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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 999235 times)

O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3450 on: November 29, 2021, 09:03:23 PM »

Seriously, the slogan for this highway needs to be changed from "Build I-49" to "Finish I-49".  With all that's been accomplished on it since the year 2000 we're past the "dream" stage on this road, no matter what funding challenges lie ahead.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3451 on: November 30, 2021, 02:11:32 AM »

It wouldn't make sense to build the highway due north of Acorn, because it will bypass Mena to the south and east, and if it tunneled through Fourche Mountain, it would have to swing east to bypass the town.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3452 on: November 30, 2021, 10:17:35 AM »

It wouldn't make sense to build the highway due north of Acorn, because it will bypass Mena to the south and east, and if it tunneled through Fourche Mountain, it would have to swing east to bypass the town.

No, you're right.  Looking at the Terrain View on Google Maps, any tunneling would make more sense straight south of Y-City, but there's a reservoir and another ridge to the south that would be need to be worked around or cut to make any sense for the road to be routed there.  I don't know that it would save enough mileage, but there is about a 500 ft. climb and drop through the Foran Gap still without a tunnel.  I'd be shocked if the build anything other than what they did for the climb out of the McKissick Creek Valley at the south end of the BVB, with 2x2 with median barrier and a climb/merge lane hopefully on each uphill side until the top.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3453 on: November 30, 2021, 01:16:17 PM »

It wouldn't make sense to build the highway due north of Acorn, because it will bypass Mena to the south and east, and if it tunneled through Fourche Mountain, it would have to swing east to bypass the town.

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Scott5114

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3454 on: November 30, 2021, 02:44:05 PM »

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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3455 on: November 30, 2021, 04:03:10 PM »

I was trying to find (any) corridor documentation for this area and this is all I can find. ArDOT is planning a passing lane project in the area.

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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3456 on: November 30, 2021, 04:18:24 PM »

I think I found it. Not as detailed as I would like.

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3457 on: November 30, 2021, 05:36:55 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.
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msunat97

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3458 on: November 30, 2021, 06:30:07 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

Only if it was sponsored by the University of Texas & somehow made the Razorbacks look like they lost something to UT.  I'm saying this only halfway sarcastically.  Some people in the state are still living in the 60's when Arky & UT played for championships.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3459 on: November 30, 2021, 11:39:12 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.

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Strider

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3460 on: December 01, 2021, 02:18:44 AM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.


and ArDOT already built its part of I-49 from I-30 upwards and ends at the TX/AR state line. What is TxDOT waiting for? ArDOT to build the other section of I-49 north of Texas border to Ashdown and moving south to Texas border? It makes no sense.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3461 on: December 01, 2021, 12:01:51 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.


and ArDOT already built its part of I-49 from I-30 upwards and ends at the TX/AR state line. What is TxDOT waiting for? ArDOT to build the other section of I-49 north of Texas border to Ashdown and moving south to Texas border? It makes no sense.

The only other segment that makes sense to focus on from the southern end would be from the Texas border to all the way around DeQueen to better connect up to US-70.  Not that there's a ton of traffic on US-70, but likely almost as much as US-59 and US-270 north of Mena.  I really don't see much progress on anything until some bypasses are accomplished, though, as that's typically how Arkansas develops new terrain routes, with Super-2's connecting to preexisting bypasses for the most part, other than how I-49 happened north of I-40 and south of Fayetteville.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3462 on: December 01, 2021, 01:43:22 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.


and ArDOT already built its part of I-49 from I-30 upwards and ends at the TX/AR state line. What is TxDOT waiting for? ArDOT to build the other section of I-49 north of Texas border to Ashdown and moving south to Texas border? It makes no sense.

Because while it does traverse Texas briefly, Arkansas is the lead agency for the bridge over the Red River. There is no sense of Texas building 4 lanes to somewhere where ArDOT doesn't even have a centerline established in writing.
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bwana39

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3463 on: December 01, 2021, 02:03:09 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.


and ArDOT already built its part of I-49 from I-30 upwards and ends at the TX/AR state line. What is TxDOT waiting for? ArDOT to build the other section of I-49 north of Texas border to Ashdown and moving south to Texas border? It makes no sense.

The only other segment that makes sense to focus on from the southern end would be from the Texas border to all the way around DeQueen to better connect up to US-70.  Not that there's a ton of traffic on US-70, but likely almost as much as US-59 and US-270 north of Mena.  I really don't see much progress on anything until some bypasses are accomplished, though, as that's typically how Arkansas develops new terrain routes, with Super-2's connecting to preexisting bypasses for the most part, other than how I-49 happened north of I-40 and south of Fayetteville.



I don't think this map shows the currently proposed route from Ashdown to DeQueen. It SEEMS to me the current route runs significantly farther west (going close to Horatio) and may even intersect US-70 WEST of DeQueen.

Assuming the map is not current, this just doesn't work. I-49 is planned to skirt ASHDOWN to the west. They already routed AR-32 back to town on a new alignment, but that takes you to the south side of town, just north of where US-71 traffic slows down from 65. It would add around ten miles and cost as many or more minutes.  That one is a non-starter. Arkansas could build a loop around to US-71 north of town, but that really is short term and would be severely underutilized when I-49 was actually completed to DeQueen.  I don't see that money being spent.

It makes zero sense for TXDOT to build anything until the Arkansas portion is well underway: THE ENTIRE PORTION to DEQUEEN.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3464 on: December 01, 2021, 10:08:22 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

TxDOT has already said they wont do anything until ArDOT does.


and ArDOT already built its part of I-49 from I-30 upwards and ends at the TX/AR state line. What is TxDOT waiting for? ArDOT to build the other section of I-49 north of Texas border to Ashdown and moving south to Texas border? It makes no sense.

The only other segment that makes sense to focus on from the southern end would be from the Texas border to all the way around DeQueen to better connect up to US-70.  Not that there's a ton of traffic on US-70, but likely almost as much as US-59 and US-270 north of Mena.  I really don't see much progress on anything until some bypasses are accomplished, though, as that's typically how Arkansas develops new terrain routes, with Super-2's connecting to preexisting bypasses for the most part, other than how I-49 happened north of I-40 and south of Fayetteville.



I don't think this map shows the currently proposed route from Ashdown to DeQueen. It SEEMS to me the current route runs significantly farther west (going close to Horatio) and may even intersect US-70 WEST of DeQueen.

Assuming the map is not current, this just doesn't work. I-49 is planned to skirt ASHDOWN to the west. They already routed AR-32 back to town on a new alignment, but that takes you to the south side of town, just north of where US-71 traffic slows down from 65. It would add around ten miles and cost as many or more minutes.  That one is a non-starter. Arkansas could build a loop around to US-71 north of town, but that really is short term and would be severely underutilized when I-49 was actually completed to DeQueen.  I don't see that money being spent.

It makes zero sense for TXDOT to build anything until the Arkansas portion is well underway: THE ENTIRE PORTION to DEQUEEN.

I just looked at the ArcGIS maps of Little River County, While they aren't down to the parcel level yet (to see how much ROW ArDOT owns) it does provide some good granularity on the routing.

It appears I-49 is planned to run parallel of US-71 to the west at the same NW routing until it hits the AR-32 Bypass south of Ashdown. It will then turn north using a old railroad easement and powerline easement and turn straight north.

The reason it will run a couple of miles parallel west of US-71 is due to a Domtar/Narcoosa paper mill south of Ashdown.

Once it turns north, west of Ashdown, it will re-merge with the current US-71 ROW with a bridge over the KCS railroad south of Wilton.

As it gets closer to the Little River, it will be widened next to another existing powerline easement west of the US-71 ROW and I assume a new Little River bridge will be built there.

It will continue to overlay until Ben Lemond where it appears it will use a different ravine east of Falls Chapel on Winter Creek to avoid the residential and church properties in Falls Chapel.

Another small jog around a church and houses around Pennys, then it is a straight shot to just before US-371 south of Lockesburg.

Sevier County also doesn't have per parcel granularity but you can still interpolate the plan.

South of Lockesburg, I-49 will turn to the NNW again following a route to avoid a large strip mine east of the Little Crossatot River.

After that the ROW will take a straight NW direction towards DeQueen and it looks like the exit ramps for US-71 will be just east of Gentry Chevrolet around Pepper Creek where there is a large high power transmission line easement.

Of course this could all change based on parcel acquisitions, high costs, unknown sinkholes, lawsuits etc.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3465 on: December 01, 2021, 11:36:37 PM »

There's likely to be 2 Super-2 bypasses built before any of this stretch really starts in earnest.  The bypass of Mena from County Road 70 northeast of Acorn to Potter Junction would likely be the first bypass built anywhere, but a Super-2 cutoff bypassing southern Lockesburg over to by Gentry Chevrolet in DeQueen is likely shortly to follow.  Waldron I don't think gets bypassed until the Super-2 long haul segments get done as US-71 around Waldron is pretty much already a bypass and isn't really congested all that much with the population it has, especially with the loss of its Wal-Mart.  Mansfield's Super-2 bypass where it crosses US-71 north and east likely precedes the northern stretch of Super-2 to Y-City, which probably happens before much occurs in the southern two-thirds.
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bwana39

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3466 on: December 02, 2021, 12:39:14 AM »



I just looked at the ArcGIS maps of Little River County, While they aren't down to the parcel level yet (to see how much ROW ArDOT owns) it does provide some good granularity on the routing.

It appears I-49 is planned to run parallel of US-71 to the west at the same NW routing until it hits the AR-32 Bypass south of Ashdown. It will then turn north using a old railroad easement and powerline easement and turn straight north.

The reason it will run a couple of miles parallel west of US-71 is due to a Domtar (Formerly Nekoosa)  paper mill south of Ashdown.

Once it turns north, west of Ashdown, it will re-merge with the current US-71 ROW with a bridge over the KCS railroad south of Wilton.

As it gets closer to the Little River, it will be widened next to another existing powerline easement west of the US-71 ROW and I assume a new Little River bridge will be built there.

It will continue to overlay until Ben Lemond where it appears it will use a different ravine east of Falls Chapel on Winter Creek to avoid the residential and church properties in Falls Chapel.

Another small jog around a church and houses around Pennys, then it is a straight shot to just before US-371 south of Lockesburg.

Sevier County also doesn't have per parcel granularity but you can still interpolate the plan.

South of Lockesburg, I-49 will turn to the NNW again following a route to avoid a large strip mine east of the Little Crossatot River.

After that the ROW will take a straight NW direction towards DeQueen and it looks like the exit ramps for US-71 will be just east of Gentry Chevrolet around Pepper Creek where there is a large high power transmission line easement.

Of course this could all change based on parcel acquisitions, high costs, unknown sinkholes, lawsuits etc.

Forgive me, I am on mobile.

So, we kind of know how I-49 is going to connect with Fort Smith's section, going from north to south: by snaking between Alma and Kibler. But, I want to talk about a potential route from the section in Fort Smith to Texarkana and that involves straightening out the current route of 71 as much as possible by establishing a linkage to 49 for Greenwood, Huntington, Mansfield, Waldron, Mena, Wickes, Grannis, DeQueen, Horatio, and then link up with 71 at Ashdown; upgrade 71 to interstate standards and then link former 71 (Ashdown to I-49 Mileage = Decommissioned/redesignated) with an interchange for 49 and US 71 South at the current terminus of I-49.

Now, I know this does not account for: potential grade separation, other rivers, valleys, mountains, or any other scenario such as the Ouachita National Forest. But it kinda/sorta takes as much of a pre-existing route as possible. Thoughts?

I can't find anything on paper, but it seems to me that there is either no place to build the bridge and or EIS issues at the current Little River Crossing. It probably is dramatically less expensive to build the bridges and the road elsewhere. (It definitely would be around a dozen miles closer.) 

 It seems to me like it seemed pretty much set in stone until 5 or 6 years ago to follow this map you have (it may have even contained some land purchases) It seems to me like the last map put out by ARDOT went in a relatively straight line from the bridges from Texas to DeQueen with the road closer to Horatio and Alleen than to Wilton and Lockesburg.

Politically both county seats are serviced by the Interstate so this route I am talking about serves  counties both equally as well as the one on the map.

 I may be completely wrong. I have been before, but this time, I don't think so. The one thing I am certain of is that I didn't just pluck it out of thin air. I might have seen it in local media or Facebook.

I mentioned this previously on a different thread https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=14100.msg2607602#msg2607602
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 12:43:50 AM by bwana39 »
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3467 on: December 02, 2021, 11:27:20 AM »

Forgive me, I am on mobile.

So, we kind of know how I-49 is going to connect with Fort Smith's section, going from north to south: by snaking between Alma and Kibler. But, I want to talk about a potential route from the section in Fort Smith to Texarkana and that involves straightening out the current route of 71 as much as possible by establishing a linkage to 49 for Greenwood, Huntington, Mansfield, Waldron, Mena, Wickes, Grannis, DeQueen, Horatio, and then link up with 71 at Ashdown; upgrade 71 to interstate standards and then link former 71 (Ashdown to I-49 Mileage = Decommissioned/redesignated) with an interchange for 49 and US 71 South at the current terminus of I-49.

Now, I know this does not account for: potential grade separation, other rivers, valleys, mountains, or any other scenario such as the Ouachita National Forest. But it kinda/sorta takes as much of a pre-existing route as possible. Thoughts?

I can't find anything on paper, but it seems to me that there is either no place to build the bridge and or EIS issues at the current Little River Crossing. It probably is dramatically less expensive to build the bridges and the road elsewhere. (It definitely would be around a dozen miles closer.) 

 It seems to me like it seemed pretty much set in stone until 5 or 6 years ago to follow this map you have (it may have even contained some land purchases) It seems to me like the last map put out by ARDOT went in a relatively straight line from the bridges from Texas to DeQueen with the road closer to Horatio and Alleen than to Wilton and Lockesburg.

Politically both county seats are serviced by the Interstate so this route I am talking about serves  counties both equally as well as the one on the map.

 I may be completely wrong. I have been before, but this time, I don't think so. The one thing I am certain of is that I didn't just pluck it out of thin air. I might have seen it in local media or Facebook.

I mentioned this previously on a different thread https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=14100.msg2607602#msg2607602

I totally understand what you are saying. Since ArDOT doesn't have a green light for funding land acquisitions en masse due to a needed EIS, everything up to now is just informed speculation.

It won't be until they get some solid Phased engineering done, the proposed route will get more solid and a centerline established.
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Rick Powell

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3468 on: December 02, 2021, 05:57:20 PM »

It won't be until they get some solid Phased engineering done, the proposed route will get more solid and a centerline established.
And ARDOT has not been shy about buying right of way, years before it is needed unlike some other states. I think they have acquired all of the I-69 corridor from McGehee to the Mississippi River, with nothing on the horizon for constructing the roadway section or the river crossing.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3469 on: December 03, 2021, 12:07:50 PM »

It won't be until they get some solid Phased engineering done, the proposed route will get more solid and a centerline established.
And ARDOT has not been shy about buying right of way, years before it is needed unlike some other states. I think they have acquired all of the I-69 corridor from McGehee to the Mississippi River, with nothing on the horizon for constructing the roadway section or the river crossing.
Yes, ARDOT has acquired the ROW for I-69 from US-65 to the Mississippi River, which would constitute its side of the Charles W. Dean Bridge. Nothing has been done on the Mississippi side, and it looks like that will be the case for the foreseeable future.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3470 on: December 03, 2021, 11:08:59 PM »

Will there be any tunnels?
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3471 on: December 03, 2021, 11:44:03 PM »

Will there be any tunnels?
As has been posted before, doubtful. The Foran Gap is not that treacherous and you can drive it easily at posted speed on the existing 2-lane. The sightlines will be that much better with modern engineering.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3472 on: December 03, 2021, 11:46:01 PM »

I wonder if leaders there would feel pressured if Texas built their segment.

Depends upon how much pressure is exerted within Texas:

Quote

The Next Austin? How About (Northwest) Arkansas. Seriously.

This isn't just throwing a dart at the map and arbitrarily calling something the next Austin. Northwest Arkansas has both idiosyncratic and macro factors that make it a logical heir to the role played by Austin for so long.

...

Northwestern Arkansas also benefits from the continued growth of Texas in the same way that Austin benefited from the growth of the economy in California. There's intense competition from universities in neighboring states to raise their profile and fill seats by recruiting students from Texas, and more than 25% of the student body of the University of Arkansas hails from Texas. Fayetteville is an 8-hour drive from Austin and a 5.5-hour drive from Dallas, so to the extent the Texas metros get too crowded or expensive for locals, northwest Arkansas already has a diaspora of Lone Star expats that should make it a sensible place to consider while remaining less than a day's drive away from "home."

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-11-30/austin-s-mega-growth-rubs-off-on-walmart-s-arkansas


I get why Texas won't move until Arkansas does.  I also didn't know that UAF had THAT many Texans.  When Texas I-69 is completed alongside the long-finished Texas I-30, Texarkana is going to become an upside-down sieve into the Natural State.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3473 on: December 04, 2021, 01:29:38 AM »

The most direct route between DFW and NWA remains via US 69 through Oklahoma. I'll leave it there.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3474 on: December 04, 2021, 01:33:18 AM »

I get why Texas won't move until Arkansas does.  I also didn't know that UAF had THAT many Texans.  When Texas I-69 is completed alongside the long-finished Texas I-30, Texarkana is going to become an upside-down sieve into the Natural State.

Oh, it's pretty evident that there's that many Texans here now, especially when you drive I-49 with any regularity.  Plenty of Texas tags, and lots that cut you off with no blinkers just like they did back home.  Notably less civility in traffic here than there was even 5 years ago.
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