(Ingram’s Mill, MS) Ingram’s Mill is buzzing like never before as work zooms ahead on North Mississippi’s newest interstate.
I-269 stands to forever change the lives of people like Michael Baker.
”I think it’s gonna be great. You can go from Marshall County all the way to Collierville in 15 minutes."
And he might make that trip sooner than he thinks.
”We are halfway through the dirt work. Then we’ll be letting out the bids for the paving,” said DeSoto Supervisor Lee Caldwell.
She says the work could be done as early as late next year, but more likely sometime in 2017.
I-269 is part of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Highway which connects Canada and Mexico on a single interstate through the heart of the U.S.
It stands to bring new traffic to far-flung parts of DeSoto County, and the potential of new business and jobs.
The completion of I-269 won’t just bring economic benefits.
Transportation experts say it could also speed up the designation of Highway 78 as the brand new Interstate 22.
Caldwell says that fits perfectly with the DeSoto’s strategy to recruit corporate headquarters to the area.
”They want to look for the utilities, the roads, the bridges we’re putting in place. We now have the infrastructure in place, we are developing our workforce. I think it has all the right recipe to bring in some good high-paying jobs in this County."
When it’s all done, I-269 will connect Tunica County to Byhalia, then swing up to join 385 for an outer loop around the Memphis area, all the way to Millingtron.
”Sounds good to me. I have to go to Memphis every day and Hacks Cross is the only way to get to 385,” said Baker, who also said more options, mean faster travel.