UPDATE: 6:45PM 10-23-2015
The long wait is over. Highway 78 was officially designated INTERSTATE 22 in a ceremony this morning in New Albany. A detailed story about the event will be published early Saturday.
What can be said to have been a 37 year waiting period will officially come to an end tomorrow when Highway 78 finally receives its “I-22” designation.
|On June 29, 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid-Highway Act of 1956, which authorized the interstate highway system (later formally named the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways). The Act authorized 41,000 miles of high quality highways that were to tie the nation together. Later, congressional action increased the length to 42,500 miles and required super-highway standards for all interstate highways.|
Highway 78, originally so named in 1926, has undergone several improvements and rerouting over the years. In 1978 a portion of the highway east of Fulton, Mississippi, was designated “Corridor X” by the U.S. Congress and plans for its upgrading to Interstate status began to be discussed. The 1995 National Highway Designation Act committed to the future I-22 designation for the route.
Tomorrow, October 23, 2015, at 10:30 AM, federal and state officials, local dignitaries and just “plain” citizens will gather to hear about the end of the long wait and the beginning of I-22’s importance to this part of Mississippi, and to the New Albany area in particular. Roger Wicker, U.S. Senator for Mississippi, and Mike Tagert, North Mississippi’s Transportation Commissioner, are expected to be in attendance, among others. Join us for this occasion–there is plenty of room at New Albany’s tennis complex for “rain or shine” events.
Most everyone understands the benefits of having an Interstate connections between Mississippi and the rest of the nation, linking the major cities, and helping move suburban commuters to and from work centers. The economic, safety and lifestyle improvements are self-evident, and we are excited to think of the prospects I-22 will bring our way over the years. We can hardly wait. Bring it on!
New Albany is particularly blessed in its connection to the I-22 corridor, particularly as compared to some of our near-by sister cities. For additional information on this fact and what it means to New Albany’s future, see: Counting Our Blessings.