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Author Topic: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)  (Read 178410 times)

bwana39

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #475 on: May 17, 2021, 03:10:58 PM »

Yep, that three bridges. And,   if it were to happen replacing the old bridge at Helena would be best.  They it could connect to the I-69 to Tunica plan and also run a 4 lane divided to to Batesville. I would like to point out the many sections of Arkansas 1 that is 4 lane from Forrest City to Helena. I would push for that to be US 49 from Jonesboro to Barton and US 63 replacing US 49 from Jonesboro to Brinkley. It would be part if a larger Greater Memphis outer loop that included I-155, US 412, US 45, US 278.



There is absolutely no reason to replace the Helena Bridge. Leave it for the rest of its lifespan. The only problem with the Helena Bridge is it is narrow and has a fairly large gradient. It is still useful as a place for tractors and farm equipment to cross and for local and inter regional traffic.

Even if.... The Helena bridge it too far south. The two places that would seem to fit for this loop crossing would be north of Marianna to the Tunica Resorts more or less or from around Winona to Penton. The one farther north seems a better solution for the outer belt concept and the further south one a seeming better choice for a pure I-69 routing.

Yes, it probably will cost as much to bridge the Arkansas and White Rivers (together) as the Mississippi crossing.  I think that there needs to be a new bridge toward the south end of Memphis Metro (meaning Arkansas / Mississippi). I just cannot seem to justify two new crossings in the next decade of so. I will give you, Arkansas has neither the funds or priority to build two crossings whether it is two across the Mississippi  or one across the Mississippi and one across the area above the confluence of the Arkansas and White rivers.  The original plan was to follow this route. Then after the compromise moved it south of the Arkansas / Mississippi confluence, then  US Representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) proposed to fund both alternatives with the so-called Dickey Split (which went nowhere).

It comes down to a major interstate was routed on the whims of local interests instead of the national interest.

I want to add one thing to this.  Back when they decided to redirect the money from the Monticello bypass to upgrading US-278 toward the McGehee, I initially thought they were making sure the Dean bridge was built. I think after the fact, that they were making sure that a decent road got built in a long forgotten area in case the bridge was built elsewhere or not at all.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 03:25:41 PM by bwana39 »
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #476 on: May 17, 2021, 03:57:18 PM »

Yep, that three bridges. And,   if it were to happen replacing the old bridge at Helena would be best.  They it could connect to the I-69 to Tunica plan and also run a 4 lane divided to to Batesville. I would like to point out the many sections of Arkansas 1 that is 4 lane from Forrest City to Helena. I would push for that to be US 49 from Jonesboro to Barton and US 63 replacing US 49 from Jonesboro to Brinkley. It would be part if a larger Greater Memphis outer loop that included I-155, US 412, US 45, US 278.



There is absolutely no reason to replace the Helena Bridge. Leave it for the rest of its lifespan. The only problem with the Helena Bridge is it is narrow and has a fairly large gradient. It is still useful as a place for tractors and farm equipment to cross and for local and inter regional traffic.

Even if.... The Helena bridge it too far south. The two places that would seem to fit for this loop crossing would be north of Marianna to the Tunica Resorts more or less or from around Winona to Penton. The one farther north seems a better solution for the outer belt concept and the further south one a seeming better choice for a pure I-69 routing.

Yes, it probably will cost as much to bridge the Arkansas and White Rivers (together) as the Mississippi crossing.  I think that there needs to be a new bridge toward the south end of Memphis Metro (meaning Arkansas / Mississippi). I just cannot seem to justify two new crossings in the next decade of so. I will give you, Arkansas has neither the funds or priority to build two crossings whether it is two across the Mississippi  or one across the Mississippi and one across the area above the confluence of the Arkansas and White rivers.  The original plan was to follow this route. Then after the compromise moved it south of the Arkansas / Mississippi confluence, then  US Representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) proposed to fund both alternatives with the so-called Dickey Split (which went nowhere).

It comes down to a major interstate was routed on the whims of local interests instead of the national interest.

I want to add one thing to this.  Back when they decided to redirect the money from the Monticello bypass to upgrading US-278 toward the McGehee, I initially thought they were making sure the Dean bridge was built. I think after the fact, that they were making sure that a decent road got built in a long forgotten area in case the bridge was built elsewhere or not at all.

Even if that was Arkansas' intent when they elected to complete 2 lanes of I-69 between Monticello and McGehee, there's nowhere near any kind of a guarantee that would accelerate any kind of work on the Dean Bridge. That's because Mississippi would have to come up with the money to pay for their portion of the bridge and connecting roadway. Mississippi is so broke right now they can't even afford to maintain what they have. So what makes anyone in Arkansas think that money will magically appear in Mississippi to get the Dean Bridge built?
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

sparker

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #477 on: May 18, 2021, 06:03:41 PM »

Yep, that three bridges. And,   if it were to happen replacing the old bridge at Helena would be best.  They it could connect to the I-69 to Tunica plan and also run a 4 lane divided to to Batesville. I would like to point out the many sections of Arkansas 1 that is 4 lane from Forrest City to Helena. I would push for that to be US 49 from Jonesboro to Barton and US 63 replacing US 49 from Jonesboro to Brinkley. It would be part if a larger Greater Memphis outer loop that included I-155, US 412, US 45, US 278.



There is absolutely no reason to replace the Helena Bridge. Leave it for the rest of its lifespan. The only problem with the Helena Bridge is it is narrow and has a fairly large gradient. It is still useful as a place for tractors and farm equipment to cross and for local and inter regional traffic.

Even if.... The Helena bridge it too far south. The two places that would seem to fit for this loop crossing would be north of Marianna to the Tunica Resorts more or less or from around Winona to Penton. The one farther north seems a better solution for the outer belt concept and the further south one a seeming better choice for a pure I-69 routing.

Yes, it probably will cost as much to bridge the Arkansas and White Rivers (together) as the Mississippi crossing.  I think that there needs to be a new bridge toward the south end of Memphis Metro (meaning Arkansas / Mississippi). I just cannot seem to justify two new crossings in the next decade of so. I will give you, Arkansas has neither the funds or priority to build two crossings whether it is two across the Mississippi  or one across the Mississippi and one across the area above the confluence of the Arkansas and White rivers.  The original plan was to follow this route. Then after the compromise moved it south of the Arkansas / Mississippi confluence, then  US Representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) proposed to fund both alternatives with the so-called Dickey Split (which went nowhere).

It comes down to a major interstate was routed on the whims of local interests instead of the national interest.

I want to add one thing to this.  Back when they decided to redirect the money from the Monticello bypass to upgrading US-278 toward the McGehee, I initially thought they were making sure the Dean bridge was built. I think after the fact, that they were making sure that a decent road got built in a long forgotten area in case the bridge was built elsewhere or not at all.

Even if that was Arkansas' intent when they elected to complete 2 lanes of I-69 between Monticello and McGehee, there's nowhere near any kind of a guarantee that would accelerate any kind of work on the Dean Bridge. That's because Mississippi would have to come up with the money to pay for their portion of the bridge and connecting roadway. Mississippi is so broke right now they can't even afford to maintain what they have. So what makes anyone in Arkansas think that money will magically appear in Mississippi to get the Dean Bridge built?

Mississippi freeways have, almost without exception, been built by maxing out the Fed contribution to the project, be it chargeable Interstates or, in the case of I-22, ARC funds for the initial construction and ensuing 80% contribution for the upgrades to I-standards via the HPC designation -- a serial "piling on" of funds from D.C., enabled by greasing the skids, congressional-wise (although AL's delegation did the heavy lifting there).  Unfortunately for any part of I-69, only the HPC source is available, but the state has deemed the entire corridor to be well down the priority list -- which is understandable, since even their 20% contribution toward a project of that magnitude would be funds they just don't have available.  The only chance that I-69 -- including the Dean bridge -- has in the next couple of decades would be for specific earmarks, now that they've been reintroduced on a limited basis, to be directed toward that corridor, including either a significant subsidy for the state/local share or a directed hike in the federal share (at or above the old 90% level afforded the original chargeable Interstates).  Otherwise -- no bridge; no continuous corridor, and likely maxing out as a 2-lane expressway across SE AR.     
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bwana39

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #478 on: May 24, 2021, 11:20:59 PM »

Yep, that three bridges. And,   if it were to happen replacing the old bridge at Helena would be best.  They it could connect to the I-69 to Tunica plan and also run a 4 lane divided to to Batesville. I would like to point out the many sections of Arkansas 1 that is 4 lane from Forrest City to Helena. I would push for that to be US 49 from Jonesboro to Barton and US 63 replacing US 49 from Jonesboro to Brinkley. It would be part if a larger Greater Memphis outer loop that included I-155, US 412, US 45, US 278.



There is absolutely no reason to replace the Helena Bridge. Leave it for the rest of its lifespan. The only problem with the Helena Bridge is it is narrow and has a fairly large gradient. It is still useful as a place for tractors and farm equipment to cross and for local and inter regional traffic.

Even if.... The Helena bridge it too far south. The two places that would seem to fit for this loop crossing would be north of Marianna to the Tunica Resorts more or less or from around Winona to Penton. The one farther north seems a better solution for the outer belt concept and the further south one a seeming better choice for a pure I-69 routing.

Yes, it probably will cost as much to bridge the Arkansas and White Rivers (together) as the Mississippi crossing.  I think that there needs to be a new bridge toward the south end of Memphis Metro (meaning Arkansas / Mississippi). I just cannot seem to justify two new crossings in the next decade of so. I will give you, Arkansas has neither the funds or priority to build two crossings whether it is two across the Mississippi  or one across the Mississippi and one across the area above the confluence of the Arkansas and White rivers.  The original plan was to follow this route. Then after the compromise moved it south of the Arkansas / Mississippi confluence, then  US Representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) proposed to fund both alternatives with the so-called Dickey Split (which went nowhere).

It comes down to a major interstate was routed on the whims of local interests instead of the national interest.

I want to add one thing to this.  Back when they decided to redirect the money from the Monticello bypass to upgrading US-278 toward the McGehee, I initially thought they were making sure the Dean bridge was built. I think after the fact, that they were making sure that a decent road got built in a long forgotten area in case the bridge was built elsewhere or not at all.

Even if that was Arkansas' intent when they elected to complete 2 lanes of I-69 between Monticello and McGehee, there's nowhere near any kind of a guarantee that would accelerate any kind of work on the Dean Bridge. That's because Mississippi would have to come up with the money to pay for their portion of the bridge and connecting roadway. Mississippi is so broke right now they can't even afford to maintain what they have. So what makes anyone in Arkansas think that money will magically appear in Mississippi to get the Dean Bridge built?

Mississippi freeways have, almost without exception, been built by maxing out the Fed contribution to the project, be it chargeable Interstates or, in the case of I-22, ARC funds for the initial construction and ensuing 80% contribution for the upgrades to I-standards via the HPC designation -- a serial "piling on" of funds from D.C., enabled by greasing the skids, congressional-wise (although AL's delegation did the heavy lifting there).  Unfortunately for any part of I-69, only the HPC source is available, but the state has deemed the entire corridor to be well down the priority list -- which is understandable, since even their 20% contribution toward a project of that magnitude would be funds they just don't have available.  The only chance that I-69 -- including the Dean bridge -- has in the next couple of decades would be for specific earmarks, now that they've been reintroduced on a limited basis, to be directed toward that corridor, including either a significant subsidy for the state/local share or a directed hike in the federal share (at or above the old 90% level afforded the original chargeable Interstates).  Otherwise -- no bridge; no continuous corridor, and likely maxing out as a 2-lane expressway across SE AR.     

This road is so far down the list of priorities for both Arkansas and Mississippi that it is not going to happen absent near total federal funding (I am not sure it would get built with 80+% non-transferrable earmarked federal funds.)  For Arkansas, everything has to go through Little Rock. I assume that I-55's Arkansas route was decided by the Feds back in the fifties.  I-49 has a LITTLE traction, but Walmart, Tyson, and UofA is up there in NWA. This said, I feel like the two new freeways that run through Little Rock (I-57 and I-530) are of way higher priority than I-49 south of I-40 and I-69 for sure. I honestly see I-530 (or as many seem to envision I-57) in Monroe before I-69 sees the first miles of fully controlled access built in Arkansas.

Mississippi is as confused by the routing as I am. For them the proposed route through the delta is redundant to I-55. Even the most serious proponents see it going from the river to just North of Grenada then duplexing with I-55 to Memphis. Honestly if the bridge is built there, I am not sure the traffic loads might actually allow it without added capacity to I-55. Regardless, I-69 is very low priority. It falls far behind the US-49 corridor from Jackson to Gulfport or Biloxi . The proposed I-310 in Gulfport is dead  in the water. (It is like the MS-1 loop around Greenville, waiting for funds to complete civil details that were done over a decade ago.)

I cannot see the rural portions of this thing (including the Dean Bridge) built in my lifetime if ever.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #479 on: May 25, 2021, 11:12:31 AM »

Yep, that three bridges. And,   if it were to happen replacing the old bridge at Helena would be best.  They it could connect to the I-69 to Tunica plan and also run a 4 lane divided to to Batesville. I would like to point out the many sections of Arkansas 1 that is 4 lane from Forrest City to Helena. I would push for that to be US 49 from Jonesboro to Barton and US 63 replacing US 49 from Jonesboro to Brinkley. It would be part if a larger Greater Memphis outer loop that included I-155, US 412, US 45, US 278.



There is absolutely no reason to replace the Helena Bridge. Leave it for the rest of its lifespan. The only problem with the Helena Bridge is it is narrow and has a fairly large gradient. It is still useful as a place for tractors and farm equipment to cross and for local and inter regional traffic.

Even if.... The Helena bridge it too far south. The two places that would seem to fit for this loop crossing would be north of Marianna to the Tunica Resorts more or less or from around Winona to Penton. The one farther north seems a better solution for the outer belt concept and the further south one a seeming better choice for a pure I-69 routing.

Yes, it probably will cost as much to bridge the Arkansas and White Rivers (together) as the Mississippi crossing.  I think that there needs to be a new bridge toward the south end of Memphis Metro (meaning Arkansas / Mississippi). I just cannot seem to justify two new crossings in the next decade of so. I will give you, Arkansas has neither the funds or priority to build two crossings whether it is two across the Mississippi  or one across the Mississippi and one across the area above the confluence of the Arkansas and White rivers.  The original plan was to follow this route. Then after the compromise moved it south of the Arkansas / Mississippi confluence, then  US Representative Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas) proposed to fund both alternatives with the so-called Dickey Split (which went nowhere).

It comes down to a major interstate was routed on the whims of local interests instead of the national interest.

I want to add one thing to this.  Back when they decided to redirect the money from the Monticello bypass to upgrading US-278 toward the McGehee, I initially thought they were making sure the Dean bridge was built. I think after the fact, that they were making sure that a decent road got built in a long forgotten area in case the bridge was built elsewhere or not at all.

Even if that was Arkansas' intent when they elected to complete 2 lanes of I-69 between Monticello and McGehee, there's nowhere near any kind of a guarantee that would accelerate any kind of work on the Dean Bridge. That's because Mississippi would have to come up with the money to pay for their portion of the bridge and connecting roadway. Mississippi is so broke right now they can't even afford to maintain what they have. So what makes anyone in Arkansas think that money will magically appear in Mississippi to get the Dean Bridge built?

Mississippi freeways have, almost without exception, been built by maxing out the Fed contribution to the project, be it chargeable Interstates or, in the case of I-22, ARC funds for the initial construction and ensuing 80% contribution for the upgrades to I-standards via the HPC designation -- a serial "piling on" of funds from D.C., enabled by greasing the skids, congressional-wise (although AL's delegation did the heavy lifting there).  Unfortunately for any part of I-69, only the HPC source is available, but the state has deemed the entire corridor to be well down the priority list -- which is understandable, since even their 20% contribution toward a project of that magnitude would be funds they just don't have available.  The only chance that I-69 -- including the Dean bridge -- has in the next couple of decades would be for specific earmarks, now that they've been reintroduced on a limited basis, to be directed toward that corridor, including either a significant subsidy for the state/local share or a directed hike in the federal share (at or above the old 90% level afforded the original chargeable Interstates).  Otherwise -- no bridge; no continuous corridor, and likely maxing out as a 2-lane expressway across SE AR.     

This road is so far down the list of priorities for both Arkansas and Mississippi that it is not going to happen absent near total federal funding (I am not sure it would get built with 80+% non-transferrable earmarked federal funds.)  For Arkansas, everything has to go through Little Rock. I assume that I-55's Arkansas route was decided by the Feds back in the fifties.  I-49 has a LITTLE traction, but Walmart, Tyson, and UofA is up there in NWA. This said, I feel like the two new freeways that run through Little Rock (I-57 and I-530) are of way higher priority than I-49 south of I-40 and I-69 for sure. I honestly see I-530 (or as many seem to envision I-57) in Monroe before I-69 sees the first miles of fully controlled access built in Arkansas.

Mississippi is as confused by the routing as I am. For them the proposed route through the delta is redundant to I-55. Even the most serious proponents see it going from the river to just North of Grenada then duplexing with I-55 to Memphis. Honestly if the bridge is built there, I am not sure the traffic loads might actually allow it without added capacity to I-55. Regardless, I-69 is very low priority. It falls far behind the US-49 corridor from Jackson to Gulfport or Biloxi . The proposed I-310 in Gulfport is dead  in the water. (It is like the MS-1 loop around Greenville, waiting for funds to complete civil details that were done over a decade ago.)

I cannot see the rural portions of this thing (including the Dean Bridge) built in my lifetime if ever.

The only thing I can see Mississippi doing in the foreseeable future, as far as I-69 is concerned, are some spot upgrades to US-61 between Tunica and Clarksdale. Periodic resurfacing/rehabilitation projects would be a great opportunity for Mississippi to tackle some of the "low hanging fruit" to start the process of upgrading US-61 to interstate standards. Even by this approach, converting US-61 to I-69 will be excruciatingly slow.
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

 


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