to the FHWA in May 2016 to continue design and right-of-way acquisition for the 25-mile (40 km) section of I-69 between Monticello and McGehee.[6] In November 2016, AHTD submitted a revision to its FASTLane grant application requesting additional funds to include construction of the McGehee to Monticello section.[7] According to the 2021–2024 STIP, $69 million (equivalent to $80 million in 2023[8]) is planned in FY2022 to begin construction on two lanes of the Monticello–McGhee section.[9] Construction began following a groundbreaking ceremony on December 23, 2022.[10][11] Phase 1 will be from US 278 at the northern end of the Monticello Bypass to AR 293. Phase 2, which has yet to begin construction, will be from AR 293 to US 65. An additional $4.9 million (equivalent to $5.76 million in 2023[8]) was allocated in FY2019 to continue design and right-of-way acquisition for the western section of the Monticello Bypass.[12]

SIU 14

From US 82, I-69 will continue to the southwest, crossing the Louisiana state line near Haynesville, Louisiana. Arkansas and Louisiana officials continue to work on the draft EIS for this portion of the route, with some changes being made with public inputs.

SIU 28

SIU 28 will extend I-530 from its current terminus in Pine Bluff to a planned interchange with I-69 south of Monticello. This segment has been divided into several smaller sections, with work proceeding at various rates on each. In June 2006, a four-mile (6.4 km) section of the I-530 extension opened to traffic between AR 35 and US 278 near Wilmar signed as AR 530. The remaining portions of SIU 28 are in various stages of land acquisition and construction.[13] Objections from the community of Pinebergen has forced planners to reconsider the routing of the northernmost segment of the I-530 extension, delaying its construction.[14] Public meetings were conducted in late 2006 and early 2007, and the alignment of the north end of the I-530 extension was shifted slightly. Construction on the interchange where the I-530 extension will tie into the existing I-530 near Ohio Street on the south side of Pine Bluff began on October 29, 2007.[15] On March 8, 2008, AHTD awarded an $11.8-million (equivalent to $16.4 million in 2023[8]) contract to T.J. Lambrecht Construction, Inc. of Joliet, Illinois, to construct 10 miles (16 km) of the I-530 extension through Jefferson, Lincoln, and Cleveland counties.[16] A segment from I-530 to AR 114 in opened in 2013 with a segment from AR 114 to AR 11 opening in 2015. There is still a gap between AR 11 and AR 35.

Exit list

DrewMonticello US 425 – MonticelloOpen as US 278 Bypass; southern end of US 278 Byp.; access to University of Arkansas at Monticello
Midway RouteOpen as US 278 Byp.
AR 35Open as US 278 Byp.
US 278 – MonticelloOpen as US 278 Byp.; northern end of US 278 Byp.
AR 293Under construction
Desha US 65 – McGeheeProposed
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Unopened


  1. ^ Straessle, Danny; Sides, Krista (October 8, 2018). "News Event Notification: Ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of the first segment of the Monticello Bypass" (PDF) (Press release). Arkansas Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "Arkansas given OK to Acquire Rights for Future I-69". KATV. October 15, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2006.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)[dead link]
  3. ^ Arkansas Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) Fiscal Years 2010—2013 (PDF) (Report). Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. April 12, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  4. ^ "I-69 Route In South Arkansas Approved". Little Rock: KTHV TV. May 25, 2006. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Monticello Live". Monticello Live. Retrieved 2023-02-19.
  6. ^ Oman, Noel (June 13, 2016). "I-69 corridor still priority in Arkansas, officials say". Metro. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. ISSN 1060-4332. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2021. Supporters of the long-planned Interstate 69 corridor through southern Arkansas haven't given up on seeing the 189-mile section built.
  7. ^ "I-69 FASTLANE Grant Application" (PDF). Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. November 30, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 30, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the MeasuringWorth series.
  9. ^ "Arkansas 2021-2024 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Official hold I-69 groundbreaking in Mcgehee". Deltaplex News. 23 December 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Monticello Live". Monticello Live. Retrieved 2023-01-13.
  12. ^ "Arkansas 2019-2022 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program" (PDF).
  13. ^ Buerkle, Rebecca (June 5, 2006). "New Arkansas Highway To Be Dedicated". KTHV. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2021. It's only a four-and-a-half mile stretch of highway, but South Arkansas leaders are hoping its completion will be the beginning of an interstate project to bring economic growth to the region.
  14. ^ Rued, Monika (February 20, 2006). "Interstate 530 Plans In Neutral". KTHV. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2021. State representative Booker T. Clemons, says the project has been on hold since a meeting of Pinebergen residents in September. At that meeting, residents objected to the planned route for the extension, which would be within 1,000 feet of the Jefferson County community, southeast of Pine Bluff.
  15. ^ "I-69 Connector Interchange Construction Kickoff Set for Monday". Arkansas Business. October 7, 2007. ISSN 1053-6582. OCLC 612446840. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2021. An official kickoff of construction on the Interstate 69 Connector interchange will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 29, at the Ohio Street site in Pine Bluff. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., Highway Commissioner Madison Murphy of El Dorado and Dan Flowers, director of the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department, will join Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb and Pine Bluff Mayor Carl A. Redus, Jr. on the program.
  16. ^ "State HWY Commission Plans Work On I-530". Monticello Live. March 8, 2008.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)[dead link]

External links

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