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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 1107508 times)

MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3800 on: August 05, 2022, 05:49:03 PM »

I don't recall the Y City-Acorn passage as particularly treacherous.

That is called Foran Gap. Black Fork Mountain rises in eastern Oklahoma near Page, and heads into Arkansas and terminates at Eagle Gap. Fourche Mountain begins at the other side of Eagle Gap, and runs all the way into Montgomery County. Foran Gap is a natural pass that runs northwest-southeast and cuts through the rather tall mountain (by Ouachita standards), and that is the reason US 71 and 270 has the huge S curve. in it. Foran Gap isn't bad at all, but if you tried to build a freeway over Fourche Mountain that ran due north from Acorn, it would have some very steep grades and there would be plenty of curves. When I-49 is routed through there, there will only be one really big sweeping curve in it, since it will run due south from CR 70 towards AR 88 east of Mena, and avoiding Acorn entirely. Blue Mountain, which is a peak on Fourche Mountain, is the fifth highest point in the state. A structure will have to be built at Foran Gap where the Ouachita Trail crosses the highway. Hopefully they will somehow retain access to the trail at this point.

Here's a Google Earth shot of Foran Gap, looking northwest. It's easy to see how the mountain has a low spot in it where the highways run.



Excellent perspective on the Foran Gap. Thanks for sharing.

And this view give a decent perspective of the elevation relief that this section has to navigate through:

https://goo.gl/maps/kSwfmAEM5uSpUUSG6
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3801 on: September 19, 2022, 01:11:07 PM »

The 2023-2026 draft STIP was posted by ARDOT.  Looks like 2025 has budgeted $256M for Future I-49 across the Arkansas River from AR-22 to Gun Club Rd.  Almost assuredly 2 lanes initially at that rate.  There's several other items for project development of the other segments, including the I-40/I-49 interchange.  Not a done deal since it's a draft version, but unlikely to be significant changes barring any world changing events.

https://www.ardot.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/2023-2026_STIP_Draft_General_Electronic.pdf Pg. 3 and 4 (Slide 34-35)
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