Interstate 22 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Mississippi. The highway is now fully completed, running from Olive Branch, a suburb of Memphis, to Tremont on the Alabama border . The route is 188 kilometers long.
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I-22 at Belmont.
I-22 on the Alabama-Mississippi border.
At Olive Branch, US 78 crosses the border with Tennessee, where the highway immediately begins. The highway then heads southeast, through increasingly densely wooded areas, from the Holly Springs National Forest. One does not pass many large places, nor does one cross many major roads. One then arrives at Tupelo, a city of 36,000 inhabitants, and the largest city in northeastern Mississippi. Here one crosses US 45, which is also a highway here, and runs from Corinth in the north to Meridian in the south. This is the main connection of US 78/I-22. At the village of Tremont, Interstate 22 in Alabama continues to Birmingham.
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Interstate 22 in Mississippi is an upgrade of the pre-existing US 78 from Memphis to Birmingham. Most upgrades are to the hard shoulder, but in New Albany the road needs to be physically modified to meet the design requirements of Interstate Highways. The first section of US 78 to open as a freeway was at the Tennessee border about 1974. Initially, bypasses were built as highways, such as around 1977 around Holly Springs, around 1978 around New Albany, and around 1984 around Tupelo. The route to the Alabama border was completed in 1991. The last section opened about 1995 between Potts Camp and Hickory Flat in the Holly Springs National Forest. Since October 23, 2015, the road has been officially numbered as I-22. In 2017, the interchange opened with I-269, allowing traffic from I-22 to reach I-40 without having to travel over the secondary road network.
The dates below are indicative and based on historical maps.
|Exit 0||Exit 10||16 km||~1974|
|Exit 26||Exit 30||6 km||~1977|
|Exit 60||Exit 64||6 km||~1978|
|Exit 64||Exit 76||19 km||~1980|
|Exit 76||Exit 101||40 km||~1984|
|Exit 101||Exit 104||5 km||~1985|
|Exit 55||Exit 60||8 km||~1986|
|Exit 10||Exit 26||25 km||~1987|
|Exit 104||Exit 107||5 km||~1988|
|Exit 107||Exit 116||14 km||~1991|
|Exit 30||Exit 41||18 km||~1994|
|Exit 48||Exit 55||12 km||~1994|
|Exit 41||Exit 48||12 km||~1995|
|Exit 0||Exit 113||2×2|
27,000 vehicles cross the Tennessee border every day. This drops to 20,000 vehicles for Holly Springs and 14,000 vehicles to New Albany, rising to 22,000 vehicles at New Albany itself. 17,000 vehicles ran between New Albany and Tupelo, rising to a maximum of 24,000 vehicles through Tupelo. More east, 18,000 vehicles drive as far as the Alabama border.