- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation says several phases of the Interstate 269 construction project are more than halfway complete.

Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert said construction on the more than $640 million interstate project began in 2011 and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.

I-269 in Mississippi is composed of seven individual projects that total approximately 25 miles of four-lane highway in Desoto and Marshall counties.

Once completed, I-269 will form a 30-mile loop around Memphis through Mississippi and Tennessee.

In Mississippi, I-269 will begin at the I-55/I-69 intersection north of Hernando, cross Highway 78 near Byhalia and continue northeast to the Tennessee state line.

Tagert said the bypass will relieve traffic pressure on the I-55/I-69 corridor and connect I-40 and I-55 in North Mississippi. I-40 is a major cross-country freight route, and I-69 will be an international connector between Canada and Mexico.

Tagert said the interstate construction will connect local communities in several states and create economic development opportunities.

“This is more than just a bypass around Memphis. It will also provide a valuable means for commercial vehicles to move raw materials and manufactured goods through the region,” Tagert said in a news release.

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