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AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway

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Apologies if this has been discussed before, but what the heck is the purpose of these two stub freeways off of I-49 near Fayetteville, AR? I can't find any recent discussion on the matter, and to me these two stubs look rather pointless... like just a glorified exit ramp to a local street or boulevard that for some reason ArDOT decided to put a name/number with. Why? Are there longer term (or former cancelled) plans for these two spurs? I can't locate any other stubs in different locations that look like they were intended/are planned to connect with these stubs.

I'm assuming the two stubs of the Fulbright and the freeway in between was the original bypass US 71? I might be wrong, though.

AR 612 is future US 412 Springdale bypass and Fullbright IIRC was an old alignment of US 71 back in the 1980s. The current I 49 corridor in Northwest Arkansas was built originally as a new alignment for US 71.


Original AR-612 Thread

Proposed Interstate Upgrade Thread:

These links should help you understand the situation regarding AR-612. The reason 612 exists as a stub is because Arkansas often builds highways in pieces when funding becomes available (see Monticello Bypass, AR-530, AR-549 to name a few).

Arkansas is a pave as there's money state as, in general, we haven't done bond issues except as voted on by ballot initiative.  As such, highway development has historically been done piecemeal, with bypasses in populated areas coming first, then connected up later on to new terrain segments.  The Fulbright Expressway stubs you see are the vestiges of the US-71 Bypass that went around Fayetteville before there was an I-49 or I-540 prior to that north of I-40.  I-49/I-540 took over the middle section of the bypass when it was constructed, leaving the connectors back to US-71B in Fayetteville.  The northern one is responsible for the unwieldy U-turn of I-49 before it turns north up the hill.  AR-612 is the middle section of the Springdale Northern US-412 Bypass, which will ultimately have 2 more segments constructed leading back to US-412 west of Tontitown where the divided highway currently ends, and over east of Sonoma almost to the White River crossing where that divided highway currently ends.  AR-612 will be a placeholder designation (likely just revert to US-412 when completed, leaving the current US-412 through Tontitown, Springdale, and Sonoma as a US-412B) like the AR-5* numbers are for future Interstate segments.  However, AR-612/US-412 to the Arkansas/Oklahoma border is planned for an eventual Interstate upgrade as well as everything west all the way to I-35 in Oklahoma, if funding can ever be found.  Not likely to happen for a while as there will have to be another bypass constructed around Siloam Springs, although most of the rest of the US-412 corridor between I-35 and I-49 can be upgraded to Interstate specs fairly easily with overpasses/access roads.


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