What is now known as the El Camino 5-State East/West Corridor Commission was created in 1989 and is composed of interested parties from TX, LA, MS, AL and GA who are dedicated to the four-laning of U. S. Highway 84 from Brunswick, GA, to El Paso, TX.
The El Camino East/West Corridor is a 1,729-mile roadway named for El Camino Real, or “The King’s Highway” in Spanish, and was named for the historic trail it will duplicate. The oldest road in Texas, El Camino extends down into Mexico. El Camino started as an Indian trail which the Spanish expanded and improved to link their LA and East Texas missions and forts to Mexico. This is the route that our forefathers traveled to settle this country. This project extends through the heartland of the Old South, crossing forty-eight counties and six parishes and directly impacting more than 1.5 million residents of those areas, according to project statistics.
The project was originally designed as an economic boost to regions of the states that U.S. Highway 84 passes through but Katrina and past hurricanes and the potential for terrorism on American shores have added new dimensions to the project. The corridor is largely rural in nature with its mid-point being the Natchez-Vidalia region. The corridor slices through the heartland where principal occupations have been textiles and apparel, wood and wood products, and agriculture. But these industries have been hit very hard and have suffered large unemployment as a result of a downturn in the national and global economy. Completion of the corridor would bring back vitally needed jobs through tourism, distribution centers, and new businesses that spring up as a result of improved transportation.
This corridor is also very vital to our national defense with several national guard units stationed strategically along the corridor. This corridor would also facilitate safety and expediency for the traveling public and businesses that rely on better and safer roads to reach their destinations and points of delivery.
As a result of the 1987 four-lane program passed by the MS Legislature that included the four-laning of Hwy. 84 across the state, Mississippi will complete the four-laning of 186.20 miles of Hwy. 84 in the El Camino project within the next couple of years. Currently, 95% has been completed. Georgia has almost completed that state’s portion of Hwy. 84 with 84% complete. Alabama and Texas have completed 52% and 73% respectively of the El Camino project and Louisiana has completed 15%. Please click here for the latest status report in excel formatClick here for a copy of our resolution
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