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AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway

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capt.ron:

--- Quote from: BridgesToIdealism on June 29, 2021, 07:33:57 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---
The Fullbright Expressway (both ends) were at one time US 71 when 71 was a 2 lane road south of Fayettville, and what's interesting is that what became the Fullbright Expressway started out as a 2 lane "bypass" in the early 1970's and then upgraded to a 4 lane facility in the early 1980's. The north end of the bypass tied in to the existing US 71 alignment. Once the freeway (later became US 71, then I-540, and finally I-49) north of the north stub opened up in the 1990's, more of the old alignment became US-71B. And of course, a lot of 71B got decommissioned recently.

US71:

--- Quote from: capt.ron on July 01, 2021, 12:47:26 PM ---
--- Quote from: BridgesToIdealism on June 29, 2021, 07:33:57 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---
The Fullbright Expressway (both ends) were at one time US 71 when 71 was a 2 lane road south of Fayettville, and what's interesting is that what became the Fullbright Expressway started out as a 2 lane "bypass" in the late 1970's and then upgraded to a 4 lane facility in the early 1980's. The north end of the bypass tied in to the existing US 71 alignment. Once the freeway (later became US 71, then I-540, and finally I-49) north of the north stub opened up in the 1990's, more of the old alignment became US-71B. And of course, a lot of 71B got decommissioned recently.

--- End quote ---

Old 71 was supposed to be re-signed as AR 471 when the freeway opened (circa 1980), but the locals pitched a fit thinking they would lose business from people not knowing 471 was old 71 so AHTD (now ARDOT) changed it to 71B.  Of course, 71B in NWA now only exists from the north end of the 71 Bypass to Rainbow Curve in Bentonville.  In the next couple years , it will disappear in Fort Smith.

dafisker:
I've seen proposals recently by the city of Fayetteville to downgrade Fullbright to have at least one intersection and stoplight (in front of Target).  This seems like a terrible waste of already having an expressway with exits through a busy part of a growing city.  Instead, I would love to see plans to extend Fullbright to 412 in both directions meeting up with the northern 412 bypass/612 to form a loop around the metro.  I've heard a southern bypass was debated decades ago but I don't know the issues.

Bobby5280:
A traffic signal in front of a Target store wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing as long as enough ROW was preserved to be able to upgrade the intersection to a freeway exit at a later date. The traffic signal could be an interim solution to save money.

But it would be unforgivably stupid if they built an intersection and let businesses build right up on top of the highway -driveways and all sorts of other trash included. That would cancel out the entire point of building a bypass in the first place.

MikieTimT:
Fayetteville needs to stay out of traffic engineering business and keep focusing on the "pretty" things they do best.  It would only benefit eastbound traffic as westbound already has an exit onto Shiloh not a half mile up from there at the end of the fairly new flyover.  What's the point of going to the expense of the flyover for westbound if traffic gets backed up onto it because of a stupid light there?  It makes infinitely more sense to just put an overpass from Futrall to Shiloh between the end of Steele Blvd. and get rid of the goofy traffic circle without any additional exit either direction as there are already exits both directions within a half mile anyway.  Downgrading this facility is as moronic an idea as they come.

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