Alabama's I-22 Region
Interstate 22 (I-22) spans over 200 miles in the states of Mississippi and Alabama, starting near the suburban Memphis city of Byhalia, Mississippi, and ending near Birmingham, Alabama. The route is planted in the southwest corner of Appalachia, connecting the area to the rest of the Appalachian region as well as the more central parts of the country. I-22 follows the route of the older U.S. Route 78. The corridor mainly spans rural areas and passes numerous small towns along its route, including Jasper, Winfield, and Hamilton, Alabama; and Fulton, Tupelo, New Albany, and Holly Springs, Mississippi.
The expansion of I-22 Corridor has the potential to bring economic development opportunities to Alabama’s Fayette, Lamar, Marion, and Winston counties. The I-22 Corridor Strategic Development Project will use the destinations, assets, and character that make the region unique to enhance the natural qualities that already exist. This team will use strategic planning to identify opportunities in infrastructure and workforce development as well as design and communication to facilitate the implementation of a regional Outdoor, Cultural, and Heritage Tourism Development Program.
The goal of the I-22 Corridor Strategic Development Project is to equip local leaders to bring economic development in Fayette, Lamar, Marion, and Winston Counties.
The region around the I-22 Corridor in Alabama is filled with awe-inspiring wilderness, towns that feel magical, people proud of their culture and heritage, and charming art and handmade crafts. The leaders in these counties recognize that there are treasures found in this region that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. They have a vision to invite others to experience the region as they do. The opportunities identified during this program can bring in outside dollars and facilitate long-term economic growth for the region.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) are working with the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG), West Alabama Regional Commission (WARC), and local leaders to bring economic development opportunities to the region along the I-22 Corridor.
There is no better way to learn about a region than from its people. The team is doing plenty of research on and analysis of the region, but adding a human connection brings in an element that cannot be captured by numbers.
If you’re familiar with the region, please complete this exercise to help gather an array of stories, experiences, and dreams that can help build an inspiring vision of the region.