Interstate 69, nicknamed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway, was proposed to help trade with Canada and Mexico and was spurred by the North American Free Trade Agreement. On October 3, 2006, the first segment in Mississippi of the new Interstate 69 opened to traffic between a point near U.S. 61 north of Tunica at the Tunica-DeSoto county line and Interstate 55 north of Hernando. Construction continues on the next segment that will extend east from I-55 through DeSoto County and connect to Highway 78, also called Future I-22.
Working with McBride Dale Clarion, a consulting firm in Cincinnati, DeSoto County spearheaded an Interstate 69 trade corridor study (PDF). This study logged public meetings and collected input to help guide future development.
The vision includes parks and greenways, distinctive county branding, housing diversity and amenities to attract a skilled workforce needed for industries drawn by the Memphis market.