LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Federal Highway Administration has made a decisive step on the route for a future northbound interstate in northeastern Arkansas.

The FHA issued a Record of Decision on the route that the proposed Interstate 57 would take between Walnut Ridge and the Missouri state line. The ROD means final design and right-of-way acquisition can begin for the planned four-lane 42-mile project.

Public hearings will be held as the project design becomes more refined, FHA officials said.

The route will run north out of Walnut Ridge, then turning northeast above the Dave Donaldson Black River Wildlife Management Area before reaching the Missouri state line at Highway 67. Officials said the route was selected based upon economic growth potential, along with its low impacts to properties, farms and streams.

Map of Record of Decision chosen route for proposed Interstate 57 in northeast Arkansas from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration

Arkansas Department of Transportation chairman Alex Farmer said the route has a number of advantages.

“The Future I-57 corridor is critical for commerce in Arkansas and will increase mobility between the south-central United States and the Midwest,” Farmer said. “This route also will provide a better connection to an existing and underutilized interstate bridge across the Mississippi River.”

Phase I of the project will be a bypass around Corning, with construction expected to begin in 2025.

Records of the planned I-57, including the environmental impact statement and information from previous public meetings, may be seen at