Interstate 540 and 55 in Arkansas

Interstate 540 in Arkansas

Get started Fort Smith
End From neighbours
Length 15 mi
Length 24 km
Oklahoma14-5: Fort Smith

14 Fort Smith

13 Jenny Lind Road

12 Fort Smith

11 Zero Street

10 Old Glenwood Road

9 Phoenix Avenue

8 Rogers Avenue

6 Grand Avenue

5 Kelley Highway

Arkansas River

3 Van Buren

2 Van Buren

1 → Oklahoma City / Little Rock

Interstate 540 or I -540 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The highway bypasses the Fort Smith region in the west of the state, running from the Oklahoma border to I-40 at Van Buren. The highway is 24 kilometers long.

  • EHUACOM: Provides city overview of capital of Arkansas, including general information about the state Arkansas.

Travel directions

I-540 begins on the Oklahoma state border and is a continuation of US 271 in Oklahoma. I-540 then proceeds northeast through the southern and eastern suburbs of the city of Fort Smith. The highway has 2×2 lanes and runs a large part through built-up areas, but not through the center of Fort Smith. An important connection is with US 71. Between Fort Smith and Van Buren one crosses the Arkansas River, this is a narrow bridge without emergency lanes. On the east side of Van Buren, I-540 ends at a trumpet interchange with Interstate 40.

  • existingcountries: state overview of Arkansas, including geography, history and major cities.


There have been two forms of I-540. The original I-540 was a bypass of Fort Smith and Van Buren between I-40 and the Oklahoma border. This section was constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, beginning with a section east of Fort Smith in 1966, followed by the bridge over the Arkansas River in 1967 and joining I-40 in 1968. extended south by Fort Smith. The highway was completed to US 71 in 1970, but was extended further to the Oklahoma state border in 1978.

In addition, I-540 has existed as a 70-mile route from Alma to Bentonville, which was the primary outcrop of Northwest Arkansas. This section was constructed in the 1990s to replace US 71. On January 8, 1999, this route was fully completed. In 1999, the Bobby Hopper Tunnel, the only road tunnel in Arkansas, also opened. The state of Arkansas has asked the AASHTO to sign the section between Alma and Bentonville as Interstate 49 when the route between Shreveport, Louisiana and Kansas City is converted to highway. In April-May 2014, I-540 between Alma and Bella Vista was renumbered as I-49.

Opening history

from nasty length date
Exit 5 Kelley Highway Exit 8 Rogers Avenue (SR-22) 5 km 1966
Exit 3 Riggs Drive Exit 5 Kelley Highway 3 km 1967
Exit 0 I-40 Exit 3 Riggs Drive 5 km 1968
Exit 8 Rogers Avenue (SR-22) Exit 10 Old Greenwood Road (SR-45) 3 km 1969
Exit 10 Old Greenwood Road (SR-45) Exit 12 US 71 3 km 1970
Exit 12 US 71 Exit 15 Oklahoma state line 5 km 1978

Traffic intensities

In Fort Smith, I-540 has about 54,000 vehicles per day.

Interstate 55 in Arkansas

Get started West Memphis
End Blytheville
Length 72 mi
Length 116 km
Tennessee1 BASF

3 West Memphis

4 Club Road

5 → Memphis

6 7th Street

7 → Little Rock

10 Marion

14 James Mill Road

17 Clarkedale

21 Turrel

23 → Jonesboro

34 Joiner

36 Bassett

41 Marie

44 Emperor

48 Osceola

53 Luxora

57 Burdette

63 Blytheville

67 Blytheville

71 Blytheville


Interstate 55 or I -55 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The highway forms a north-south route in the northeast of the state, running parallel to the Mississippi River. The highway is 116 kilometers long.

Travel directions

I-55 at West Memphis.

Interstate 55 crosses the Mississippi River in Tennessee via the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, after which it enters the state of Arkansas. I-55 has 2×2 lanes here and along West Memphis has a short double numbering with I-40, which has 2×3 lanes. At West Memphis, I-55 exits and heads north, parallel to the Mississippi River. I-55 then has 2×2 lanes and leads through a flat agricultural area with extensive meadows and hardly any forest. 25 kilometers north, at the hamlet of Turrell, Interstate 555 branches off to Jonesboro. I-55 then continues north and is a monotonous route through the flat meadows. The US 61runs parallel to I-55. After Blytheville, the border with the state of Missouri follows, after which Interstate 55 in Missouri continues north to St. Louis.


The predecessor to I-55 is US 61. The section of US 61 between West Memphis and Turrell was re-routed in 1954 and later doubled as a freeway. The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge at West Memphis opened to traffic on December 17, 1949. The bridge originally had no lane separation and was later modified to meet Interstate Highway standards.

In 1960, I-55 opened around West Memphis, coinciding with I-40 and connecting to the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge. At the same time, US 61, which was rerouted in 1954, was doubled to a freeway as far as Turrell. In about 1964, I-55 opened between Turrell and Blytheville, a stretch of more than 40 miles, which was the largest opening in Arkansas history. However, I-55 has probably been in single-lane use for a short time (about a year) on this section. When the final section around Blytheville to the Missouri state border opened in 1966, I-55 was the first Interstate Highway in Arkansas to be completed.

Opening history

from nasty length date
Exit 0 Tennessee state line Exit 1 Bridgeport Road 2 km 1949
Exit 1 Bridgeport Road Exit 23 I-555 (Turrell) 35 km 1960
Exit 23 I-555 (Turrell) Exit 63 Blytheville (South) 64 km 1964
Exit 63 Blytheville (South) Exit 72 Missouri state line 14 km 1966

Traffic intensities

The busiest part is the double numbering with the I-40, 72,700 mvt/day drive here. Towards the north this decreases rapidly to below 20,000 mvt/day. 17,700 mvt/day cross the Missouri border.

Lane Configuration

From Unpleasant Lanes Comments
Exit 0 Exit 4 2×2
Exit 4 exit 8 2×3
Exit 8 Exit 72 2×2

Interstate 55 in Arkansas

Interstate 540 and 55 in Arkansas
4 (80%) 1 vote

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