The Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike in 1972. The toll road ran east from Oakland Boulevard in Fort Worth to IH 35E in Dallas. Most interchanges along the route consisted of trumpets with access roads connecting adjoining roads.
Through Texarkana, Interstate 30 was upgraded during construction for both I-49 and IH 369. Improvements along the freeway included a new welcome center / rest area built near the Mandeville interchange (Exit 7), replacing the former facility between Exit 1 / Jefferson Avenue and Exit 2 / Arkansas Highway 245. This was completed in 2004.
The interchanges with Jefferson Avenue and Four States Parkway (former Highway 245) were improved after 2004 with wider overpasses built for both roadways across I-30. That work preceded construction to modify the cloverleaf with State Line Avenue (U.S. 59/71) into a split diamond interchange and the relocation of for Summerhill Road (SH 93 south / FM 1397 north) and Jefferson Avenue.7
Interstate 30 between Sevier Street in Benton and University Avenue in Little Rock replaced a two lane alignment built for U.S. 67/70 in the mid-1950s. Known as New Benton Highway, the route utilized what is now southbound University Avenue and the westbound roadway of I-30. Two lanes were added to New Benton Highway before the upgrade to I-30 by 1961. The former alignment of U.S. 67/70 was later designated as Highway 5, which separates from I-30 north from Exit 118.8
University Avenue (U.S. 70B) extends north from Interstate 30 at Exit 132 in Little Rock. This route was originally a part of Business Loop I-30. The University name was first applied to the section north of Asher Avenue, which was originally named Hayes Street after the 19th President, in 1957. University Avenue displaced New Benton Highway on the arterial between Interstate 30 and Asher Avenue in the 1970’s. New Benton Highway remained along the I-30 frontage road system until the mid-1980’s, when the city of Little Rock renamed the roadway as I-30.8
Interstate 30 from Sevier Street (Exit 116) in Benton east to Exit 133 (Geyer Springs Road) in Little Rock was upgraded starting in 2002. The work involved upgrading several bridges and widening the freeway to three lanes in each direction. Construction at the exchange with Baseline Road/Mabelvale Pike built a new underpass, eliminating a two-way section of the south access road between Baseline Road and Mabelvale Pike. The wye interchange at University Avenue was modified with the addition of loop ramps in 2005. Previous work in the late 1990’s extended University Avenue one mile south of I-30.8
Work finished in March 2006 completed the freeway expansion east of the interchange with Congo Road at milepost 120 to Geyer Springs Road. Improvements at the trumpet interchange with I-430 added a second lane from Exit 129 eastbound.9
Interstate 30 Extension
Proposals once outlined an extension of I-30 northeast along the U.S. 67 corridor through north-central Arkansas into Missouri via Searcy, Newport, Pocahontas and Poplar Bluff. As envisioned, Interstate 30 would turn east along U.S. 60 and connect with I-57 at Sikeston. Interstate 730, a freeway spur between Swifton and Jonesboro, was advocated by the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce in anticipation that U.S. 67 would be renumbered as I-30. According to the Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic,10
If U.S. 67 is four-laned all the way to St. Louis, it likely would become part of an extended Interstate 30, which now runs from Dallas to North Little Rock.
However, language inserted in Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development on April 21, 2016 designates the U.S. 67 freeway in Arkansas as Future I-57. A provision included in language also allows interstate standard stretches of U.S. 67 to be immediately resigned as Interstate 57.11