State and federal lawmakers from Missouri have unveiled a plan to turn two highways into Interstate 57.
The goal of the Future I-57 project is to connect Chicago to Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mark Shelton is Southeast District Engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
"That legislation was then put in to name Route 60 from I-57 in Sikeston across to Poplar Bluff and then south on (Route) 67 to tie in with Arkansas to kind of connect and complete that future I-57 corridor."
He says the move makes sense for the Bootheel.
"With an interstate designation, there are opportunities, certainly for safety, our intestates are our safest travel way. Then also, for break corridors and some economic development in the future."
Shelton says this is the first step in a long process. Organizers have to determine how many federal and state dollars are available and regional planners have to prioritize it. He says the project could cost around 170 million dollars.
Shelton says there is no timeline for the start of the project.
Public meetings will be scheduled as the process continues.
Signs are going up this week to identify the highways as part of the Future I-57 project.