The interstate highway system has aided economic growth and commerce across the U.S. since its creation 60 years ago. Federal Highway Administration estimates place the impact at 7,900 full-time jobs for every $1 billion invested in highway construction.

That’s exactly what leaders along the I-69 corridor, a proposed 2,680-mile stretch of roadway that will eventually connect the U.S. borders in Texas and Michigan, by way of the Mississippi Delta, have hoped would happen.

Yet, 17 years after construction began, the roadway remains a disjointed patchwork of connector routes and unfunded plans—especially in the Delta.

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Originally published in Delta Business Journal, June 2016