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US 72 is a US Highway in the US state of Mississippi. The road forms an east-west route through the far north of the state, from the Tennessee border through Corinth to the Alabama border. US 72 is 143 kilometers long in Mississippi.
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US 72 at Mount Pleasant, just outside Memphis.
US 72 begins just outside the Memphis metropolitan area on the Tennessee border and heads east to the Alabama border. US 72 is mostly a short distance from the border with Tennessee, except for the easternmost part. The only larger town on the route is Corinth. US 72 is a divided highway with 2×2 lanes along its entire length, serving as a direct route from Memphis to Chattanooga.
US 72 at Mount Pleasant.
US 72 was created in 1926. The route then went further south, via what is now US 78. This was soon reversed over the current route. In the early 1930s, the entire US 72 was still unpaved, largely a gravel road, but also partly a dirt road. In the mid-1930s, a small area around Iuka was paved. By 1940, most of US 72 was paved, with the exception of the middle section, which was still a gravel road for quite some time. It was not until 1948 that the entire US 72 was paved.
In the early 1990s, the first section was widened to 2×2 lanes, between Corinth and the Alabama border. Parts west of Corinth were also widened to 2×2 lanes in 1998. The doubling then proceeded rapidly and was largely complete by 2000, except for the westernmost portion near the Tennessee border, which was completed on October 20, 2018 as a 2×2 divided highway, leaving the entire US 72 in Mississippi with 2×2 lanes.
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Every day, 11,000 vehicles drive on the Tennessee border, dropping slightly eastwards to 7,500 vehicles. This increases to a maximum of 22,000 vehicles in Corinth and 10,000 vehicles further up to Iuka. 7,300 vehicles drove on the Alabama border.