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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 1185422 times)

MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3575 on: January 12, 2022, 09:55:25 AM »

Here is the proposed schematic for the section with the I-49 Arkansas River Bridge.  Since this was dated prior to the Great Arkansas River Flood of 2019, I wonder about how current the profile charts are that show the distance above the current ground level now that we've had a new high water mark in the area.

https://www.ardot.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-05-01_I49-Schematic_DRAFT2_SpringHillPark-GunClubRoad.pdf
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CtrlAltDel

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3576 on: January 12, 2022, 12:30:07 PM »

It's not the part of I-49 in Arkansas that's the focus of this thread, but I drove on I-49 around Texarkana yesterday, and the bridges were painted a most unusual hot pink color, which was an interesting change of pace from the rest of my trip.
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Interstates clinched: 4, 57, 275 (IN-KY-OH), 465 (IN), 640 (TN), 985
State Interstates clinched: I-26 (TN), I-75 (GA), I-75 (KY), I-75 (TN), I-81 (WV), I-95 (NH)

abqtraveler

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3577 on: January 12, 2022, 12:36:56 PM »

It's not the part of I-49 in Arkansas that's the focus of this thread, but I drove on I-49 around Texarkana yesterday, and the bridges were painted a most unusual hot pink color, which was an interesting change of pace from the rest of my trip.
Maybe it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month when they submitted the bridge designs that called for the girders to be painted hot pink. :-D
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 37, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3578 on: January 12, 2022, 12:45:52 PM »

It's not the part of I-49 in Arkansas that's the focus of this thread, but I drove on I-49 around Texarkana yesterday, and the bridges were painted a most unusual hot pink color, which was an interesting change of pace from the rest of my trip.
Maybe it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month when they submitted the bridge designs that called for the girders to be painted hot pink. :-D

Maybe it was the cheapest color for that line item at bid time!  Arkansas isn't exactly famous for health consciousness!  At least they painted the steel.  Now the graffitti artists have to figure out how to do their manly signage and compensate for the effeminate base color.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3579 on: January 12, 2022, 12:50:17 PM »

Here's the I-40/I-49 interchange elevation profile.  Looks like the I-49 mainline overpass is over 90 ft. above I-40 mainline elevation, so that's a good ways up.  Should be a great view of the area and river southward from up there.

https://www.ardot.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-05-01_I49-Schematic_DRAFT7_I-40.pdf
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3580 on: January 12, 2022, 04:19:40 PM »

So, it's confirmed that it will be Super-2 from Alma to Y-City, and they hope that the feds pitch in once they see progress made by the state.

https://talkbusiness.net/2022/01/i-49-alma-fort-smith-route-might-be-complete-by-end-of-the-decade/

Substantial progress won't be evident until 2024-2025, so guess the groundbreaking noted earlier will be predominantly ROW, utility, and engineering.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3581 on: January 13, 2022, 01:18:14 AM »

So, it's confirmed that it will be Super-2 from Alma to Y-City, and they hope that the feds pitch in once they see progress made by the state.

https://talkbusiness.net/2022/01/i-49-alma-fort-smith-route-might-be-complete-by-end-of-the-decade/

Substantial progress won't be evident until 2024-2025, so guess the groundbreaking noted earlier will be predominantly ROW, utility, and engineering.
Any type of progress, however small, is great news. Getting it as far down as Y City is a lot more than I thought they would do.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3582 on: January 13, 2022, 02:19:45 PM »

So, it's confirmed that it will be Super-2 from Alma to Y-City, and they hope that the feds pitch in once they see progress made by the state.

https://talkbusiness.net/2022/01/i-49-alma-fort-smith-route-might-be-complete-by-end-of-the-decade/

Substantial progress won't be evident until 2024-2025, so guess the groundbreaking noted earlier will be predominantly ROW, utility, and engineering.
Any type of progress, however small, is great news. Getting it as far down as Y City is a lot more than I thought they would do.

$270M for two lanes all the way down to Y City (50 miles from the US-71/AR-549 interchange) seems a bit low. Are they planning to use the existing US-71 alignment in certain spots as a cost-saving measure?
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

2-d Interstates Clinched:  12, 22, 30, 37, 44, 59, 80, 84(E), 86(E), 238, H1, H2, H3, H201

Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3583 on: January 13, 2022, 03:31:56 PM »

Wait so does that mean major construction wonít happen until 24/25 or they mean substantial completion by then?
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sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3584 on: January 13, 2022, 03:50:24 PM »

Wait so does that mean major construction wonít happen until 24/25 or they mean substantial completion by then?
The latter.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3585 on: January 13, 2022, 03:53:47 PM »

Wait so does that mean major construction wonít happen until 24/25 or they mean substantial completion by then?
The latter.
Okay good deal. Even if they could just start out with a super between this project and Texarkana that would be a huge improvement. It would be nice if they could start on that by the time this wraps up. One can dream, right?
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sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3586 on: January 13, 2022, 04:28:00 PM »

Wait so does that mean major construction wonít happen until 24/25 or they mean substantial completion by then?
The latter.
Okay good deal. Even if they could just start out with a super between this project and Texarkana that would be a huge improvement. It would be nice if they could start on that by the time this wraps up. One can dream, right?
Wait, I misread it.

Itís the former.

Substantial construction will not begin until 2024-25.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3587 on: January 13, 2022, 04:33:57 PM »

Wait so does that mean major construction wonít happen until 24/25 or they mean substantial completion by then?
The latter.
Okay good deal. Even if they could just start out with a super between this project and Texarkana that would be a huge improvement. It would be nice if they could start on that by the time this wraps up. One can dream, right?
Wait, I misread it.

Itís the former.

Substantial construction will not begin until 2024-25.
Ah, that is a bummer then.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3588 on: January 13, 2022, 06:46:35 PM »

End of decade for 2 lanes across the river from Alma to AR-22 with substantial construction beginning in 2024, and the $270M is for the Super-2 segment from the current south end of AR-549 to Y-City how I read the article.  $4.1B is the total price tag for all 4 lanes from Alma to Texarkana.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3589 on: January 13, 2022, 07:12:01 PM »

End of decade for 2 lanes across the river from Alma to AR-22 with substantial construction beginning in 2024, and the $270M is for the Super-2 segment from the current south end of AR-549 to Y-City how I read the article.  $4.1B is the total price tag for all 4 lanes from Alma to Texarkana.
Sorry I didnít look into it, how much is Arkansas getting from the infrastructure bill?
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3590 on: January 13, 2022, 09:09:26 PM »

End of decade for 2 lanes across the river from Alma to AR-22 with substantial construction beginning in 2024, and the $270M is for the Super-2 segment from the current south end of AR-549 to Y-City how I read the article.  $4.1B is the total price tag for all 4 lanes from Alma to Texarkana.
Sorry I didnít look into it, how much is Arkansas getting from the infrastructure bill?

For highway programs, $3.6B.
Bridge replacement and repairs, $278M

I think those numbers are over a 5 year window.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3591 on: January 13, 2022, 09:25:08 PM »

End of decade for 2 lanes across the river from Alma to AR-22 with substantial construction beginning in 2024, and the $270M is for the Super-2 segment from the current south end of AR-549 to Y-City how I read the article.  $4.1B is the total price tag for all 4 lanes from Alma to Texarkana.
Sorry I didnít look into it, how much is Arkansas getting from the infrastructure bill?

For highway programs, $3.6B.
Bridge replacement and repairs, $278M

I think those numbers are over a 5 year window.
Any word on where those funds are going? Or Iím guessing ARDOT still hasnít made public any plans.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3592 on: January 13, 2022, 11:22:22 PM »

So, it's confirmed that it will be Super-2 from Alma to Y-City, and they hope that the feds pitch in once they see progress made by the state.

https://talkbusiness.net/2022/01/i-49-alma-fort-smith-route-might-be-complete-by-end-of-the-decade/

Substantial progress won't be evident until 2024-2025, so guess the groundbreaking noted earlier will be predominantly ROW, utility, and engineering.
Any type of progress, however small, is great news. Getting it as far down as Y City is a lot more than I thought they would do.

$270M for two lanes all the way down to Y City (50 miles from the US-71/AR-549 interchange) seems a bit low. Are they planning to use the existing US-71 alignment in certain spots as a cost-saving measure?
Wouldn't shock me if they did, particularly the bypass around Waldron, which if I recall correctly has sufficient ROW space. This is almost entirely rural, so ARDOT is paying for pasture, which is way cheaper.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3593 on: January 14, 2022, 09:10:49 AM »

So, it's confirmed that it will be Super-2 from Alma to Y-City, and they hope that the feds pitch in once they see progress made by the state.

https://talkbusiness.net/2022/01/i-49-alma-fort-smith-route-might-be-complete-by-end-of-the-decade/

Substantial progress won't be evident until 2024-2025, so guess the groundbreaking noted earlier will be predominantly ROW, utility, and engineering.
Any type of progress, however small, is great news. Getting it as far down as Y City is a lot more than I thought they would do.

$270M for two lanes all the way down to Y City (50 miles from the US-71/AR-549 interchange) seems a bit low. Are they planning to use the existing US-71 alignment in certain spots as a cost-saving measure?
Wouldn't shock me if they did, particularly the bypass around Waldron, which if I recall correctly has sufficient ROW space. This is almost entirely rural, so ARDOT is paying for pasture, which is way cheaper.

Land prices in the area aren't going to be the issue.  Issue will be bridges and cuts through a few ridges as the Ouachitas are the only E/W running mountain range in the continental US, and the road is N/S.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3594 on: January 14, 2022, 11:08:18 AM »

The cuts they make into hill sides will be fairly modest, only as deep as they need to be keep grades at 6% or less and curve geometry fast enough for Interstate speeds. It's just going to be a "facelift" for the existing US-71 highway. I-49 from Mansfield down to Mena is going to be pretty curvy, particularly the "S" shape path from Y City down to Acorn. If the project was being built in China or even Japan several tunnels would be involved. Not here.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3595 on: January 14, 2022, 08:31:40 PM »

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

Granted it was June last time I drove it, but that section moved at posted speeds and wasn't terrible. Curves and slopes were comparably very gentle. Very comparable to AR7 between Dover and the top of the mountain in Jasper but a lot shorter.

Earthwork will obviously need to be done to widen the ROW, but this gap is not the money trap it's made out to be.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3596 on: January 14, 2022, 09:45:58 PM »

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

Granted it was June last time I drove it, but that section moved at posted speeds and wasn't terrible. Curves and slopes were comparably very gentle. Very comparable to AR7 between Dover and the top of the mountain in Jasper but a lot shorter.

Earthwork will obviously need to be done to widen the ROW, but this gap is not the money trap it's made out to be.

It's really not that bad, just a rather long climb and drop and looks bad on the map.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3597 on: January 15, 2022, 11:29:16 AM »

  Issue will be bridges and cuts through a few ridges as the Ouachitas are the only E/W running mountain range in the continental US, and the road is N/S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umtanum_Ridge

Mesocene era mountains that predate the Cascades.

Drive I-82 from Yakima to Ellensburg as a reference.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3598 on: January 15, 2022, 12:38:03 PM »

  Issue will be bridges and cuts through a few ridges as the Ouachitas are the only E/W running mountain range in the continental US, and the road is N/S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umtanum_Ridge

Mesocene era mountains that predate the Cascades.

Drive I-82 from Yakima to Ellensburg as a reference.

I stand corrected and thanks for the insight!
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3599 on: January 15, 2022, 12:46:55 PM »

Does anyone have a link to an exit list of the old I-540 exit numbers?
There were 2 different exit number sequences, one for S of I-40 and another for N of I-40.
ISTR the northern section started at 0 or 1 or something, not 20 as it does now, though my memory may be wrong here.
If so, we could be looking at the second renumbering along this section once ARDOT renumbers exits to fit the statewide I-49 mileage & eliminate the 186-mile jump at the Bella Vista exit.

Edit:
Old wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Interstate_540_(Arkansas)&oldid=410633771
Looks like the norther section always started at 20. Exits 15 & 20 @ I-40 accounts for the 5-mile overlap, and explains starting the northern bit at 20.
So the southern bit was... just numbered backwards. Sure guys. That makes sense.

Actually, it's the northern part that became I-49 that doesn't make sense.  There are actually surprising few signed interstate spurs (odd#XX) in the U.S., and Arkansas just happens to have 2 of them.  The way Arkansas signs the exits, which makes perfect sense, is that mile marker 0 is where the child interstate splits from the parent.  It has nothing to do with a southern or western border like the 2di Interstates track exits and mile markers.  The part that got screwed up in Arkansas' case with I-49 is that AHTD/ARDOT was denied the I-49 designation back when they originally applied for it, so the next best designation they got in the interim was I-540.  The exit numbers should have been done in the first place with I-49 mile markers knowing that was the ultimate goal of the freeway, so there's really no actual logic to starting with 20. It certainly took some mental gymnastics to get them there from the Oklahoma border and concurrency with I-40 with the original mile markers/exits working south from I-40 on I-540.

Well, I drove the BVB yesterday to take care of a couple of clinics in Bella Vista and Gravette yesterday.  I noticed something different this trip than the last one a couple of weeks ago.

Good news:  They have changed out some exit numbers as a result of opening the new stretch.

Bad news:  ARDOT doubled-down on the dumb and clearly didn't bother to read the email I sent them that they didn't respond to about correcting mile markers and exit numbers north of Alma and south of Gravette.  The southern Gravette exit I took to get to Bella Vista that was Exit 284 has become........Exit 99.  I'm sure they changed the other 2 exits as well if they changed everything.  It's clear that they have no intention to correct the mileages to account for the gaps, which means they don't expect to fill them in any sort of timely manner.  Punting to take the pressure off, I guess.  Either that, or they're not confident that the route is set in stone.  Regardless, it's going to make things difficult marketing-wise for the businesses off the exit when it comes time to get it right.
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