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Without question, the current Interstate 30 is, with exception to Pennsylvania Congressman Bud Shuster's Interstate 99 and the San Francisco Bay Area's "Interstate 238", the most misaligned interstate on the grid. And for an x0 interstate it has a terribly short run.

In my last report on this series we relocated Interstate 30 to a southerly corridor linking Texarkana, AR to Birmingham, AL. Now we can concentrate on a corridor that utilises that freed corridor and then extends further south still, thus providing a direct route from Chicago to the heart of Texas.

Enter Interstate 57 which gets a well-deserved southern extension.
Already we know that the interstate route hardly gets out of Illinois before reaching its present termination point at Interstate 55 near Sikeston MO. But we have a new solution for this as it reaches into the growing South, and especially into rapidly-growing Arkansas and even into the Lone Star State.

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The extended I-57 follows US60 west of Sikeston before following a new route that connects more directly to Penermon and Bernie, both in Stoddard County, before following MO25 south to Kennett then following a new direct path into Arkansas, tying directly to Jonesboro and Newport before following US67 down to Little Rock. Some of US67 is already practically at interstate grade as it is...making the transition to the I-57 even easier.

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At Little Rock all of the old x30 routes would become x57 routes. Past that, it's a simple matter of establishing new signs. In other words, simply replacing the I-30 with the I-57 works well.

Into Texas, the interstate follows US59 and then TX155 to Tyler, then to Palestine, where it follows US79 in its southwestern run to Rockdale, then veers off in a more southerly direction to Elgin then to the southeastern part of Austin where it connects to the I-35.

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In the Lone Star State x57 routes could be used in and around Austin and even Tyler, with a spur to Longview and the I-20, maybe an I-357 could make that connection along US259. An I-257 could form an outer east/west loop round some of Austin. And then Tyler could pick up an I-657 unless TxDOT seek to use one of the remaining x20s for that area.

For Arkansas and Texas, the Texarkana area could benefit from an I-857 or even a new I-430 loop, and though it makes the area appear like Kansas City on a smaller scale with the I-435 going through Kansas and Missouri, that area continues to grow in its own right.And that is much the case for most of Arkansas and much of eastern and central Texas. With Gilmer, Buffalo, Franklin, and Milano also gaining interstate access, and Natural State communities like Sherwood, Jacksonville, Searcy, and Bradford also getting on the Interstate Highway System, the I-57 will provide yet another vital link from the Gulf Coast and Mexico to the Great Lakes that is becoming increasingly necessary.

And though we will never see the elimination of American boundaries we will see the global trade network continue to grow as we will also continue to see our economic base grow.The route also provides improved access for the agrarian areas of Texas, Arkansas, and even Missouri to greater markets like the Great Lakes region. Chicago and even Indiana and Wisconsin will readily feel the effects; St Louis will also benefit with reduced truck traffic on their bridges; those trucks can travel from Texas and Mexico on another direct route to Chicago...which could see their reputation for commerce boosted yet even further and provide gains as far-reaching as Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and even Detroit. Another spur from Newport could connect to Walnut Ridge, even to Pocahontas.

And the I-57 would improve the safety of thousands upon thousands of Southern drivers as heavier traffic could be taken off of some rural routes yet a major interstate artery would still remain in place and remain viable, even with a new designation.