Interstate 530 Arkansas
Interstate 530 connects Little Rock with Pine Bluff along a 35 mile long course south along the Arkansas River valley. The rural freeway is also U.S. 65, but Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) signing practices omit the overlap.
Plans call for eventual extension of I-530 south to the future Interstate 69 corridor at Monticello. Two sections of the future route are completed. Arkansas State Highway 530 spurs 23.6 miles south from the Pine Bluff Bypass to Highway 11 southwest of Star City. Measuring 4.5 miles, the southern segment of Highway 530 links Highway 35 with U.S. 278 west of Monticello. Both segments of Highway 530 travel at-grade with two lanes.
High Priority Corridor
The proposed extension of Interstate 530 from Pine Bluff south to Monticello (Interstate 69) is part of High Priority Corridor 18: NAFTA Superhighway (Section (18)(C)(ii)).
The northern ten miles of I-530 predate 1970. Interstate 530 was approved by AASHTO on November 14, 1997, as a future route between U.S. 65 south of Pine Bluff and I-30 south of Little Rock. Interstate 530 was commissioned August 2, 1999 over the preexisting U.S. 65 freeway on the same day that the western portion of the Pine Bluff bypass opened to traffic.
North End – Little Rock, AR
South End – Pine Bluff, AR
Mileage – 46.65
Cities – Little Rock, Pine Bluff
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-530 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Interstate 530 is a direct result of the “Dickey Split” compromise, which proposed access to the Interstate 69 / NAFTA corridor from Pine Bluff.1 The southern extension of Interstate 530 parallels U.S. 425 to the west from Star City to Monticello. Originating in Pine Bluff, U.S. 425 was commissioned in 1989. The interim designation is Arkansas 530.
Initial sections of the I-530 corridor south from Pine Bluff were to be built as at-grade expressways with two lanes.1 The first section of Arkansas 530 opened between U.S. 278 and Arkansas 35 near the city of Wilmar on June 6, 2006.2
The I-530 Extension south to the future I-69 corridor in southeastern Arkansas was estimated to cost at least $300 million in 2003. Construction of the 38-mile route was projected to begin at both at Pine Bluff and Monticello. Early funding for I-530 diverted money from a $30 million widening project for nearby U.S. 425 for construction along I-530, U.S. 65 and U.S. 167.3 Another $84 million from a $100 million appropriation from Congress was assigned to an area near Pinebergen for a four lane segment of highway.1
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), predecessor to ArDOT, projected as many as 8,600 vehicles per day (vpd) along the 4.5 mile section of Highway 530 in Drew County. Traffic counts further north were projected between 26,100 to 32,600 vpd once the highway reached Pine Bluff.3 Costs were estimated at $620 million to complete the three remaining sections of I-530 between U.S. 278 and Pine Bluff in 2008.4
Further lengthening of Interstate 530 beyond Monticello was promoted as part of the campaign for John “Jock” Scott, a Republican candidate for the fifth district of the U.S. Congress in Louisiana in the 2004 election. Promoting the potential for economic growth, Scott made extending I-530 south from Arkansas to Monroe and Alexandria one of the fundamental tenets of his campaign.5
During the elections of November 2, 2004, Jock Scott was soundly defeated at the polls, carrying only 16% of the vote. Incumbent Representative Rodney Alexander won with 59% of the vote.
North End – Little Rock, Arkansas
South End – Pine Bluff, Arkansas
- Interstate 69 from Shreveport to Memphis, i69info.com (Chris Lawrence).
- “New Arkansas Highway to be dedicated.” KTHV (Little Rock, AR), June 5, 2006.
- “Panel reaches deal to build I-69 stretch from both ends.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), January 9, 2003
- “PB En Route to Having New Road.” Pine Bluff Commercial (AR), July 18, 2008.
- “Scott: Interstate will help economy.” Monroe News-Star (LA), October 21, 2004.
Page updated February 27, 2019.