The final segment of a new interstate has been completed connecting the cities of Texarkana, Ark., and Shreveport, La. The 10-mile segment of road will be designated as Interstate 49, replacing what was Highway 549 in Arkansas.
“We dedicate a lot of our Arkansas highway projects,” said Scott Bennett, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation director. “But it’s not every day that we open one of this magnitude.”
When the project is completed, Interstate 49 will stretch from Kansas City, Mo., to New Orleans, La., and will connect to Interstate 29, creating a single 1,700-mile route from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Government officials were on hand at a ceremony for the completion of the segment.
“The I-49 corridor represents an important infrastructure link not only for Louisiana and Arkansas but also for the nation’s transportation network,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. “In addition to increased efficiency for local industries that are dependent upon trucking, this connector will encourage more economic development for our state.”
In Louisiana, the Interstate 49 project spans 36 miles from north of Shreveport to the Arkansas border. Currently, nine of the 11 segments are complete, with construction underway on the final two segments.
“Opening this segment of I-49 North demonstrates our continued commitment to expand Louisiana’s infrastructure and make Louisiana a place where businesses want to invest and create more jobs for our people,” said Gov. Jindal.