I-69 Will Launch a New Route to Tunica

Interstate Officially Opens for Travelers October 3rd

TUNICA, Mississippi (September 12, 2006)— Visitors to Tunica will soon have a new way to arrive to the “South’s Casino Capital”. The long anticipated opening of Interstate 69 between Interstate 55 and Highway 61 is set for October 3rd.

“I-69 will allow for faster, safer, and easier access for the thousands of visitors and employees entering Tunica County on a daily basis,” said Webster Franklin, president and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Highway 61/Third Street, with multiple stop lights, and Highway 304 have been the primary routes to Tunica during the area’s staggering growth over the past fifteen years. The opening of I-69 will serve to bring the Memphis-Tunica area much closer together.”

Additionally, the opening of I-69 will make it easier for visitors and residents of the Mississippi Delta to access the amenities offered in DeSoto County and Memphis. Tunica County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lyn Arnold says this new four lane interstate is a big step for Tunica’s growth.

“With the opening of I-69, Tunica County comes closer to achieving our goal of an expanded and diversified economy,” Arnold said. “Having interstate access into the county and the Mississippi Delta provides exciting opportunities for growth in distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing. Tunica County has developed industrial properties that are ‘shovel ready’ in anticipation of this day, and we are ready to move into our next phase of growth and job creation.”

Due to a unique arrangement between Tunica County and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the state will be completing this project three years ahead of schedule. MDOT says the intent of this project is to improve the movement of freight and people, according to MDOT Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown.

“It will be the future corridor to economic development in the State of Mississippi,” Brown said. “And its importance cannot be emphasized enough.”

“We’re very pleased with this project,” added Northern District Transportation Commissioner Bill Minor. “Projects like this one provide us with easier, safer commutes for motorists and enhance our communities throughout the state of Mississippi by stimulating economic growth.”

A new I-55/I-69 interchange just south of the Nesbit exit will lead (11 miles) to US Highway 61 just north of the Tunica County line. The opening of a new exit off I-69 to existing Highway 304 in Tunica is expected to open soon after the October 3rd opening. It will provide direct access to the area’s southernmost casinos and serve to improve traffic flow for those traveling through the Mississippi Delta.

MDOT will be holding a ribbon cutting at 2:00 p.m. on October 3rd. Shortly after, I-69 will be open to the public.

Tunica, an area where cotton, rice, soybean fields and catfish ponds still thrive, is “The South’s Casino Capital.” Located 30 minutes south of Memphis, Tunica welcomes more than 12 million visitors annually to its nine world-class casino resorts, with more than 6,300 new hotel rooms, over 40 restaurants, three championship golf courses, outdoor recreation, museums, outlet and antique shopping, and much more. For travel information, please visit the Tunica website at tunicamiss.com or call Tunica toll free at 888-4-TUNICA.

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