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I-57 Approved

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sparker:

--- Quote from: sprjus4 on August 07, 2021, 06:57:09 PM ---^ US-61 isnít built to freeway standards between Hannibal and I-70.

Itís a four lane divided highway with some sections limited access in the sense of having continuous frontage roads for local access, but nonetheless thereís still at grade intersections. Interchanges are located at busier intersections.

Itís a free-flowing four lane expressway. But not controlled access freeway.

--- End quote ---

In general the AOS, in both states it traverses, is a bit "bipolar" in its configuration, particularly when it comes to private access to the carriageways.  One can always tell which expressway section was divided by "twinning" an existing alignment and which was built on new-terrain routing -- obviously, the sporadic full-freeway sections were either on new terrain or completely rebuilt with access points routed elsewhere, either to adjacent roads or frontage roads.  But there are plenty of sections with private driveways, both commercial and residential, intersecting the main carriageways; these were invariably the "twinned" portions.  Most of these are configured as RIRO's; not very many feature crossovers between directions. 

Nevertheless, bringing the whole AOS up to Interstate standards won't be all that simple, despite the presence of longish full freeway segments -- and the current I-380 in IA, which will need no work at all.  There are still surface-street segments in the Cedar Falls area along IA 58 that'll have to be addressed, as well as the Hannibal bypass -- although the most recent GSV shows closely parallel grading along US 24 north of the US 36 interchange, which is planned to be part of the bypass route.  But at present there is no concerted effort toward a wholesale corridor upgrade; unless it's been very recently added to the present bill in process, it doesn't seem to be on any agenda anywhere.  But like I-49 to the southwest, it serves a region that has historically lacked a singular N-S artery; the fact that it was the 2nd (after the aforementioned I-49 route) high priority corridor to be designated back in 1991 -- and the fact that it has been deemed worthy of 4-laning along its entire length except for the in-town segments cited above -- makes it a potential Interstate corridor "candidate" -- but one likely requiring the type of directed congressional attention exemplified by the I-57 extension and, just recently, the I-14 corridor across the Gulf states, in order to even be placed in the queue for funding.  It may just be a matter of time -- or it may never happen; we'll just have to see.   

rte66man:

--- Quote from: sparker on August 07, 2021, 09:06:22 PM ---
--- Quote from: sprjus4 on August 07, 2021, 06:57:09 PM ---^ US-61 isnít built to freeway standards between Hannibal and I-70.

Itís a four lane divided highway with some sections limited access in the sense of having continuous frontage roads for local access, but nonetheless thereís still at grade intersections. Interchanges are located at busier intersections.

Itís a free-flowing four lane expressway. But not controlled access freeway.

--- End quote ---

In general the AOS, in both states it traverses, is a bit "bipolar" in its configuration, particularly when it comes to private access to the carriageways.  One can always tell which expressway section was divided by "twinning" an existing alignment and which was built on new-terrain routing -- obviously, the sporadic full-freeway sections were either on new terrain or completely rebuilt with access points routed elsewhere, either to adjacent roads or frontage roads.  But there are plenty of sections with private driveways, both commercial and residential, intersecting the main carriageways; these were invariably the "twinned" portions.  Most of these are configured as RIRO's; not very many feature crossovers between directions. 

Nevertheless, bringing the whole AOS up to Interstate standards won't be all that simple, despite the presence of longish full freeway segments -- and the current I-380 in IA, which will need no work at all.  There are still surface-street segments in the Cedar Falls area along IA 58 that'll have to be addressed, as well as the Hannibal bypass -- although the most recent GSV shows closely parallel grading along US 24 north of the US 36 interchange, which is planned to be part of the bypass route.  But at present there is no concerted effort toward a wholesale corridor upgrade; unless it's been very recently added to the present bill in process, it doesn't seem to be on any agenda anywhere.  But like I-49 to the southwest, it serves a region that has historically lacked a singular N-S artery; the fact that it was the 2nd (after the aforementioned I-49 route) high priority corridor to be designated back in 1991 -- and the fact that it has been deemed worthy of 4-laning along its entire length except for the in-town segments cited above -- makes it a potential Interstate corridor "candidate" -- but one likely requiring the type of directed congressional attention exemplified by the I-57 extension and, just recently, the I-14 corridor across the Gulf states, in order to even be placed in the queue for funding.  It may just be a matter of time -- or it may never happen; we'll just have to see.   

--- End quote ---

IIRC, IDOT has plans for making IA58 a freeway south to US20 in Cedar Falls.

Road Hog:
Been a while since there has been any news on Future I-57. Hopefully now that the BVB has been opened, the two states can turn their attention to getting this done.

edwaleni:

https://talkbusiness.net/2021/05/nea-leaders-update-on-i-57-possibilities/

Generations of civic and business leaders in Northeast Arkansas have dreamed of U.S. 67 being transformed into a complete, four-lane interstate highway stretching to the Missouri border. If the route were completely four-laned, it would become the primary thoroughfare connecting Chicago to large cities in Texas.

A group of civic leaders recently met to discuss finishing this project which started back in the 1950s. Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp told Talk Business & Politics he thinks completing the highway could become one of the most significant economic events in the region Ė ever.

ďOnce that road system is complete, Northeast Arkansas would become the halfway point between Chicago and the big city markets in Texas,Ē Snapp said.

Most of the route which stretches in Arkansas from Texarkana to Corning is already interstate grade, but the 30 or so miles on the northern end of the route from Pocahontas to Corning remains a two-lane. Once complete, it would become part of the recently created I-57 system.

Nearly $32 million has been allocated for preliminary engineering and studies, Arkansas Highway Commission Vice Chairman Alec Farmer said. Three options to complete the highway are under consideration at this time, he said.

The price range to complete the project could cost anywhere from $490 million to $600 million, Farmer said. An environmental impact study is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Itís part of a planning project study that was launched in 2015.

Once an option is selected and it passes environmental muster, it will be time to find funding, he added.

Work on U.S. 67 connecting the region with Little Rock began in 1956. That first 16 miles cost $6.4 million and was finished in 1962. Through the years, the highway was four-laned to Bald Knob and then to Newport in 1994. A few years ago, the final expanded connector between Newport and Walnut Ridge was finished.

The 123 miles that stretch from North Little Rock into Northeast Arkansas has cost $700 million so far, and if it were done today, it would cost more than $1 billion, Farmer said.

Landowners along the U.S. 67 in the area of the proposed expansion have seen teams of surveyors and engineers in the field collecting data, Arkansas Department of Transportation District 10 engineer Brad Smithee said. One proposal is along the current highway and two alternate routes are under consideration.

Cost, how many motorists will use each route, environmental impacts, engineering viability and other factors will be considered when making a final determination, he said.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said heís optimistic that federal dollars will be allocated towards the project. When complete, it will provide an economic boon to all the cities and towns along the route.

ďBusiness owners, civic leaders and travelers all understand the importance of connecting Northeast and Central Arkansas to this major interstate because it creates economic growth and development opportunities and allows for increased ease of movement,Ē Boozman said.

ďI am pleased to have been updated on the latest developments with the effort to plan and complete the construction of an interstate-quality highway and bring I-57 from the Missouri border all the way to North Little Rock. I look forward to further helping make this vision a reality,Ē he added.

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