The main north-south corridor through the state of Mississippi is Interstate 55. What Interstate 65 is for Alabama, Interstate 55 is for Mississippi. The highway links the major metropolitan areas of New Orleans and Memphis outside the state with Jackson, and smaller cities such as Grenada and McComb. The freeway enters the metropolitan area with four lanes from the south. I-55 dog legs east along side Interstate 20 along a heavily traveled six-lane overlap through to “The Stack” east of the Pearl River.
Turning northward from the split with I-20 east, Interstate 55 passes east of Downtown Jackson en route towards Ridgeland. U.S. 51 accompanies the route northward, with commercialized frontage running along side the six lane freeway. The suburban freeway accommodates six lanes of traffic north to Interstate 220, and eight lanes from I-220 through Ridgeland to Mississippi 463 (Exit 108) in Madison.
The first sections of Interstate 55 built in Mississippi extended both north from Woodrow Wilson Drive (then U.S. 49) to State Street at Ridgeland, and south from the State Street freeway spur to Downtown to Terry. Collectively 22 miles in length, both roadways were opened by 1960. The succeeding stretch completed ran north from U.S. 51 (State Street) at Ridgeland to Mississippi 22 at Canton by 1964. The route through Jackson, including the overlap with I-20, was finished in 1970.