Interstate 22 (I-22), when completed, will follow the U.S. Highway 78 corridor along a 213-mile (343-km) route from Memphis, Tennessee, to Birmingham, Alabama. Future I-22 will connect Interstate 55 and Interstate 40 in the northwest to Interstate 65 and Interstate 20 in the southeast, passing through or close to the towns of Holly Springs, Mississippi; New Albany, Mississippi; Tupelo, Mississippi; Hamilton, Alabama; Winfield, Alabama; and Jasper, Alabama.
The part of I-22 east of Fulton, Mississippi, was approved in 1978 as Corridor X, part of the Appalachian Development Highway System. Parts of the highway have been under construction ever since. Two stretches of the interstate remain to be completed. One stretch is in Alabama and totals approximately in length from Cherry Avenue in Forestdale to U.S. Highway 31 in Birmingham. This section includes the interchange with Interstate 65. The other stretch is from the Mississippi/Tennessee state line to its terminus in Memphis. The exact location of the western terminus has not been decided as of yet, but Interstate 269 (when completed) and Interstate 240 have been discussed as possible termini. Funding for the remaining sections has been a priority for U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), who served as Chairman of Senate Transportation Subcommittee. In 2004 Corridor X was designated as Future Interstate 22 by Public Law No: 108-199, and the designation was made official on April 18, 2005. In Alabama, blue signs reading "FUTURE/I-22/CORRIDOR" at left and an I-22 shield with "FUTURE" instead of "INTERSTATE" at right were unveiled April 18, 2005.
Approximately of Interstate 22 is open to traffic in Alabama. The section of the route between the Mississippi state line and Jasper was completed in 2005. A section of I-22 between Dora and Forestdale was opened to local traffic only (no thru trucks) in June 2007. Another segment between Jasper and Dora was opened on November 14, 2007. Interstate 22 now travels the full length between suburban Birmingham and suburban Memphis, stopping short of the proposed major interstate connections: I-240 and I-65. Exits on the Jasper Bypass portion of I-22 were originally numbered using a kilometer-based sequence in anticipation of U.S. metrification, but have since been renumbered to a mileage-based sequence.
Current plans call for Interstate 22 to be completed to I-65 in 2010, with the 14-bridge stack interchange in Birmingham being completed in 2010. Construction is well underway for the segment between Cherry Avenue in Forestdale to a spot about .5 mile shy of I-65 near Fultondale. This segment includes an interchange with Coalburg Road. A project to widen I-65 to four lanes in either direction has begun from just south of the upcoming I-22/I-65 interchange southward to the 16th Street interchange. Under the present design, I-22 will terminate at I-65, but the mainline highway will continue east beyond I-65 as a long pair of ramps to US-31. ALDOT announced in May 2008 that contract letting for the construction of the final segment including the massive interchange with I-65 and US 31 will be let in November 2008 with construction to begin shortly afterwards. Speculation persists as to the future of US 78 west of Birmigham after the completion of I-22. The section between Birmingham and Jasper may simply remain signed as AL-5 while the sections west of Jasper might remain signed as AL-118. In Mississippi, the original US-78 is signed as MS-178 and there are no plans by MSDOT to re-sign it as US-78 once I-22 is signed. Therefore, I-22 either would have to be co-signed with US-78, which would "water down" the impact of having a signed interstate, or decommissioning US 78 through the state altogether. ALDOT stated upon the opening of the Forestdale to Jasper segment of corridor X (future I-22/US 78) that the old US 78 would be recognized as ALT US-78 between Graysville and Jasper, yet no signage to support this claim exists.
At the western end of the route, the connection between Interstate 22 and the other interstates in the vicinity of Memphis is most likely to make use of the Interstate 269 Outer Memphis Beltway, which is currently in various stages of planning and construction. One possible routing takes I-22 westward along I-269 to the existing I-55/I-69 interchange near Hernando, Mississippi.
Corridor X was also designated as High Priority Corridor 10 in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 and High Priority Corridor 45 in subsequent legislation.
|DeSoto||Olive Branch||1||Craft Road - Mineral Wells|
|6||Bethel Road, Hacks Cross Road - Fairhaven|
|10||Ingrams Mill, West Byhalia|
|18||Victoria, East Byhalia|
|Holly Springs||26||West Holly Springs|
|61||West end of MS 30 overlap|
|63||Downtown New Albany|
|64||East end of MS 30 overlap|
|73||West end of MS 9 overlap|
|Pontotoc||Sherman||76||East end of MS 9 overlap|
|85||Natchez Trace Parkway|
|86||West end of Corridor V overlap; signed as exits 86A (south) and 86B (north)|
|Itawamba||97||Fawn Grove, Dorsey|
|Fulton||104||West end of MS 25 overlap|
|108||East end of MS 25/Corridor V overlap; west end of Corridor X overlap|
|Mississippi-Alabama state line|
|Hamilton||7||Weston, Hamilton (SR 74)|
|53||bridge sign denotes road as Al 102 which would be extended south to Townley to connect to existing AL 102|
|61||Old exit 96|
|63||Old exit 101|
|65||Industrial Parkway Road||Old exit 104|
|70||Walker County Road 22 - Cordova/Parrish|
|72||Walker County Road 61 - Cordova|
|78||Walker County Road 81 - Dora/Sumiton|
|Jefferson||81||Jefferson County Road 45 - West Jefferson|
|Graysville||85||U.S. 78 East - Graysville/Adamsville||Eastbound thru traffic must exit to continue on U.S. 78|
|87||Jefferson County Road 112 (Graysville -- Cardiff)|
|Forestdale||89||Jefferson County Road 65 - Graysville/Adamsville|
|91||Jefferson County Road 105 (Brookside -- Forestdale)||Highway ends; eastbound traffic must turn south to rejoin U.S. 78 at Forestdale|