AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: Grzrd on August 20, 2010, 01:10:18 PM

Title: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 20, 2010, 01:10:18 PM
http://www.thecitywire.com/index.php?q=node/11245

Feds signed over $10 million in TIGER grants to Arkansas (I assume Missouri is allowing Arkansas to use its $5 million that it never requested in the first place) and Arkansas has committed an additional $43 million for a total of $53 million to begin construction on the Bella Vista Bypass (approximately 20% of $250 million estimated to complete Arkansas portion).

Does anyone know if AHTD has indicated which section it would want to build first?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 20, 2010, 03:27:25 PM
http://www.thecitywire.com/index.php?q=node/11245

Feds signed over $10 million in TIGER grants to Arkansas (I assume Missouri is allowing Arkansas to use its $5 million that it never requested in the first place) and Arkansas has committed an additional $43 million for a total of $53 million to begin construction on the Bella Vista Bypass (approximately 20% of $250 million estimated to complete Arkansas portion).

Does anyone know if AHTD has indicated which section it would want to build first?

No idea. I would guess south to north, but that's a guess. So far, AHTD is ignoring my questions on this.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 20, 2010, 03:48:15 PM
MODOT said Arkansas told them they are building it as a super two.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 20, 2010, 09:49:08 PM
MODOT said Arkansas told them they are building it as a super two.

I heard 2-Lane, but never heard specifically it would be a "Super 2". Do you have a link to the article?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 20, 2010, 10:02:48 PM
Try MODOT Southwest's Facebook page........
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 20, 2010, 10:09:39 PM
Try MODOT Southwest's Facebook page........

Arkansas only has enough funding to move forward with a two-lane bypass over the next six years.

I see no reference to a Super 2.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 21, 2010, 08:55:15 PM
A none super two would be a death trap IMHO.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on August 21, 2010, 09:08:26 PM
I see no reference to a Super 2.

I saw on KFSM that the road was to be built as a 2 lane with room to expand to 4 lanes in the future.  This implies it will be a super 2.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 21, 2010, 10:15:28 PM
A none super two would be a death trap IMHO.

No arguement, there. Let me check again w/ AHTD. Maybe I'll get a different zombie to reply ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 22, 2010, 01:17:41 PM
Here is a little more info from  Gridlock Guru  (http://www.allbusiness.com/construction/heavy-civil-construction-energy-utility-water/14979532-1.html/)

Looks like the first section will be built around Hiwasse (middle of nowhere, of course) .
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 22, 2010, 02:21:57 PM
Well that would be a dead end road for some time....Arkansas has itself in quiet a pickle.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 22, 2010, 04:09:48 PM
Well that would be a dead end road for some time....Arkansas has itself in quiet a pickle.

It would be a complete waste of time to build it first. But maybe there's less ROW acquisition.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 22, 2010, 10:00:20 PM
Trying not to get political here but there are considerations that might be pushing Arkansas to move faster. The TIGER grant they gor for 10 million said the project must be completed or going by certain date. Maybe they are pushing to get under that timeline. I know Missouri gave them 5 million of the TIGER grant to help.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 22, 2010, 10:16:10 PM
Trying not to get political here but there are considerations that might be pushing Arkansas to move faster. The TIGER grant they got for 10 million said the project must be completed or going by certain date. Maybe they are pushing to get under that timeline. I know Missouri gave them 5 million of the TIGER grant to help.

True. If they are "on a clock", then as I suggested earlier, Hiwasse may be the easiest section to start on (fewer hassles with ROW acquisition, relatively flat terrain, few major roads to hassle with), thus faster to finish.

I wonder if the "bypass" will be part of AR 279 (albeit temporarily)?

*UPDATE*

The Bella Vista Bypass WILL be a Super 2... or at least the first project will. The limits of the project will likely be from AR 72 to AR 72 (per AHTD's e-mail). The second project may be grading & structures to the MO Line, but has yet to be determined.

I don't see how it can be Hwy 72 to Hwy 72 unless it's an E-W alignment. It would be somewhat ironic though, to have "new" 71 built on top of "old" 71 (1920's-30's alignment)  :-D

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 23, 2010, 12:43:06 PM
I just received an email from AHTD as well:

Quote
The first section of the bypass will be built on the southern end, in the area of Hiwasse, AR.
Yes, TIGER does have deadlines for beginning a project.
The first project is scheduled for a February 23rd, 2011, letting.
Right of Way has been acquired for four lanes.  The two lanes being built next year will be two of those future four lanes.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on August 23, 2010, 01:07:05 PM
I just received an email from AHTD as well:

The first section of the bypass will be built on the southern end, in the area of Hiwasse, AR.

Yes, TIGER does have deadlines for beginning a project.

The first project is scheduled for a February 23rd, 2011, letting.

Right of Way has been acquired for four lanes.  The two lanes being built next year will be two of those future four lanes.

I wonder what the temporary designation of the road will be before it's completed.  AR 540?  AR 49?  AR x49? 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 24, 2010, 01:44:02 PM
^I asked your question re temporary designation.

Answer:

Quote
We have not decided on a designation yet, but it will be a similar situation as the section south of Texarkana.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 24, 2010, 02:55:44 PM
I asked your question re temporary designation.

Answer: "We have not decided on a designation yet, but it will be a similar situation as the section south of Texarkana."


Shall we start a betting pool?  149 (NO), 349? 749? 949?  :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 24, 2010, 03:34:21 PM
Don't rule out recycling of 549.  Doddridge to LA state line might be finished before Hiwasse section of Bypass needs to be designated.  TIGER just says you have to start project by a certain time; it doesn't say you have to finish it in a timely manner.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 24, 2010, 03:44:14 PM
Don't rule out recycling of 549.  Doddridge to LA state line might be finished before Hiwasse section of Bypass needs to be designated.  TIGER just says you have to start project by a certain time; it doesn't say you have to finish it in a timely manner.  :biggrin:

I would think 549 would remain until it's all done, unless you redesignate it US 71 (in which case, would 471 return from the dead? ) :hmmm:

On second thought:
Considering how often Arkansas duplicates numbers (37, 43, 45, 74, 103) it could be another section of 549  :-D
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 24, 2010, 03:51:45 PM
You're right. Scratch 549.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on August 24, 2010, 03:52:05 PM
I asked your question re temporary designation.

Answer: "We have not decided on a designation yet, but it will be a similar situation as the section south of Texarkana."


Shall we start a betting pool?  149 (NO), 349? 749? 949?  :)

AR 540?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on August 24, 2010, 03:53:39 PM
I would think 549 would remain until it's all done, unless you redesignate it US 71 (in which case, would 471 return from the dead? ) :hmmm:

Originally, US 71 was going to be rerouted onto what is now AR 549/Future I-49.  Current/old US 71 was going to be AR 471.  But some locals bitched and moaned, and the current setup was approved.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 24, 2010, 05:06:07 PM

Originally, US 71 was going to be rerouted onto what is now AR 549/Future I-49.  Current/old US 71 was going to be AR 471.  But some locals bitched and moaned, and the current setup was approved.

I don't know about Texarkana, but it was mostly true in NW Arkansas.  "Old" 71 was going to be AR 471, but got changed to 71B after local businesses complained that no one would know 471 was old 71.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 25, 2010, 12:23:04 PM
I just received an AHTD email update re work in Fort Smith/ Fort Chaffee area:

Quote
Regarding the Fort Smith/Fort Chaffee area, a project is underway that will construct 2.7 miles of roadway embankment, two overpass bridges and four box culverts for I-49.  The work is located between County Road 8 and Custer Boulevard.   Work should be completed in the fall of 2011.  A project is also underway that is constructing a new interchange at Highway 22.  This job should be completed in a few months.  The next step is a project extending from Massard Road to Roberts Boulevard, which is north of the current project.  It is scheduled to be let to bids next month.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 25, 2010, 01:19:47 PM
I was through there yesterday. The crossbeams are up on the overpasses over AR 22, but the bridge walls are still under construction.

Here's a (somewhat dated) overview of the area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?client=opera&q=barling,+AR&oe=utf-8&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Barling,+Sebastian,+Arkansas&gl=us&ei=2k91TJzxIIGB8gbtr6G-Bw&ved=0CBoQ8gEwAA&ll=35.32064,-94.293487&spn=0.010505,0.016458&t=h&z=16


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 28, 2010, 10:28:02 AM
AASHTO (along with other organizations) will present a report Aug. 30 in Little Rock re interstate funding.  I-49 mentioned "briefly".  A little far for me to go, but is anyone planning to attend? [everything I know about the meeting is contained in this article]

http://www.thecitywire.com/?q=node/11489

Quote
New report to make case for rural interstate funding
Submitted by The City Wire staff on Fri, 08/27/2010 - 2:43pm.

A study to be released Monday (Aug. 30) is meant to remind federal officials to not forget about rural America when allocating federal highway dollars, said Glenn Bolick, a spokesman with the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department.
Bolick said the report includes a “brief” mention of Interstate 49.
“Connecting Rural and Urban America” is the title of the third in a series of reports from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Officials from AASHTO and the AHTD will present the report at 1:15 p.m., Aug. 30 in the Arkansas Ballroom of the Little Rock Peabody Hotel.
The “Transportation Reboot” series by AASHTO seeks to “identify the need to increase capacity in our transportation system to unlock gridlock, generate jobs, deliver freight, and connect rural and urban America.”
John Horsley, AASHTO executive director, AHTD Director Dan Flowers, Mississippi Department of Transportation Director and AASHTO President Butch Brown, and The Poultry Federation of Arkansas-Missouri-Oklahoma President Marvin Childers will be involved in the report discussion.
“Arkansas is typical Rural America,” Horsley noted in the AHTD statement. “Every American is important to the national economy, whether they raise poultry or cattle, harvest wheat, deliver wind turbines or manufacture goods.”
The report advises that reauthorization of federal transportation legislation should:
• Continue to fund rural portions of the Interstate Highway System and other federal-aid highways that connect America;
• Double federal investment in rural transit systems to meet rising demand; and,
• Expand the existing capacity of the Interstate system, upgrade rural routes to Interstate standards and connect newly urbanized areas to the Interstate system.
“This report reveals the challenges that rural states like Arkansas face,” Flowers said in the statement. “We have many more highway needs than funds to meet those needs. We have over 16,000 highway miles in our system — 12th largest in the nation.
Bolick said the report may be considered another piece of evidence to use in lobbying for more federal dollars for I-49 when Congress gets around to considering the next highway bill.
“It’s not just Arkansas highway officials and the officials on I-49 asking for that (funding). ... It’s a national organization saying, ‘Hey, don’t forget about projects here (rural America),” Bolick explained.
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments (Bella Vista bypass) at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag of around $3 billion.
Of the $352 million Arkansas recently received as part of the federal stimulus package, $71.6 million was dedicated to portions of I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 30, 2010, 09:58:10 AM
I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):

http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 30, 2010, 10:07:41 AM
I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):

http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx

DARN IT! How did you find that before me?  :spin:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 30, 2010, 10:16:20 AM
Serendipity.  I was looking to see if AHTD had awarded the "I-69 Innovative Financing Study" project yet (submissions were due July 30).  Just stumbled upon it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 30, 2010, 03:27:35 PM
Ahhhh road geeks!!!!!!!

Yes a favorable term I fully use for myself.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 30, 2010, 03:30:23 PM
Ahhhh road geeks!!!!!!!

Yes a favorable term I fully use for myself.

I prefer Road Scholar  ;-)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 30, 2010, 03:42:09 PM
Checked that Arkansas site on BVB and nothing really new that we didn't already know. Still leaving us guessing on what building will or won't occur.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 30, 2010, 03:47:33 PM
Ahhhh road geeks!!!!!!!

Yes a favorable term I fully use for myself.

I prefer Road Scholar  ;-)

Checked that Arkansas site on BVB and nothing really new that we didn't already know. Still leaving us guessing on what building will or won't occur.

Sounds like a need for a scholarly roadgeek email campaign to AHTD with suggestions for improvement to the BVB page.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 30, 2010, 05:18:12 PM
AASHTO (along with other organizations) will present a report Aug. 30 in Little Rock re interstate funding.  I-49 mentioned "briefly"...

Here is part of AASHTO report talking about I-540 (described as part of Future I-49):

http://expandingcapacity.transportation.org/states/AR_Unlocking_Gridlock_0410.pdf

No mention of I-49 from I-40 to Texarkana.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 30, 2010, 07:33:01 PM
Checked that Arkansas site on BVB and nothing really new that we didn't already know. Still leaving us guessing on what building will or won't occur.

According to the District Engineer, the "Hiwasse Bypass" will be first (basically starting & ending at AR 72), built as a Super 2. Next will (maybe) be from Hiwasse to the MO State Line, either grading & structures or just grading.
--
As far as I-40 to Texarkana, there is already work underway near Ft Chaffee in Barling. The biggest hang-up seems to be crossing the Arkansas River: there's no money for it.

South of the Ft Smith area, I've heard nothing about plans for I-49.


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 30, 2010, 09:59:42 PM
How much would a crossing roughly cost? If the crossing is built I can see the pressure for I-49 going further south increasing by alot. While we all want it quicker but we have to patient and I always tell myself in 20 years it will probably be almost complete.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 30, 2010, 10:17:36 PM
How much would a crossing roughly cost?

As of December 2009, it was estimated at $1 Million
http://www.allbusiness.com/government/government-bodies-offices-regional-local/13536201-1.html



I've also found some routing plans for I-49 from the Arkansas River to near Waldron (courtesy of Greenwood High School's website)
http://ghsweb.k12.ar.us/Proposed/I49maps.htm
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: froggie on August 31, 2010, 07:23:32 AM
Quote
I've also found some routing plans for I-49 from the Arkansas River to near Waldron (courtesy of Greenwood High School's website)
http://ghsweb.k12.ar.us/Proposed/I49maps.htm

Note their "proposed exits on I-49", and where it came from...

I have some of the earlier documents/maps for I-49 between Texarkana and Fort Smith...a few of the items I insisted on salvaging from Katrina.  Might have to scan those maps in sometime...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 31, 2010, 07:28:58 AM
Quote
I've also found some routing plans for I-49 from the Arkansas River to near Waldron (courtesy of Greenwood High School's website)
http://ghsweb.k12.ar.us/Proposed/I49maps.htm

Note their "proposed exits on I-49", and where it came from...


Yeah, I saw that ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 07:57:14 AM
I've also found some routing plans for I-49 from the Arkansas River to near Waldron (courtesy of Greenwood High School's website)
http://ghsweb.k12.ar.us/Proposed/I49maps.htm

Great find.  To paraphrase the old Smith Barney commercial: "'Road Scholar' finds a nugget the old-fashioned way, he eaarrrrrrns it"

For younger members of the forum, below link helps explain paraphrased quote:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=smith+barney+commercial&aq=0
[just click the "Bump-out + Smith Barney" video]
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 09:29:44 AM
Quote
I've also found some routing plans for I-49 from the Arkansas River to near Waldron (courtesy of Greenwood High School's website)
http://ghsweb.k12.ar.us/Proposed/I49maps.htm

Note their "proposed exits on I-49", and where it came from...
Professor emeritus, thank you for the lesson!  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 31, 2010, 09:57:59 AM

Great find.  To paraphrase the old Smith Barney commercial: "'Road Scholar' finds a nugget the old-fashioned way, he eaarrrrrrns it"

For younger members of the forum, below link helps explain paraphrased quote:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=smith+barney+commercial&aq=0
[just click the "Bump-out + Smith Barney" video]

John Houseman, "Professor Kingsfield" on The Paper Chase
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 10:16:14 AM
Professor emeritus, thank you for the lesson!  :sombrero:

John Houseman, "Professor Kingsfield" on The Paper Chase

Ever seen Froggie and Kingsfield in the same room?  :hmmm:  :hmmm:  :hmmm:

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 31, 2010, 10:17:46 AM

Ever seen Froggie and Kingsfield in the same room?  :hmmm:  :hmmm:  :hmmm:


Kingsfield is dead, but I think Froggie is still with us. :-D
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 03:07:39 PM
No mention of I-49 from I-40 to Texarkana.

Upon further inspection:

http://www.todaysthv.com/news/business/story.aspx?storyid=115424&catid=119

Quote
... It's an example that could improve under two proposed changes in this report. One targets a four lane expansion of Highway 167 from El Dorado to Little Rock at Interstate 530.
The second idea targets the western part of Arkansas between Texarkana and Fort Smith. It would be part of an extended Interstate 49 traveling from Shreveport to Kansas City. It would overlap Highway 71 and I-540 in the Arkansas part...

Looks like either an updated report exists or there was supposed to have been an "Unlocking Freight" button for Arkansas on the AASHTO map [I have already noticed that Georgia "Unlocking Gridlock" button sends you to South Carolina "Unlocking Gridlock" page].  AASHTO map: http://expandingcapacity.transportation.org/state_examples.html
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 03:26:00 PM
I ran across this while looking at I-10 in Mobile:

http://www.bts.gov/publications/transportation_statistics_annual_report/2000/chapter7/movement_of_military_forces_and_materiel_map.html

Looks like STRAHNET follows I-49 corridor in Arkansas on up to Kansas City.  Is there a supplementary pot of money for STRAHNET corridors that could assist in funding I-49 from Fort Smith to Texarkana?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 05:06:09 PM
Snail's pace: another 0.269 miles to be let Sept. 29:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/JOBS_include.aspx

Quote
Currently Advertised Projects & Announcements

Notices for September 29, 2010 Letting
 090
 040479
 040479-A 040479-B
 MASSARD RD.-ROBERTS BLVD. (STRS.) (F)
 SEBASTIAN
 71
 10:30 a.m.
http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/notices/040479%20NOTICE%20TO%20CONTRACTORS.doc
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: froggie on August 31, 2010, 06:40:51 PM
Quote
Looks like STRAHNET follows I-49 corridor in Arkansas on up to Kansas City.  Is there a supplementary pot of money for STRAHNET corridors that could assist in funding I-49 from Fort Smith to Texarkana?

Not since the STRAHNET corridors got rolled into NHS.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 31, 2010, 08:22:34 PM
Not since the STRAHNET corridors got rolled into NHS.

With ALDOT looking for money for I-10 in Mobile area, any monetarily relevant reason why would they mention STRAHNET here?:

http://expandingcapacity.transportation.org/unlocking_freight/states/AL_Unlocking_Freight_0610.pdf

Or, is it simply to be "critical to defense", thus higher priority in general competition for $$$?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 06, 2010, 11:00:40 AM
How much would a crossing roughly cost?

As of December 2009, it was estimated at $1 Million
http://www.allbusiness.com/government/government-bodies-offices-regional-local/13536201-1.html

Times Record Online is starting a series this week on Fort Smith's future.  Brief mention today of cost of Arkansas River bridge:

Quote
There remains, of course, that small matter of a new bridge to cross the Arkansas River - at a cost of upwards of $300 million - to keep the ultimate completion of I-49 in the hazy distance.
(http://www.swtimes.com/opinion/we/article_e0908754-b904-11df-acf5-001cc4c03286.html)

A related article focuses on the bridge itself:

Quote
“It’s the elephant no one wants to talk about,” said Ken O’Donnell, a former transportation planner with the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District.
His “elephant” is a proposed $100 million bridge that would be north of Arkansas 22, span the Arkansas River then connect to I-540 north of Interstate 40.
Until the bridge is finished, I-40 and proposed I-49 cannot cross to form what could one day be the most economically important intersection in the region — one that brings together one major highway that spans the United States from east to west and another that reaches from Winnipeg, Canada, to New Orleans.
What makes the bridge a forbidding subject may be its cost.
Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman said he’s heard a $150 million estimate of the cost of the bridge structure alone and another $200 million for the ramps and approaches leading up to it.
(http://www.swtimes.com/special_reports/article_83924506-b78d-11df-ab48-001cc4c03286.html)

Also from above-linked article:

Quote
By 2014, the state highway department will schedule paving work on the section of I-49 between U.S. 71 and Arkansas 22, Flowers said. That should complete the segment through Chaffee Crossing.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 06, 2010, 02:44:42 PM
Times Record Online is starting a series this week on Fort Smith's future.  Brief mention today of cost of Arkansas River bridge:
"There remains, of course, that small matter of a new bridge to cross the Arkansas River - at a cost of upwards of $300 million - to keep the ultimate completion of I-49 in the hazy distance."
(http://www.swtimes.com/opinion/we/article_e0908754-b904-11df-acf5-001cc4c03286.html)

Build it as a toll bridge.  Just as long as it gets built.  There also needs to be a western extension of I-540 across the Arkansas River to meet I-40 near Muldrow.  And a connector (I-x49?) between I-49 and I-540 on the south end of Ft Smith to provide a freeway connection from Ft Smith to I-49 south without having to travel on US 71, which is a slow 55 MPH four lane divided highway with traffic lights.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 07, 2010, 10:21:00 PM
Build it as a toll bridge.  Just as long as it gets built.

RITA official hopes (in a Sept. 5, 2010 article), at the very least, funding sources will be identified for the Arkansas Bridge by 2020:

Quote
2020
Through his job as intermodal manager at the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, Mat Pitsch does much of the administrative work for RITA.
When RITA celebrates it’s 11th birthday, he hopes it has reached some milestones.
“I would hope our long-term projects have legs,” he said. “... By 2020, we would have I-49 completed through the region. (The I-49 Bella Vista bypass) would be done, and we’d be next on the list. If the (I-49 Arkansas River) bridge isn’t built, then (funding) sources will be identified.”
(http://www.swtimes.com/special_reports/article_f81e30ca-b791-11df-aa49-001cc4c03286.html)

Wonder if they are considering the toll option?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 08, 2010, 09:50:55 PM
Build it as a toll bridge.  Just as long as it gets built.
RITA official hopes (in a Sept. 5, 2010 article), at the very least, funding sources will be identified for the Arkansas Bridge by 2020

Possibly sooner than 2020 if Obama infrastructure plan implemented:

Quote
CONNECTING I-49
Fort Smith City Administrator Dennis Kelly said he sent a letter to Federal Highway Administration officials Tuesday (Sept. 7) reminding them of the regional needs. The primary need has a minimum $330 million price tag and would cover the construction of I-49 from the Alma-Interstate 40 interchange, across the Arkansas River and connect with I-49 sections now under construction through Chaffee Crossing. Kelly said recent trips to Washington and working with Washington D.C.-based Watts Partners — the city’s lobbying group — have served to reinforce the $330 million section.
“With that letter, I wanted to get the word to them (FHA) right away to let them know we are aware of it (funding potential from proposed Obama plan),” Kelly said."
...
[HOWEVER]
...
"WAIT-AND-SEE
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is also reserving judgment, with spokesman Glenn Bolick saying they are “taking a wait-and-see approach” to the plan.
“We would welcome any additional funding and will look forward to seeing what projects we have in Arkansas that might fit the criteria. We don't know any program specifics at this time, but with over $23 billion in anticipated needs projected over the next 10 years and only about $4 billion in expected funds to meet that demand we would certainly expect to have projects that meet any criteria,” Bolick said in an e-mail statement.
(Sept. 8, 2010 The City Wire: http://www.thecitywire.com/index.php?q=node/11713).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 08, 2010, 10:23:46 PM
RITA official hopes (in a Sept. 5, 2010 article), at the very least, funding sources will be identified for the Arkansas Bridge by 2020

Possibly sooner than 2020 if Obama infrastructure plan implemented:

I'll believe it when I see it.
(And that's all I have to say so I don't start a flame war) :jumping:

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 09, 2010, 07:25:16 AM
I'll believe it when I see it.
Same here.  BUT, I can envision a more likely scenario.
 
First, it looks like the Fort Smith official did the simple math: $50 billion/50 states=$1 billion.  $1 billion/ equally among road, rail & airports is roughly $330 million figure he touted in his letter.

Here's the scenario:
1. RITA (Fort Smith/ NWA "mega-region") and AHTD both appear to have Bella Vista Bypass as a much higher priority.  Also, Feds demonstrated firm interest in BVB with a $10 million TIGER grant.  IIRC, it was recently estimated that it would take $250 million to build BVB as a full, four-lane interstate.  Arkansas has already committed $50 million to the project, leaving a $200 million shortfall.  If $200 million committed to BVB, then $130 million is left for other Arkansas road projects.

2. Missouri had been waiting on Arkansas for BVB, but decided to finish I-49 from I-435 to I-44 first by reallocating $65 million of $72 million that had been set aside for Missouri portion of BVB.  So, Missouri could allocate $65 million of its $330 million "piece of pie" to BVB.

3. Arkansas is "shovel-ready" and can immediately put people to work since first letting for BVB Super-2 is scheduled for February, 2011.  Missouri presumably could ramp up pretty quickly since they had been waiting on Arkansas.

4. Multi-state cooperative project is appealing to Feds; they have already divvied up TIGER grants between Missouri & Arkansas for BVB.

5. No design work has been done on the Arkansas River Bridge:

Quote
Dan Flowers, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department director, said the $100 million estimate is based on the cost of similar four-lane bridges recently built elsewhere. It includes only the bridge itself.
No design work has been done, so no exact estimate is possible right now.
(http://www.swtimes.com/special_reports/article_83924506-b78d-11df-ab48-001cc4c03286.html)

Maybe some of $130 million could be allocated for design work on the bridge.

6. To sum it up, re Arkansas River bridge, the best hope scenario is to get design work going and simultaneously have an accelerated construction schedule for a full four-lane BVB that will allow the Arkansas River bridge to "bubble up" both RITA's and AHTD's respective priority chains.

7. If REALLY lucky, also get some $$$ for preliminary work on Alma I-40 interchange.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT:

From a Sept. 8, 2010 City Wire article:

Quote
the $787 billion stimulus contained $28 billion, or just 3.55%, for infrastructure projects nationwide.
(http://www.thecitywire.com/index.php?q=node/11713)

I won't comment as a member of either political party, but as a simple member of Roadgeek Nation [sorry, it's those football cross-currents again]: WHAT A MISSED OPPORTUNITY!

Sadly, I just don't think the $50 billion is now there for above-outlined scenario.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on September 09, 2010, 10:44:58 AM
Re: the southern Fort Smith interstate. Back in 1998 when OK was looking at the GARVEE bonds, one of the state reps had me look at the cost of building a four-lane interstate from I40 just west of Muldrow south and east to join with the current I540 near the state line. It would have to cross both the Arkansas and the Poteau River as well as a large floodplain. At that time, ODOT made a ballpark guess of $300 million (wish I had that in writing).  The rep dropped it as his share of the pork... errr bonds wasn't nearly that much.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 09, 2010, 11:54:47 AM
I was through there yesterday. The crossbeams are up on the overpasses over AR 22, but the bridge walls are still under construction.
Is this a photo of the ongoing AR 22 overpass work?: http://www.kfsm.com/news/rivervalley/kfsm-news-i49funding-obama-infrastructure-plan,0,7266894.story
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 09, 2010, 12:02:56 PM
I was through there yesterday. The crossbeams are up on the overpasses over AR 22, but the bridge walls are still under construction.
Is this a photo of the ongoing AR 22 overpass work?: http://www.kfsm.com/news/rivervalley/kfsm-news-i49funding-obama-infrastructure-plan,0,7266894.story

From maybe a year ago ;)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2586/3921404861_cf9f133e42_z_d.jpg)
August 2009 (looking south from AR 22)

I need to update my photos... thanks for the reminder :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 09, 2010, 02:47:56 PM
Back in 1998 when OK was looking at the GARVEE bonds, one of the state reps had me look at the cost of building a four-lane interstate from I40 just west of Muldrow south and east to join with the current I540 near the state line. It would have to cross both the Arkansas and the Poteau River as well as a large floodplain. At that time, ODOT made a ballpark guess of $300 million

Discussion about flood plain and Arkansas River Bridge in Sept. 9 Times Record Online (http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_6553403c-bc23-11df-8998-001cc4c002e0.html):

Quote
... Mark Yardley, Alma public works director, says he believes the opportunity for growth the new highway would bring is “significant” — attracting industrial prospects as well as freight haulers and distribution centers — current funding conditions make talk about completing the highway just “pie in the sky.”
Alma Mayor John Ballentine believes the Alma portion is likely to be the last leg of the still-unfunded highway completed because of the costly bridge that must span the Arkansas River.
Ballentine reckons the structure will cost $400 million, but that number is a shape-shifter, changing based on who is speaking and what the cost includes.
Ken O’Donnell, until recently the director of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the stated cost is a bit lower — $280 million to $320 million. That’s starting with the $100 million for the bridge span itself, then adding approaches, ramps and the other things needed to make it accessible.
Because the route approaching the bridge travels through the Kibler bottoms, a flood plain, it might require building a berm or putting the roadway on supports as it extends to the bridge.
O’Donnell said costs for the highway on-grade are computed on a linear foot basis. If the roadway is elevated, the cost must be computed on a square-foot basis. The cost of a multilane interstate bridge spanning the Arkansas River “jumps off the page at you,” he said.
Last on Alma’s list of concerns is the missing interchange.
Yardley said Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department officials have not included in their plans an interchange routing I-49 to U.S. 64, a key element of getting the highway traffic into central Alma.
Yardley said AHTD planners blamed the proximity of U.S. 64 to I-40 and conflicts with the Union Pacific Railroad corridor, which parallels U.S. 64 and I-40.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 09, 2010, 05:15:09 PM

"Alma Mayor John Ballentine believes the Alma portion is likely to be the last leg of the still-unfunded highway completed because of the costly bridge that must span the Arkansas River.


He's also griping because Alma may not get its own exit off I-49 at US 64 (too close to I-40, Right of Way concerns at the railroad).

Apo'strophe
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on September 09, 2010, 10:25:41 PM
Yeah update them or you will lose 50 road geek points :)

I was through there yesterday. The crossbeams are up on the overpasses over AR 22, but the bridge walls are still under construction.
Is this a photo of the ongoing AR 22 overpass work?: http://www.kfsm.com/news/rivervalley/kfsm-news-i49funding-obama-infrastructure-plan,0,7266894.story

From maybe a year ago ;)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2586/3921404861_cf9f133e42_z_d.jpg)
August 2009 (looking south from AR 22)

I need to update my photos... thanks for the reminder :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 11, 2010, 09:55:09 PM
Here's an interesting article (Sept. 11 Times Record Online) about the fight between Barling and Fort Smith for acreage along the I-49 corridor when Fort Chaffee was downsized:

Quote
BARLING - Although bruised feelings and mistrust linger in some quarters, for the most part Barling, Fort Smith and the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority have settled their disputes over the land now referred to as Chaffee Crossing.
The land - 7,000 acres released by the U.S. Army from Fort Chaffee as part of a Base Closing and Realignment downsizing - was at the heart of a feud between the two northern Sebastian County cities.
Barling, working just ahead of the BRAC Commission, had annexed the land of Fort Chaffee, thinking that if the land were decommissioned it would then become part of Barling.
Fort Smith argued that the land was being released to spur economic development, something the much bigger city thought it could manage better than adjacent Barling.
Ultimately, before the feud could come to fisticuffs or courtrooms, the cities reached an agreement about municipal boundaries on the excess land, an agreement that ceded the lion's share of the land to Fort Smith, but left Barling with desirable acreage along the corridor eventually that will become Interstate 49 and that highway's intersection with Arkansas 22 and Arkansas 59.
The agreement required Barling to show progress on developing the land, and it did.
"With the agreement, we were required to develop the property that we received from the FCRA within an eight-year period," Barling City Administrator Ray Caruthers said recently.
The Redevelopment Authority passed a resolution earlier this year showing Barling has met that requirement.
(http://www.swtimes.com/week-in-review/news/article_e6090c86-bd89-11df-9aa4-001cc4c002e0.html)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 11, 2010, 10:06:00 PM
Greenwood almost took some of that land for a new High School, but it was voted down.

Everyone is going to want a piece of the pie once I-49 is completed.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 12, 2010, 03:46:00 PM
There also needs to be a western extension of I-540 across the Arkansas River to meet I-40 near Muldrow.  And a connector (I-x49?) between I-49 and I-540 on the south end of Ft Smith to provide a freeway connection from Ft Smith to I-49 south...
Re: the southern Fort Smith interstate. Back in 1998 when OK was looking at the GARVEE bonds, one of the state reps had me look at the cost of building a four-lane interstate from I40 just west of Muldrow south and east to join with the current I540 near the state line. It would have to cross both the Arkansas and the Poteau River as well as a large floodplain. At that time, ODOT made a ballpark guess of $300 million

Sept. 12 Times Record Online reports that current economic conditions are pushing the southern Fort Smith bypass interstate further into the future:

http://www.swtimes.com/week-in-review/news/article_d0197290-bd88-11df-93ff-001cc4c002e0.html

Quote
Bruce ... Tabor, a longtime Sequoyah County commissioner, is a member of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Organization Board...
When completed, I-49 will run north to south from the Canadian border near Winnipeg to New Orleans.
Tabor said the group considered trying to get a bypass developed - maybe from the Muldrow area to the south side of Fort Smith - for easier access, but he thinks the economy has pushed that far into the future.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 16, 2010, 10:35:28 AM
I had not checked i-49.org's website in a long time.  They now have a page devoted exclusively to Chaffee Crossing projects (with photos): http://interstate49.org/clients/25/media/documents/CHAF3592%20I49%20PROGRESS%20REPORT.pdf

BTW - I must admit that I have not signed the petition.

EDIT

Even more photos on 1-49 Coalition's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Interstate-49-BUILD-THE-ROAD/360183234483?ref=ts
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 16, 2010, 06:47:32 PM
Even more photos on 1-49 Coalition's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Interstate-49-BUILD-THE-ROAD/360183234483?ref=ts

Interesting how he got a couple topside photos. Must have gone up on the weekend.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 01, 2010, 11:29:03 PM
Relatively small Chaffee Crossing bid awarded today with Massard Road-Roberts Blvd. project awarded to Forsgren, Inc. for $14,625,422.88:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Sep%20'10%20Award%20List.pdf

Also, some fed money released (approximately $3.4 million) to widen entrance and exit ramps on I-540 (Future I-49) between Fayetteville and Bentonville: http://firstarkansasnews.net/2010/09/grant-round-up-for-august-2/

Quote
$3.4 million to work on I-540
A grant totaling $3,435,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation funds have now been released to continue construction on Interstate 540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville. The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will use the funding to widen entrance and exit ramps at several interchanges along I-540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville. It will also create additional lanes that will help reduce traffic congestion and support the future Interstate 49, which will run from Kansas City, Mo., to Shreveport, La.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 02, 2010, 11:48:40 AM
Relatively small Chaffee Crossing bid awarded today with Massard Road-Roberts Blvd. project awarded to Forsgren, Inc. for $14,625,422.88:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Sep%20'10%20Award%20List.pdf

Also, some fed money released (approximately $3.4 million) to widen entrance and exit ramps on I-540 (Future I-49) between Fayetteville and Bentonville: http://firstarkansasnews.net/2010/09/grant-round-up-for-august-2/


They are already playing in the dirt along Massard, but little else. I'll swing by in a week or so to see what's going on.
--

The I-540 Ramp Project had been cussed & discussed for a few years, but only so much AHTD can do without totally rebuilding them (though I wouldn't complain if they had to take out the Red Roof Inn at 6th St, er, MLK Blvd. ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Scott5114 on October 07, 2010, 07:11:27 PM
I always wonder why they don't round up the 88¢ or whatever on these multi-million-dollar projects to the nearest dollar. The extra 12¢ isn't going to kill them, is it?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Sykotyk on October 13, 2010, 12:07:29 AM
Hell, round to the nearest $100. Doesn't make a bit of difference as the effective savings/cost is trivial when the burden is spread out amongst thousands or millions of people.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 30, 2010, 12:10:44 PM
A lobbyist for Fort Smith (with Watts Partners in D.C.) recently advised Fort Smith civic leaders that "signals" indicate that both Obama Administration and Congress realize that recent stimulus efforts have not created hoped-for number of jobs; as a result, he opines that infrastructure project funding requests will receive favorable treatment from the feds: http://www.thecitywire.com/?q=node/12457

Quote
Steve Pruitt ... a lobbyist with Washington D.C.-based Watts Partners, talked about the federal budget and appropriations timetables in coming months, and stressed to the directors the need to be more focused and precise with Congressional funding requests. Watts Partners is the lobbying firm retained by the city of Fort Smith.
Three primary points were made by Pruitt during his update on political realities — as dynamic as those realities are — in Washington:
• The funding process is out of whack because Congress has yet to approve a 2011 budget resolution;
• The funding/earmark process will become more rigorous; and,
• The Obama Administration and Congress may be more focused on funding infrastructure projects that have a better chance of producing jobs.
Pruitt said “signals” in funding priorities suggest a “heightened focus” on special funding and earmark programs going to true infrastructure projects. Just $29 billion of the about $900 billion stimulus plan went for roads and other infrastructure projects, and that didn’t ultimately create enough jobs, Pruitt explained.
“It produced far less than the 1 million jobs they projected,” Pruitt said.
To that end, Pruitt strongly encouraged the city to “determine” and “communicate” a more precise list of funding priorities — preferably with an infrastructure component. He also said the budget timetable dates “are critical” for the city to meet in order to improve chances for funding. Key dates in the timetable include: Sept. 30, federal agencies submit first funding requests to the Office of Management & Budget; Dec. 15, agencies submit revised requests to OMB; Jan. 30, agencies submit final budget requests to OMB.
The city board is expected to formally approve the city’s top 10 funding requests at their Nov. 2 regular meeting. The proposed priority list is as follows.
1. Interstate 49 between Interstate 40 and U.S. 71 South (project would include a bridge across the Arkansas River) ...
On the funding requests, Pruitt advised the city to become “more aggressive” in asking for the full amount of a project, and prioritize with projects that “can be up and running in a quick fashion.”...

I have a difficult time understanding this viewpoint in light of how infrastructure projects received minimal support during TIGER I and TIGER II rounds.  For example, BVB is a shovel-ready project that should be able to immediately create jobs.  Nevertheless, BVB received only $10 million in TIGER I and no money in TIGER II.  Meanwhile a hiking and biking trail in northwest Arkansas received $15 million in TIGER II less than a month ago: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2010/oct/29/how-we-see-it-now-s-stimulating-20101029/?nwa-opinion

I agree that investing in infrastructure makes a lot of sense, but I just don't see the "signals" that infrastructure projects are now back in favor.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 25, 2011, 08:57:45 PM
3.03 mile two-lane section (Hwy. 72 South to Hwy. 72 North) of Bella Vista Bypass is now advertised to be let on February 23.  Work scheduled to be completed by April 2014:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/JOBS_include.aspx

Quote
ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
JOB 090292
HWY. 72 SOUTH-HWY. 72 NORTH (BELLA VISTA BYPASS) (F)
FEDERAL AID PROJECT NCIIP-HPP2-STDP-STPD-9036(13)

THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 2 LANES FOR 3.030 MILES OF HWY. 71, CONSTRUCT THE INTERCHANGES AT HWY. 72N AND HWY. 72S WITH RAMPS, RECONSTRUCT HWY. 279, AND CONSTRUCT FRONTAGE ROADS AND COUNTY ROAD CONNECTORS IN BENTON COUNTY.  THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF GRADING, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, CEMENT STABILIZED CRUSHED STONE BASE COURSE, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BASE, BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, PORTLAND CEMENT CONCRETE PAVEMENT, TWO CONTINUOUS COMPOSITE PLATE GIRDER BRIDGES (TOTAL LENGTHS 234.41' & 282.24'), TWO CONTINUOUS COMPOSITE W-BEAM BRIDGES (TOTAL LENGTHS 206.26' & 207.14'), MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC, EROSION CONTROL ITEMS AND MISC. ITEMS ... THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WILL BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THIS CONTRACT ON OR BEFORE 04/11/14.

Any guesses as to what percentage of fifteen miles of BVB in Arkansas will be finished ten years from now?  Also, since Missouri is scheduled to finish Pineville to I-435 upgrade to I-49 by late 2012/ early 2013, will they have started work on their 5-mile section of BVB ten years from now?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 25, 2011, 09:32:03 PM
50% on Arkansas portion and nothing on Missouri. It would be cheaper for Missouri to go now with reduced building costs but MODOT is more broke than the state of Illinois now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 25, 2011, 10:05:20 PM
50% on Arkansas portion and nothing on Missouri. It would be cheaper for Missouri to go now with reduced building costs but MODOT is more broke than the state of Illinois now.

The section being bid on is approx 1/3 of the Bentonville-Bella Vista segment. Once it is complete, AHTD plans to bid on Hiwasse to Missouri. Generally, though, just doing this small segment is a joke.

Here's a map of the area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=opera&q=hiwasse,+ar&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Hiwasse,+Benton,+Arkansas&ll=36.421144,-94.325695&spn=0.041163,0.066175&z=14
Missouri spent all their money upgrading 71 north of Carthage because Arkansas wasn't ready.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: J N Winkler on January 25, 2011, 11:01:20 PM
The plans set is kind of small too.  I think it might be just a grading contract, despite the 2014 completion date.  This is such a small letting that I expect to have all the PDF plan sets downloaded and TIFFed by the time I go to bed two hours from now.

Edit:  Now finished (one sheet of sign designs extracted, TIFF plansheets filed), after one hour and five minutes.  The Bella Vista Bypass project in this letting is really thin gruel--just half the ramps at two diamond interchanges and the short length of mainline roadway in between, with no signing whatsoever (which tends to imply a long-term closure after completion, until adjacent sections open).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 24, 2011, 08:21:50 PM
The Bella Vista Bypass project in this letting is really thin gruel ...

The apparent low bid for the project was just a shade under $20 million (at least the gruel will apparently come in at under $7 million per mile):

http://www.thecitywire.com/index.php?q=node/14703

Quote
... The apparent low bidder in Wednesday’s bid opening was APAC Central in Fayetteville, which bid the project $19.854 million. The bid covers dirt work and driving surface and will connect segments of Arkansas 72 in the Hiwasse area of Northwest Arkansas. The first phase of the work is a two-lane road built to interstate standards.
Mat Pitsch, director of the Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority (RITA) in Crawford and Sebastian counties, said the work is a “strategic link” in completing I-49 ... Arkansas has already spent about $20 million on engineering, utility relocation and other preparatory work on the bypass. It is estimated that Arkansas’ share of the project could be as much as $250 million.
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders, an Arkansas River bridge east of Barling that could cost up to $350 million, and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
“That’s what we’ve got to do next,” Pitsch said, referring to the funding and construction of the bridge. “That’s a big elephant to bite. To me, it’s easier to make the case for that when you have interstates on both sides of the river.”
There will soon be interstate on both sides.
Work is progressing on the segment of I-49 through Chaffee Crossing, with the northern terminus at Arkansas 22 in Barling and the southern portion planned to Howard Hill Road. Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, is lobbying state officials to fund the short segment of I-49 from Howard Hill Road to U.S. 71 north of Greenwood.
Costs of the I-49 work underway and planned through Chaffee Crossing are in the estimated range of $67 million to $100 million.

EDIT

Here is AHTD's list of Contracts Awarded from Feb. 23 letting, including the Bella Vista Bypass project:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Feb%20'11%20Award%20List.pdf
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 23, 2011, 08:54:39 AM
A bill for a 10-year half-cent sales tax increase in Arkansas took another step forward yesterday, and may possibly go before Arkansas voters for a vote in 2012.  The sales tax increase is anticipated to fund up to $1.8 billion for highway construction.  The current form of the bill provides that 70% of those funds would be used to build out a four-lane grid system across Arkansas.  Dan Flowers, the head of AHTD, was quoted as noting that US Highway 71 between Texarkana and Fort Smith is part of that grid system, and that US 71's path is part of I-49's future path.  I interpret that statement to mean that some of those funds could be applied to I-49 construction.

Link to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M4A0RG2.htm

Quote
A House committee made short work Monday of the five proposed constitutional amendments on its agenda, voting in a batch to advance all of them to the joint committee that will make referrals for the 2012 ballot.
The only measure that drew any discussion was a proposed 10-year, half-cent sales tax that would fund up to $1.8 billion for highway construction ...
Rep. Jonathan Barnett, R-Siloam Springs, a former Arkansas Highway Commission member, is the lead sponsor of the proposal, which would devote 70 percent of the temporary sales tax raised to building out a four-lane grid system across the state. The other 30 percent would go to cities and counties for their own road projects ...
Barnett and Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Dan Flowers were on hand at the House committee to describe the proposal. The temporary sales tax would raise $160 million annually for state highways and $34 million each for cities and counties.
Overall, the proposal would make as much as $1.8 billion available for construction over the 10 years. The state would issue bonds, which would be paid down with the sales tax revenue, Barnett said.
The proposal has broad support, including that of the Arkansas Trucking Association, which is also backing a bill by House Speaker Robert Moore that would raise the sales tax on diesel fuel by 5 cents a gallon. Moore, a Democrat, has been having trouble lining up the votes he needs in the majority-Republican Senate Transportation Committee.
Barnett noted that the sales tax would not apply to food purchases, thus it won't run counter to Gov. Mike Beebe's bill to lower the state sales tax on groceries by half a cent, which is expected to pass.
Rep. Johnnie Roebuck, D-Arkadelphia, asked whether Arkansas 7 -- a north-south route in the middle of the state -- would be widened under the amendment. Flowers said it wouldn't because it wasn't part of the grid system.
"However, the utilization of this new revenue for building out those four-lane sections would certainly take the pressure off of our other funding, our normal federal aid and study funding that would be available for such routes as Highway 7 and others," Flowers said.
Flowers noted that U.S. Highway 71, a major connector between Texarkana and Fort Smith is part of the grid system. The highway's path is part of the plan to extend Interstate 49 north-south along the state's western border ...

EDIT

I don't know if the four-lane grid system is defined in the proposed bill or if there is a pre-existing "high priority" grid that is referenced in the bill.  Does anyone know if there is currently a defined four-lane grid that exists?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on March 23, 2011, 10:26:36 AM
Page 16 of http://agrtc.com/magazine/4th%20Quarter%2008%5B1%5D.pdf shows the grid.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 24, 2011, 11:28:48 AM
Page 16 of http://agrtc.com/magazine/4th%20Quarter%2008%5B1%5D.pdf shows the grid.
Thanks for the very useful map of the grid  ;-).  It lead me to wonder about AHTD's prioritization of the projects, which in turn lead me to AHTD's 2006 Needs Study & Highway Improvement Plan that contains a map showing planned work on various Arkansas corridors (http://www.arkansashighways.com/stip/2006_Needs_Study_Highway_Improvement_Plan.pdf)[the map is on page 53 of the document and page 59/73 of the pdf].  This map is color-coded for anticipated work from 2008-2017, 2018-2027, and beyond 2027.  The only thing that jumped off the page at me was that I-69 from McGehee/US 65 to the Mississippi River is slated to be worked on by 2017. [this study was probably hashed out by the "long-timers" on MTR a while back, but it is first time I have taken a look at it].

I wonder how much, if at all, passage of the proposed sales tax increase would accelerate the timetable for I-49 (as well as other projects)?

EDIT
Here is a link to a February TV report on Barling to Greenwood construction (report begins with brief discussion of LA's I-49 North, and then focuses on Sebastian County's work):

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xh6fut_i49-work-update_news
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 03, 2011, 02:14:09 PM
Here's a link to a news report (with a video) regarding Bella Vista Bypass.  Ground should be broken in approximately a month.  The report also has a brief mention of proposed diesel and sales tax increases:

http://www.5newsonline.com/news/kfsm-bella-vista-bypass-set-to-break-ground-20110321,0,6315691.story

In the report, Arkansas Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel indicates that Arkansas voters will have a specific list of projects that would benefit from the tax increases before they go the polls next year.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 03, 2011, 02:25:19 PM
Here's a link to a news report (with a video) regarding Bella Vista Bypass.  Ground should be broken in approximately a month.  The report also has a brief mention of proposed diesel and sales tax increases:

http://www.5newsonline.com/news/kfsm-bella-vista-bypass-set-to-break-ground-20110321,0,6315691.story

In the report, Arkansas Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel indicates that Arkansas voters will have a specific list of projects that would benefit from the tax increases before they go the polls next year.

I doubt the sales tax would fly: the grocery tax is about to drop half a cent and Governor Beebe is against any tax increases.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 11, 2011, 01:50:08 PM
I-49 International Coalition is meeting in Mena next week (non-members invited).  In case anyone will be in the neighborhood ... :

http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_59eae6a2-7bcf-11e0-bd0f-001cc4c002e0.html

Quote
The I-49 International Coalition will meet with members and nonmembers to discuss current status and future requirements for completing Interstate 49 in Arkansas, according to a news release.
The meeting is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18 in the library at Rich Mountain Community College in Mena. Lunch is included.
Reservations are due Thursday and can be made by emailing or calling Bill Beam at b.beam@sbcglobal.net or (479) 243-3804.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 16, 2011, 07:46:09 PM
An AHTD spokesman was quoted last Friday as saying the contractor is already on site: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/may/16/bella-vista-work-bypass-starts/
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 17, 2011, 10:48:23 AM
An AHTD spokesman was quoted last Friday as saying the contractor is already on site: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/may/16/bella-vista-work-bypass-starts/
An illustration (dated Aug. 2010) on the first page of the linked article indicates that the current project includes grading and earthwork from Hiwasse to the AR-MO state line.  I emailed AHTD and asked them if the current project includes the grading & earthwork to the state line.  The response:

Quote
The next phase of work for the Bella Vista Bypass is scheduled to be let in July 2011. That project is for the grading and structures of 4.8 miles from Highway 72 north to the state line. Currently that is the only other project with a scheduled date for letting.

Having the project include structures is more than I had expected.  Slow progress, but at least there may be two projects up and running by Fall.

EDIT

Useless trivia department:  When this project begins in late 2011, Arkansas will have ongoing construction projects at three of the four state lines it shares with other states along the route of I-49.  At the risk of straying off-topic, a roadgeek challenge: When was the last time in the history of the interstate system, if ever, that one state had simultaneous construction projects at three or more state lines of a single interstate?  (I do not have an answer).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 17, 2011, 02:19:46 PM

Useless trivia department:  When this project begins in late 2011, Arkansas will have ongoing construction projects at three of the four state lines it shares with other states along the route of I-49.  At the risk of straying off-topic, a roadgeek challenge: When was the last time in the history of the interstate system, if ever, that one state had simultaneous construction projects at three or more state lines of a single interstate?  (I do not have an answer).


3 of 4? Louisiana, Texas, Missouri...who's #4?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 17, 2011, 02:45:25 PM
3 of 4? Louisiana, Texas, Missouri...who's #4?
Three states (LA, MO, TX), but four state line crossings.  There are two proposed state line crossings with Texas; (1) current construction just north of Texarkana and (2) distant-future crossing of Red River at north end of Texas section (yeah, one state line, but two separate crossings of that line; sorry for confusion  :pan:).

EDIT

In any event, one state having ongoing simultaneous construction up to the respective state lines of three other states along the route of one interstate must be a rare event.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 08, 2011, 06:50:45 PM
http://www.4029tv.com/mostpopular/28482307/detail.html

Work on the Bella Vista Bypass was scheduled to begin today.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 01, 2011, 12:06:07 PM
I just received an email update from AHTD.  Bids for a grading contract for Bella Vista Bypass from Hiwasse to MO state line are expected to be open this October.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 16, 2011, 08:56:03 AM
A quick update:

Dirt work appears to be finished (or mostly finished) on the Massard Rd bridge over Future I-49 in Fort Smith. I couldn't get too close since the road is closed, but may try to sneak down this weekend.


Addendum:

Dirt work is finished on the Rye Hill Road bridge over future I-49 and construction has just begun on the bridge sidewalls.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on November 04, 2011, 09:19:33 AM
And in light of the I-69 designations in TX and KY, I've just e-mailed LA, AR, and MO about signing stretches of I-49 that are complete and attached to an existing route (Westbank Expressway, AR 549, I-540, and US 71).  We'll see what they say if they reply.
Above quote from "Louisiana" thread on Southeast page.

Since AASHTO recently gave its conditional approval for Missouri's conversion from US 71 to I-49 signage in December, 2012 (without that section connecting to the current I-49 in Louisiana), and The Texarkana Gazette reported on October 31 that the 8 miles of new terrain I-49 around Texarkana (that connects to I-30) should be open to traffic by this time next year, it seems like December, 2012 would be a great time for AHTD to coordinate with MoDOT and resign US 71 in Missouri, I-540 (from I-40 northward to BVB proposed route), the Texarkana new terrain I-49, and AR 549 and then AR 245 from Doddridge to the new terrain I-49 near Arkansas Blvd. in one ceremonious fell swoop (I-540 will have to be re-signed at some time anyway).  That would be a very powerful statement in fight for federal $$$$$ to complete I-49.

That would be a pretty nice Christmas present for roadgeeks!  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Anthony_JK on November 04, 2011, 12:15:44 PM
Nope...better to wait until 2015 when I-49 is completed in Louisiana from I-220 north.

Or even better, wait until the segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith is at least under construction, and the Inner City Connector in Shreveport is fully committed to..and then sign the whole shebang as I-49 in one fell swoop.


Anthony
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on November 06, 2011, 04:57:27 PM
Nope...better to wait until 2015 when I-49 is completed in Louisiana from I-220 north.

Or even better, wait until the segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith is at least under construction, and the Inner City Connector in Shreveport is fully committed to..and then sign the whole shebang as I-49 in one fell swoop.


Anthony

Why wait?  Do it now. IMO, its a mistake to wait as who knows when the stretch from Ft Smith to DeQueen will be finished.

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 06, 2011, 05:43:33 PM

Why wait?  Do it now. IMO, its a mistake to wait as who knows when the stretch from Ft Smith to DeQueen will be finished.

rte66man

POINT!  :)

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: lamsalfl on November 09, 2011, 12:46:22 AM
Signing the finished sections early (which I support) keeps the whole project in focus and I think helps to fasttrack funding for the incomplete sections.  government:  "Gee, what's the deal with this gap?"
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 09, 2011, 07:12:42 AM
Signing the finished sections early (which I support) keeps the whole project in focus and I think helps to fasttrack funding for the incomplete sections.  government:  "Gee, what's the deal with this gap?"

There is some precedent for that: I (vaguely) remember sections of I-44 in Missouri being incomplete in the 1960's.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on November 09, 2011, 08:01:49 AM
I just received an email update from AHTD.  Bids for a grading contract for Bella Vista Bypass from Hiwasse to MO state line are expected to be open this October.

I looked on the AHTD website and no such contract was awarded for the October 19th letting.

There is a letting coming up on December 14th, and the plans will be available on November 15th: http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/JOBS_include.aspx
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on November 17, 2011, 11:53:05 AM
I just received an email reply from AHTD (my questions and then AHTD answers):

Quote
Q "I noticed in today's listing of December 14 projects to be let that the second Bella Vista Bypass grading and structures contract was not included.  Has that project run into a long term delay?"

A "The next job has changed scope a couple of times, but it is now a turnkey project schedules for May for the section from Highway 72 north to County Road 34."

Q "... in light of Missouri getting AASHTO OK to resign US 71 as I-49, is AHTD considering resigning I-540 as I-49 (with the idea being to demonstrate to members of Congress from non-I-49 states that a lot of work (MO & AR) has been done on I-49, which in turn generates more momentum in getting federal funds to complete I-49)?"

A "We went through the process and applied to the Feds not too long ago about that, but we were turned down and told more construction needed to be completed before reapplying.

It seems to me that the AASHTO approval for transition from US 71 to I-49 signage in Missouri would warrant a similar I-540 to I-49 transition in Arkansas.  It will be interesting to see how soon Arkansas reapplies.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on November 20, 2011, 02:31:12 AM
Arkansas has a lot on its hands... but they need to focus on I-49/I-540... And not the southern section of I-49.  What is with the section south of Texarkana?  Why exactly was that constructed?  There's no traffic!  I'm sick of seeing NW Arkansas being tossed aside in terms of funding.  They need to basically re-do I-540 from Exit 62 (Martin Luther King Jr/US 62 west) to Exit 88 (Central Avenue/AR 72) in Bentonville... All from poor planning.   I drive it everyday, and it's ridiculous.  Accidents are literally daily, and just further tie up traffic.  Traffic during peak times can crawl at 30 MPH.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 20, 2011, 04:20:25 AM
Arkansas has a lot on its hands... but they need to focus on I-49/I-540... And not the southern section of I-49.  What is with the section south of Texarkana?  Why exactly was that constructed?  There's no traffic!  I'm sick of seeing NW Arkansas being tossed aside in terms of funding.  They need to basically re-do I-540 from Exit 62 (Martin Luther King Jr/US 62 west) to Exit 88 (Central Avenue/AR 72) in Bentonville... All from poor planning.   I drive it everyday, and it's ridiculous.  Accidents are literally daily, and just further tie up traffic.  Traffic during peak times can crawl at 30 MPH.


I think part of the difference is terrain. SW Arkansas is a lot flatter than NW Arkansas, which means lower construction costs. Don't forget there was a lot of debate for years about how 49 would connect to Missouri. Ideally, it would have been up US 71 through Bella Vista, but that area over-commercialized very quickly.  So AHTD had to look for alternatives.

PLUS, since Congressman Hammerschmidt retired, there really hasn't been anyone else pushing for 49 in NWA. As for 549, Texarkana probably had a well connected congressman.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Anthony_JK on November 20, 2011, 09:10:39 AM
Arkansas has a lot on its hands... but they need to focus on I-49/I-540... And not the southern section of I-49.  What is with the section south of Texarkana?  Why exactly was that constructed?  There's no traffic!  I'm sick of seeing NW Arkansas being tossed aside in terms of funding.  They need to basically re-do I-540 from Exit 62 (Martin Luther King Jr/US 62 west) to Exit 88 (Central Avenue/AR 72) in Bentonville... All from poor planning.   I drive it everyday, and it's ridiculous.  Accidents are literally daily, and just further tie up traffic.  Traffic during peak times can crawl at 30 MPH.


Just wait until Louisiana opens its segment of I-49 North from I-220 in Shreveport northward in 2015, and you'll see why it was built.

Last time I checked, there was a plan to widen and upgrade I-540 through NW AK...just awaiting funding.


Anthony
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on November 28, 2011, 12:19:11 PM
Arkansas has a lot on its hands... but they need to focus on I-49/I-540... And not the southern section of I-49 ... I'm sick of seeing NW Arkansas being tossed aside in terms of funding.  They need to basically re-do I-540 from Exit 62 (Martin Luther King Jr/US 62 west) to Exit 88 (Central Avenue/AR 72) in Bentonville...
Last time I checked, there was a plan to widen and upgrade I-540 through NW AK...just awaiting funding.

Eight I-540 interchanges are planned to be upgraded using the bond money that Arkansas voters recently approved:
http://www.4029tv.com/r/29706053/detail.html

Quote
Interstate 540 is a highly traveled stretch of road, and if voters approve the bonds those who take advantage of Arkansas interstates will reap the benefits.
"We're going to redo eight interchanges to make it easier to get on and get off," Arkansas Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel said. "It lets us do highways now instead of piecing it out over the next 12 or 15 years. We'll add our bonds. It creates a billion dollars -- $575 million in the bonds plus federal." ...
It could also lead to even bigger improvements such as taking four lanes of I-540 and turning it into six lanes.
"Interchange improvements are the first step toward the eventual widening of 540. We need voters to approve this on Tuesday, and if they upgrade our interchanges, then widening is in our future ...

However, the future increase from four lanes to six lanes will not be funded by the bonds:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/news/2011/2011_Bond_Program.pdf

Quote
... no additional lanes can be added using these funds.
[page 3 of document, page 4/7 of pdf].

EDIT

The above AHTD link indicates plans to rehabilitate and improve the following I-540 interchanges in Washington and Benton counties: Hwys. 62/180, Hwys. 16/112S, Great House Springs Road, Elm Springs Road, Wagon Wheel Road, Hwy. 264, Hwy. 71B, Hwys. 62/102, and Hwy. 72.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on November 28, 2011, 01:24:51 PM
I wonder if the mainline bridges can be widened inside the interchanges but stripped for the same amount of lanes?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 28, 2011, 06:10:16 PM

The above AHTD link indicates plans to rehabilitate and improve the following I-540 interchanges in Washington and Benton counties: Hwys. 62/180, Hwys. 16/112S, Great House Springs Road, Elm Springs Road, Wagon Wheel Road, Hwy. 264, Hwy. 71B, Hwys. 62/102, and Hwy. 72.

US 62 West is being improved now, 16 West was recently "improved", as was Porter Road.  I'm not sure what else AHTD can do besides rebuild the bridges & widen 540
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 13, 2011, 03:26:23 PM
Two more projects in the area of Roberts Road to Massard Road, and between US 71 and Howard Hill, should be let by next summer:
http://swtimes.com/site/bios/business/article_f9f4b068-2595-11e1-92b4-001871e3ce6c.html

Quote
Members of the Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy board heard an overview of area highway construction projects during a meeting Monday.
Joe Shipman, area district engineer for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said work continues on the six-mile stretch of highway destined to be part of Interstate 49 that will link Rogers Avenue (Arkansas 22) to U.S. 71 south of Fort Smith at Howard Hill Road.
Shipman said two contracts on the project are in the works and bids will be awarded on another two, in the area of Roberts Road to Massard Road, and between U.S. 71 and Howard Hill, by next summer. Once those are completed, the only remaining work will be the paving, Shipman said ...

EDIT

Here is a link to some similar update info as above:
http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_5c808044-4b22-11e0-9dee-001cc4c03286.html

Quote
... Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority and member of the Western Arkansas Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority, told authority board members Wednesday construction of the interstate crossing at Chaffee Crossing is progressing rapidly. He said earth work and bridge and support work on a portion of the road between Arkansas 22 and Howard Hill is on schedule for completion within a year and a contracts are due to be awarded soon on a portion of the road from Howard Hill to U.S. 71.
Owen said the status of the project has progressed at a rate that his predictions on the highway have changed from "it won't be completed in my lifetime" to "before I retire, I will be driving on I-49 ....
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 16, 2011, 11:49:24 AM
This article indicates that the Chaffee Crossing section of I-49 will be open to traffic in 2014:
http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_0c084836-2731-11e1-ac2f-0019bb2963f4.html

Quote
... Progress on several fronts has occurred at Chaffee Crossing, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority staff member Larry Evans told the board. He said construction of the local portion of the Interstate 49 project at Chaffee Crossing continues, with another two contracts remaining to be let on the seven-mile stretch between Arkansas 22 and U.S. 71 before the road is paved.
Evans said highway officials have indicated local motorists may be traveling on the Chaffee Crossing portion of the highway sometime in 2014 ...

EDIT

This article has basically same info as above, but it speaks in terms of the status of the four interchanges near Fort Smith:
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas

Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman.
Highway engineers hope traffic will flow on the 6-mile strip within three to five years. It would be one of the first new stretches of future I-49 to be completed in the state since 2005.Arkansas is spending $57.65 million on I-49 interchanges, roadway and other structuresso far in Fort Smith. Complete or nearly complete are interchanges at Arkansas 22 (Rogers Avenue), Roberts Boulevard and Massard Road.
When the fourth interchange on U.S. 71 is under contract and construction is well under way, the state expects to go forward with the last step, Shipman said. That would be paving the highway and opening it to traffic, perhaps by 2014. That schedule depends on available funding.
The projects in Arkansas don’t yet have an official Interstate 49 designation. The state Highway Department refers to the Fort Smith section as “Highway 71 Relocation (I-49).” ...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 17, 2011, 02:09:51 AM

US 62 West is being improved now, 16 West was recently "improved", as was Porter Road.  I'm not sure what else AHTD can do besides rebuild the bridges & widen 540


They need to improve a lot of the interchanges.  At peak times, NWA traffic is hell.  Exit 86 (off of where I live) is horrible.  The traffic on 14th Street (in Bentonville) and Hudson Road (in Rogers) backs up for an insane length.  This was noted in the study I found of I-540.  The Walton/Walnut exit to the south is another.  Traffic on US 71 approaching Bella Vista, from the south, backs up...  I can't even speak for the Springdale/Fayetteville interchanges.  AHTD is too cheap, and they need to gut the majority of the NWA interchanges and do it right.

The thing with traffic in NWA is that it occurs during certain times.  Most other times, it's heavy.  :)

I drove from Exit 85 on I-540 to the Missouri state line today, and it took me 45 minutes.

It just angers me that such crappy planning was in place, on all levels... Growth or not, plan it out.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 17, 2011, 08:47:19 AM

It just angers me that such crappy planning was in place, on all levels... Growth or not, plan it out.


Well, that's Arkansas for you: they never seem to plan very well. They never anticipated the growth thanks to Wal-Mart/Tyson/JB Hunt. Are they still "talking" about the Springdale Bypass and the special toll road to the airport (which is something else they need to do: fix 264 to the airport).

If AHTD had planned better, they wouldn't need the Bella Vista Bypass and could go straight up 71...but it got too commercialized, too quickly.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 19, 2011, 01:24:50 AM
Well, that's Arkansas for you: they never seem to plan very well. They never anticipated the growth thanks to Wal-Mart/Tyson/JB Hunt. Are they still "talking" about the Springdale Bypass and the special toll road to the airport (which is something else they need to do: fix 264 to the airport).

If AHTD had planned better, they wouldn't need the Bella Vista Bypass and could go straight up 71...but it got too commercialized, too quickly.

The Springdale Bypass (which is really needed) is still on the books, and has been listed on the latest STIP I found, I believe.  But I'm sure it'll be another 40 years (and that's being generous) until it is actually fully built.  Although, I think fixing I-540 (widening/interchanges) and the Bella Vista Bypass need to be fixed before the Springdale/US 412 Bypass. I also agree on the airport link... I wasn't aware of a toll road to the airport... Interesting.  I'm still scratching my head as to why they put the main airport here in the middle of nowhere.  :)

On a side note, on I-540/future I-49, they are looking at constructing an interchange in Springdale for Don Tyson Parkway, an interchange for Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville, and an interchange for SE 8th Street in Bentonville.  They were also looking at an interchange for NE J Street in Bentonville, but I think they scrapped that idea... The city of Bentonville said it would be too costly.

Here's a link for the 8th Street project:  http://www.bentonvillear.com/8th_street_project.html

Here's a few links for the Don Tyson Parkway interchange project:  http://www.springdalear.gov/news/newsdetail94.asp
http://www.5newsonline.com/news/kfsm-i540-interchange-at-don-tyson-parkway-closer-to-construction-20110411,0,6240393.story

Both projects will help with traffic woes in NWA.  The Don Tyson Parkway interchange will take a bit of traffic away from Sunset Avenue.  The 8th Street interchange will take away traffic from 14th Street in Bentonville... It's mainly for Walmart employees.

I couldn't find any links for the Joyce Boulevard interchange with I-540... I think it's in the very early stages.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 19, 2011, 01:46:52 AM

The Springdale Bypass (which is really needed) is still on the books, and has been listed on the latest STIP I found, I believe.  But I'm sure it'll be another 40 years (and that's being generous) until it is actually fully built.  Although, I think fixing I-540 (widening/interchanges) and the Bella Vista Bypass need to be fixed before the Springdale/US 412 Bypass. I also agree on the airport link... I wasn't aware of a toll road to the airport... Interesting.  I'm still scratching my head as to why they put the main airport here in the middle of nowhere.  :)


#1 The land was cheap
#2 It was close to Wal-Mart HQ (relatively speaking).

Long story short: Wal-Mart/Tyson/JB Hunt built it and forced everyone to use it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 19, 2011, 12:35:18 PM

I couldn't find any links for the Joyce Boulevard interchange with I-540... I think it's in the very early stages.

Joyce Blvd will be a pain to build if they go through with it: very steep terrain in the vicinity of 540.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 20, 2011, 12:52:38 AM
#1 The land was cheap
#2 It was close to Wal-Mart HQ (relatively speaking).

Long story short: Wal-Mart/Tyson/JB Hunt built it and forced everyone to use it.
Joyce Blvd will be a pain to build if they go through with it: very steep terrain in the vicinity of 540.

True... I believe Walmart doesn't utilize XNA as much as the airport in Rogers... Apparently, that's where the corporate hotshots fly in and out of... That's where all of the Walmart corporate jets are... But XNA does have a lot of traffic too.  At least this is what my friend is telling me who has lived here for 21 years... :)

The Joyce Blvd interchange could and should be done.  Not a high priority... but it's on the table.

Joyce Blvd & College (US 71B) is the most congested intersection in Fayetteville.  They are planning a flyover for US 71B (College Ave) to westbound US 71B... since there is no connection...  I'm still confused on the US 71 designations in Fayetteville and NWA.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 20, 2011, 10:56:54 AM

True... I believe Walmart doesn't utilize XNA as much as the airport in Rogers... Apparently, that's where the corporate hotshots fly in and out of... That's where all of the Walmart corporate jets are... But XNA does have a lot of traffic too.  At least this is what my friend is telling me who has lived here for 21 years... :)

But almost all the vendors fly to XNA because that's where the commercial flights land.

Quote
Joyce Blvd & College (US 71B) is the most congested intersection in Fayetteville.  They are planning a flyover for US 71B (College Ave) to westbound US 71B... since there is no connection...  I'm still confused on the US 71 designations in Fayetteville and NWA.

They don't know what they want for College & Joyce. I used to live near there and there is always a different proposal. There isn't a lot they can do since the whole area is commercialized. They should have done something when the old Ramada Inn was torn down instead of making anoither strip mall.

The "flyover" would be from College Ave (71B) to the Fulbright Expressway (technically 71 Spur or 471 Spur, but never referred to that way. I say call it a Business Spur, since AHTD is bull of BS). They've been discussing that for almost 10 years. Originally, you were supposed to use the Jughandle at Stearns St (now Joyce Blvd) and turn around, but that is no longer feasible.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 22, 2011, 12:10:24 AM
Interesting... I'm not extremely familiar with Fayetteville traffic, but I do know the Jughandle is used by right-turners from College to Joyce.  Nice idea, but it's not working as it should :).  My friend's sister actually got in a bad accident there, because she thought the jughandle was a shortcut to College, from Joyce.  It was her own stupidity, but it goes to show that driver familiarity is an important thing to consider, and signage be more than adequate.  You can't stick something that isn't familiar, and expect drivers to figure it out, without adequate signage... and the signage for the jughandle is not adequate.

This mess at College & Joyce sounds like one that they are working on in Sioux Falls, SD.  Here's a link for the planning:  http://www.sddot.com/PE/projdev/planning_ss_I29Exit77.asp

The 41st & Louise there is comparable to the College & Joyce intersection...  The center turn overpass is interesting... and could fix College & Joyce... Sounds pretty expensive though.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 22, 2011, 12:35:49 AM
Interesting... I'm not extremely familiar with Fayetteville traffic, but I do know the Jughandle is used by right-turners from College to Joyce.  Nice idea, but it's not working as it should :).  My friend's sister actually got in a bad accident there, because she thought the jughandle was a shortcut to College, from Joyce.  It was her own stupidity, but it goes to show that driver familiarity is an important thing to consider, and signage be more than adequate.  You can't stick something that isn't familiar, and expect drivers to figure it out, without adequate signage... and the signage for the jughandle is not adequate.


When the original 71 Bypass was built circa 1971, everything around the mall was undeveloped, except along the west service road. Joyce went 2 blocks east and ended behind what's now Lindsey Real Estate. The jughandle was useful then, but is all but useless now for making U Turns. I think the signage for the jughandle still show it as a turn around for 71/62/540.  I think I still have some maps from that time somewhere in my collection. Wal-Mart was rumored for several years before it was finally built south of the mall, but AHTD & Fayetteille Street Dept didn't plan ahead. That was also an era of "growth at any price" in city government. After the oldest living trees in town were cut down to build Target, THEN people started to notice.  That's one reason I finally moved away: Fayetteville lost its charm to the explosive growth.

To fix College and Joyce will cost lots of money...and probably several businesses.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 27, 2011, 04:58:00 PM
After getting Arkansas voters to approve the bond referendum for interstate maintenance in November, AHTD and the Arkansas legislature will come back in November 2012 and ask Arkansas voters to approve a one-half percent increase in the sales tax for construction of and improvements to four-lane highways (including additional lanes).  Completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass is one of the projects that would be funded by the increase:
http://thecabin.net/news/2011-12-24/highway-improvement-advocates-gearing-sales-tax-hike-campaign

Quote
Advocates for renewing a $575 million highway bond program breezed to victory in a November special election with a simple but effective message to voters: Raise new highway maintenance funds without raising taxes.  
Now they’re gearing up for a very “different campaign” next year to pay for a broader highway construction by adding taxes on top of taxes.
The Legislature this year referred to the 2012 general election ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the state’s 6 percent sales tax to 6 1/2 percent to fund a $1.8 billion program that would connect all corners of the state with four-lane highways ...
“There is no question it will be a tough sell,” even with the prospects for job creation and economic development, said Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-Associated Industries of Arkansas ...
Under the proposed constitutional amendment, a half-cent sales tax increase would be in effect for 10 years. Highway construction under the plan would focus primarily on a creating a statewide four-lane grid and adding capacity to existing four-lane highways.
The state would receive 70 percent of the proceeds, an estimated $1.1 billion, with cities and counties sharing the remaining 30 percent, about $700 million ...
Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department ... has said approval of the half-cent sales tax increase would fund a number of large, expensive projects across Arkansas, including replacement of the Interstate 30 bridge over the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock, widening I-40 between Little Rock and Conway, and widening U.S. 67-167 between Jacksonville and Cabot.
Two lanes of the proposed Bella Vista bypass also would be completed in northwestern Arkansas, and in the south, U.S. 82 between Magnolia and El Dorado would be widened, as would a number of other heavily traveled highways across the state, Bennett said ...
Crucial to the highway tax increase effort, supporters say, would be the support of Gov. Mike Beebe. The governor was featured in television commercials for the road bond renewal drive but has remained steadfastly noncommittal to the highway tax increase proposal.  
About all Beebe has said about the plan is that in the current economy voters would be hard-pressed to support a tax increase ...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 27, 2011, 07:58:30 PM
Crucial to the highway tax increase effort, supporters say, would be the support of Gov. Mike Beebe. The governor was featured in television commercials for the road bond renewal drive but has remained steadfastly noncommittal to the highway tax increase proposal. 
About all Beebe has said about the plan is that in the current economy voters would be hard-pressed to support a tax increase ..."

If he DID support it publicly, it would be the kiss of death to his being Governor. He has cut the grocery tax twice, much to the protest of his opponents. To suddenly support a tax increase for any reason would likely be fatal to his political career. Could we use it? Sure! But I don't think he'll go on the record as supporting it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 28, 2011, 11:30:51 PM
They need to do something... The highway funding formula for this state is seriously flawed, by the sounds of it. 

For me, the Bella Vista Bypass should be at the top of the list.  Missouri is ready to designate US 71 from I-44 to KC as I-49 by the end of 2012.  If AR would fast-track the bypass, we could have I-49 from KC to I-40 near Fort Smith.

Other states can do it right, why can't Arkansas?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 28, 2011, 11:50:03 PM
They need to do something... The highway funding formula for this state is seriously flawed, by the sounds of it. 

For me, the Bella Vista Bypass should be at the top of the list.  Missouri is ready to designate US 71 from I-44 to KC as I-49 by the end of 2012.  If AR would fast-track the bypass, we could have I-49 from KC to I-40 near Fort Smith.

Other states can do it right, why can't Arkansas?

Arkansas has always been backwards. We're also a poor state, so we don't have a lot of money. Then they wait too long and have to start again. It took 30+ years to plan/build 540 north of Alma.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: kphoger on December 29, 2011, 11:51:29 AM
Is there still a 4-lane Bella Vista bypass option on the table?  How can the entire corridor be labeled an I-xx without full multilane freeway?  Maybe I'm getting my posts mixed up....
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on December 29, 2011, 11:52:36 AM
^ I think the other two lanes will be built later as funding becomes available. I think it will be graded so that there will be room for the other carriageway.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 29, 2011, 03:57:28 PM
^ I think the other two lanes will be built later as funding becomes available. I think it will be graded so that there will be room for the other carriageway.

Yes. For now, it will be a "Super 2" with Right of Way to expand once money becomes available. Work is currently underway around Hiwasse on grading and structures.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 30, 2011, 12:27:45 AM
Arkansas has always been backwards. We're also a poor state, so we don't have a lot of money. Then they wait too long and have to start again. It took 30+ years to plan/build 540 north of Alma.

It looks like AHTD has a new director...

Also, I wouldn't call AR a backwards state (although I'd really like to).  I see a lot of the southern states with progress when it comes to roads/highways.  Alabama and Mississippi come to mind with I-22.  Something is seriously flawed in AR with the highway funding, and it needs to be fixed.  And the fact that Little Rock has the highest amount of Interstate mileage per capita... I can't find the facts to back this up right now, but I believe it.

I see US 67 with a limited access roadway constructed to Cash, AR... Why?  Why, oh why?  I've looked at Google StreetView...  And I see US 63 from I-55 to Jonesboro.  I know the growth in NWA was quick, but why can't we get this type of attention.  And AHTD is very, very flawed, because the AR 102 (14th Street) reconstruction in Bentonville took, literally, years to complete.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 30, 2011, 12:48:26 AM


It looks like AHTD has a new director...

Also, I wouldn't call AR a backwards state (although I'd really like to).  I see a lot of the southern states with progress when it comes to roads/highways.  Alabama and Mississippi come to mind with I-22.  Something is seriously flawed in AR with the highway funding, and it needs to be fixed.  And the fact that Little Rock has the highest amount of Interstate mileage per capita... I can't find the facts to back this up right now, but I believe it.

I see US 67 with a limited access roadway constructed to Cash, AR... Why?  Why, oh why?  I've looked at Google StreetView...  And I see US 63 from I-55 to Jonesboro.  I know the growth in NWA was quick, but why can't we get this type of attention.  And AHTD is very, very flawed, because the AR 102 (14th Street) reconstruction in Bentonville took, literally, years to complete.

Don't forget the last part of the 440 Loop is unfunded, too. I'd say misplaced priorities at the least. I have a 1970's Crawford County map that shows I-540 as proposed. Why did it take another 25-30 years? And it was going to be a continuation of the VB/FSM segment, instead of jumping around like it does now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on December 30, 2011, 06:32:28 AM
Reason why Arkansas doesn't have I-22 like progress is Bama has Richard Shelby. Shelby has been one stubborn SOB in pushing I-22. Stories of him holding up Congressional vacations for more funding are legendary.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 30, 2011, 09:26:20 AM
Reason why Arkansas doesn't have I-22 like progress is Bama has Richard Shelby. Shelby has been one stubborn SOB in pushing I-22. Stories of him holding up Congressional vacations for more funding are legendary.

Arkansas had John Paul Hammerschmidt who got Arkansas the money to build I-540 north of Alma, but he retired a few years ago. 

The people who have held his seat in the House since then talk about completing I-49, but haven't allocated any funds. John Boozman talks the talk about securing more funding, but so far it seems to be all talk.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 02, 2012, 05:39:05 AM
It's surprising this area doesn't have a big voice for this... In terms of lawmakers...  Anyone driving I-540 between Bentonville and Fayetteville, during peak hours, have a lot of venting. 

This is a bit off topic, but the 14th Street (AR 102) reconstruction through Bentonville (from US 71 Business to Greenhouse Road) took, literally, years to complete.  A simple reconstruction, from a rural 2-lane, to an urban 4-lane.  And they didn't even include medians (very do-able... embrace the median!) and roadway lighting.  Sigh....
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 02, 2012, 09:56:51 AM
It's surprising this area doesn't have a big voice for this... In terms of lawmakers...  Anyone driving I-540 between Bentonville and Fayetteville, during peak hours, have a lot of venting. 

This is a bit off topic, but the 14th Street (AR 102) reconstruction through Bentonville (from US 71 Business to Greenhouse Road) took, literally, years to complete.  A simple reconstruction, from a rural 2-lane, to an urban 4-lane.  And they didn't even include medians (very do-able... embrace the median!) and roadway lighting.  Sigh....

14th Street was a contractor default. He went bankrupt and it took time for the bonding company to find a replacement.

Lots of people asking/demanding for I-49, but nothing seems to happen. Boozman says he's trying to get money, but I don't see how he can when he keeps saying we need to slash the federal budget  :confused:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 02, 2012, 10:00:49 AM
Is there enough support to get a transportation district of all the counties together. That way they could create funding mechanism's to kick up by themselves. Sadly as important as a corridor as it is to America. I don't see much feds money coming Arkansas's way. Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 02, 2012, 10:17:47 AM
Is there enough support to get a transportation district of all the counties together. That way they could create funding mechanism's to kick up by themselves. Sadly as important as a corridor as it is to America. I don't see much feds money coming Arkansas's way. Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.

They talk a lot....that's about it.

There is a proposal for a half cent sales tax to pay for roads, but I am doubtful it was pass in the current anti-tax climate:
http://thecabin.net/news/2011-12-24/highway-improvement-advocates-gearing-sales-tax-hike-campaign#.TwHJF_nNnfU

Yet, at the same time, Arkansas just cut taxes on the sales of used cars.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 02, 2012, 11:02:13 AM
I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
DARN IT! How did you find that before me?  :spin:
An AHTD spokesman was quoted last Friday as saying the contractor is already on site: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/may/16/bella-vista-work-bypass-starts/
An illustration (dated Aug. 2010) on the first page of the linked article indicates that the current project includes grading and earthwork from Hiwasse to the AR-MO state line.  I emailed AHTD and asked them if the current project includes the grading & earthwork to the state line.  The response:
"The next phase of work for the Bella Vista Bypass is scheduled to be let in July 2011.
I just received an email update from AHTD.  Bids for a grading contract for Bella Vista Bypass from Hiwasse to MO state line are expected to be open this October.
I just received an email reply from AHTD (my questions and then AHTD answers):
Q "I noticed in today's listing of December 14 projects to be let that the second Bella Vista Bypass grading and structures contract was not included.  Has that project run into a long term delay?"
A "The next job has changed scope a couple of times, but it is now a turnkey project schedules for May for the section from Highway 72 north to County Road 34."
Aside from making improvements to I-540, I have to question AHTD's commitment to prioritizing the Bella Vista Bypass ("BVB") and getting it completed.  First, the BVB link in the top quote above has been removed from the home page and is now inactive.  A small thing, but another project now has a prominent link on the home page: the 430/630 interchange located in, of all places, Little Rock.  Not a good signal...
Also, the other quotes above show that the "second" BVB project has been delayed and decreased in scope.  Money is tight for sure, but it looks like people other than NWA representatives have AHTD's ear.

EDIT

Also, petitioning AASHTO for redesignation of I-540 as I-49 should be a no-brainer and should be done immediately.  Given what AASHTO has allowed Texas and Kentucky to do with I-69 signage, and Missouri with I-49 signage, AASHTO should approve the change.  I don't understand AHTD's apparent reluctance to petition for approval of the change.  It would only help get more $$$ over time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 02, 2012, 11:49:37 AM

Also, petitioning AASHTO for redesignation of I-540 as I-49 should be a no-brainer and should be done immediately.  Given what AASHTO has allowed Texas and Kentucky to do with I-69 signage, and Missouri with I-49 signage, AASHTO should approve the change.  I don't understand AHTD's apparent reluctance to petition for approval of the change.  It would only help get more $$$ over time.

Missouri and Arkansas tried in 2007 to get the I-49 designation approved, but AASHTO said NO. So maybe they are waiting until they get more done?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 02, 2012, 12:18:08 PM
Missouri and Arkansas tried in 2007 to get the I-49 designation approved, but AASHTO said NO. So maybe they are waiting until they get more done?
I just get the sense that, in the current economy, AASHTO is being more receptive to back-channel arguments that immediate signage will aid economic development along corridors (why else allow a seven-mile stretch of I-69 to be signed in the middle of Texas's corridor in 2011?).  I think 2007 was right before the crash.

I'm just curious as to why Missouri went back to AASHTO alone in 2011.  Huge gap between Pineville, MO and Shreveport, LA but MoDOT received qualified approval.  Seems like AHTD would get similar approval for I-540 if they went back to AASHTO.  Other than BVB, would make gap between Alma and Shreveport.  It can't hurt to ask again; it worked for Missouri.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 02, 2012, 12:42:51 PM
Missouri and Arkansas tried in 2007 to get the I-49 designation approved, but AASHTO said NO. So maybe they are waiting until they get more done?
I just get the sense that, in the current economy, AASHTO is being more receptive to back-door arguments that immediate signage will aid economic development along corridors (why else allow a seven-mile stretch of I-69 to be signed in the middle of Texas's corridor in 2011?).  I think 2007 was right before the crash.

I'm just curious as to why Missouri went back to AASHTO alone in 2011.  Huge gap between Pineville, MO and Shreveport, LA but MoDOT received qualified approval.  Seems like AHTD would get similar approval for I-540 if they went back to AASHTO.  Other than BVB, would make gap between Alma and Shreveport.  It can't hurt to ask again; it worked for Missouri.

Missouri showed significant progress. From Pineville to Kansas City, it's already at least partially controlled access. Arkansas has almost nothing south of Ft Smith. So maybe Missouri thought they'd have a better chance alone this time rather than going in with Arkansas.

Missouri may be done by the end of 2012, while Arkansas will be sitting around wishing for money.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 02, 2012, 02:02:45 PM
Missouri showed significant progress. From Pineville to Kansas City, it's already at least partially controlled access. Arkansas has almost nothing south of Ft Smith.
Here's a link to a pdf of the 2007 AASHTO's disapprovals of Missouri's I-49 application and the Arkansas I-49 North application:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/AM2007_USRN_ReporttoSCOH.pdf
At that time, Missouri only applied for a designation from the state line to I-44 and Arkansas applied from I-40 to the state line.  Both applications were denied because "road is not yet under construction".  I interpret that to mean that complete lack of construction on BVB killed both applications.

Since then, Missouri has made great progress with the interchanges from Joplin to KC (all will be completed by Dec. 2012), but still has not made any progress on BVB.  In its 2011 application, Missouri asked for and received conditional approval from the state line to I-435:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/USRNReporttoSCOHOct152011.pdf
In Arkansas, I-540 from I-40 to BVB is already an interstate, and at least a small part of BVB around Hiwasse is under construction.  In both regards, I think an Arkansas I-49 North re-application would compare favorably with Missouri's re-application. I don't think the minimal amount of progress between I-40 and I-30 would be a factor in AASHTO's decision.  I think AHTD should go for it. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 02, 2012, 03:42:07 PM
Missouri has their portion coming due 2014-16 as their long range budget has actual construction money budgeted. I would build it now as Construction Rates are as low as they might be in decades. I know it would  be a ghost road and the know nothings would complain about it but it would actually save money over the long term.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 02, 2012, 06:11:19 PM
Missouri has their portion coming due 2014-16 as their long range budget has actual construction money budgeted. I would build it now as Construction Rates are as low as they might be in decades. I know it would  be a ghost road and the know nothings would complain about it but it would actually save money over the long term.

My guess is Missouri will wait until everything north of Carthage has been completed, then worry about Pineville. Arkansas seems to be in no hurry, so there is little or no incentive for Missouri to do anything.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 03, 2012, 01:14:22 AM
I can see the hesitation on getting the I-49 designation in AR... It doesn't make sense without the Bella Vista Bypass... That really is the missing link.  The southern portion of I-49 (south of Fort Smith) will be a huge task.  The topography/terrain will be a challenge... then again, there's lower population and traffic down there.  The I-49 designation between KC and I-44 makes total sense, and Missouri will have that by the end of 2012 (according to MoDOT).  The Bella Vista Bypass is very underrated, and needs to be completed ASAP.  I drive US 71 often between Bentonville/Rogers and the MO state line... I feel really bad for the truckers... There is so much truck traffic, that have to deal with the traffic signals in Bella Vista, not to mention the regular traffic, both local and regional.  While the BVB should take priority, I-540 (& the interchanges) need huge help too.  I'm just glad I work a shift that avoids the major traffic congestion!  I really hope AR can get it's act together and get that dang bypass built right.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 03, 2012, 01:48:23 AM
What will be the temporary numbers for the Bella Vista bypass and the Fort Smith section of I-49 that is currently under construction?  Will they be segments of AR 549?  Will the Bella Vista bypass be AR 540?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on January 03, 2012, 07:19:55 AM
I think AHTD should reapply for designation of I-540 from Alma to Bentonville as I-49 as Grzrd points out. It wouldn't hurt, and if I-69 in Mississippi can be approved then I don't see why I-49 in Arkansas can't be, either.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 03, 2012, 11:22:11 AM
Arkansas had John Paul Hammerschmidt who got Arkansas the money to build I-540 north of Alma, but he retired a few years ago.  
The people who have held his seat in the House since then talk about completing I-49, but haven't allocated any funds. John Boozman talks the talk about securing more funding, but so far it seems to be all talk.
Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.
The Bella Vista Bypass is very underrated, and needs to be completed ASAP.  I drive US 71 often between Bentonville/Rogers and the MO state line... I feel really bad for the truckers... There is so much truck traffic, that have to deal with the traffic signals in Bella Vista, not to mention the regular traffic, both local and regional.
Is either one of the senators from Arkansas powerful enough to push construction of the BVB through the halls of the Senate and its various committees?  Harry Reid, the very powerful Senator from Nevada, has apparently successfully included funding for Interstate 11 in the current draft of the Senate's version of the highway reauthorization bill (and I suspect he will fight hard to keep it in the bill):
http://www.examiner.com/las-vegas-in-national/interstate-from-las-vegas-to-phoenix-plans-move-along-us-senate

It seems like there is a very real need for the BVB, and that a strong argument can be made for it in terms of national significance.  Does Arkansas really have very little senatorial clout?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 03, 2012, 07:51:53 PM

It seems like there is a very real need for the BVB, and that a strong argument can be made for it in terms of national significance.  Does Arkansas really have very little senatorial clout?

Boozman is new as is Womack. Both are pretty much lockstep with the rest of the conservatives. Both talk about Arkansas' needs, but don't do a lot. Mark Pryor sort of goes whichever way the wind is blowing.



Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 04, 2012, 07:53:37 PM
I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 04, 2012, 09:53:40 PM
I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.

In theory, yes. But each Senator has their own agenda...often political. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 05, 2012, 01:40:55 AM
I drove out to Hiawasse to see the progress on the segment they are currently constructing.  It's promising.  They are working on the BVB, a loop around the small town of Hiawasse (which was plastered with signs saying "No annexation" and "Leave Hiawasse Alone".  I'm wondering if Bella Vista or even Centerton is trying to annex them?)  Weird.

Anyway, the eastern part of the portion they are building looks good.  They have a lot of dirt work done, and it looks like they were starting on bridges.  The western portion was just them removing trees, and doing minor dirt work.  I wasn't sure what to expect driving out there... but it is progress.  The sad thing is I was out there around 3-4 PM and saw no movement at all on the two separate sites off of AR 72.  I like to see actively moving, getting stuff done.

I can't remember if I asked this before, but does AHTD do an incentive if the contractors finish early, and a penalty if they finish late? 

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 05, 2012, 09:26:16 AM
Sometimes you have to quantify data to those out of the core area. In other words show them the numbers of more commerce flowing and new business's that would want access to quicker markets employed by a Canada to New Orleans I-29/I-49 corridor. Trying to be positive as most areas once they get Interstate connections don't complain about them (yes that includes you Bloomington).

I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.

In theory, yes. But each Senator has their own agenda...often political. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 05, 2012, 10:37:11 AM
I drove out to Hiawasse to see the progress on the segment they are currently constructing.  It's promising.  They are working on the BVB, a loop around the small town of Hiawasse (which was plastered with signs saying "No annexation" and "Leave Hiawasse Alone".  I'm wondering if Bella Vista or even Centerton is trying to annex them?)  Weird.

They fought against being incorporated back in 2008, I believe. Information is sparse, but it looks as if they may be trying to incorporate themselves, as Bella Vista recently did. 

Quote

Anyway, the eastern part of the portion they are building looks good.  They have a lot of dirt work done, and it looks like they were starting on bridges.  The western portion was just them removing trees, and doing minor dirt work.  I wasn't sure what to expect driving out there... but it is progress.  The sad thing is I was out there around 3-4 PM and saw no movement at all on the two separate sites off of AR 72.  I like to see actively moving, getting stuff done.

I can't remember if I asked this before, but does AHTD do an incentive if the contractors finish early, and a penalty if they finish late? 


There is also work being done to the south on 279.  I was up that way 2-3 months ago, but didn't have time to stop for photos.

I don't remember if there was an incentive clause or not: AHTD doesn't always do them. I think they did for the 102 project in Bentonville, and we saw how that turned out ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: kphoger on January 05, 2012, 11:44:05 AM
I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.

I remain unconvinced that saving twenty minutes of a truck driver's transit time magically improves the economy by stimulating business.  If this were 1940, then you could convince me, but today's highway infrastructure is so extensive that I think the connection between highway upgrades and the economy is far overstated.  I-49 may improve the economy of the cities it travels through or near, but I highly doubt the other states would see any change at all in their economies.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on January 05, 2012, 08:35:58 PM
I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.

Why should OK support funding for a road that doesn't touch their border?  Canadian traffic already comes down I35. Mexican traffic up 35 as well. "more commerce"? I don't see it at all. OK has way more road/bridge needs than does AR.  What little we can chisel from DC needs to stay home.

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 06, 2012, 12:12:25 AM
I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.

Why should OK support funding for a road that doesn't touch their border?  Canadian traffic already comes down I35. Mexican traffic up 35 as well. "more commerce"? I don't see it at all. OK has way more road/bridge needs than does AR.  What little we can chisel from DC needs to stay home.

OK is building a 4 lane US 59 from Poteau to I-40.  It could easily be extended to I-49, if traffic counts ever warrant.  Most truck traffic on 59/270 south of Hodgen turns south onto US 259 and vice versa.  When I-49 is completed, will trucks continue to use US 259 as a cutoff or will they take 270 to I-49?|
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 10, 2012, 02:52:50 PM
I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
I just received an email reply from AHTD (my questions and then AHTD answers):
Q "I noticed in today's listing of December 14 projects to be let that the second Bella Vista Bypass grading and structures contract was not included.  Has that project run into a long term delay?"
A "The next job has changed scope a couple of times, but it is now a turnkey project schedules for May for the section from Highway 72 north to County Road 34."
the BVB link in the top quote above has been removed from the home page and is now inactive.  A small thing ...  Not a good signal...

I had a recent email Q & A with AHTD regarding the removal of the BVB link from the AHTD homepage and was reassured that they are still proceeding with BVB:

Quote
Q: I recently noticed that the Bella Vista Bypass link that used to be on the AHTD home page has been removed and deactivated.  Does this mean that completion of BVB has dropped in the scheme of AHTD priorities?

A: I’ll check on that link, but it doesn’t mean anything. We are undergoing changes to our web page. The BV Bypass job continues and the next scheduled job is for the 5 miles from Hwy 72 north to County Road 34.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 11, 2012, 01:13:35 PM
Lots of people asking/demanding for I-49, but nothing seems to happen. Boozman says he's trying to get money, but I don't see how he can when he keeps saying we need to slash the federal budget  :confused:
Boozman is new as is Womack. Both are pretty much lockstep with the rest of the conservatives. Both talk about Arkansas' needs, but don't do a lot.
Harry Reid, the very powerful Senator from Nevada, has apparently successfully included funding for Interstate 11 in the current draft of the Senate's version of the highway reauthorization bill (and I suspect he will fight hard to keep it in the bill):
http://www.examiner.com/las-vegas-in-national/interstate-from-las-vegas-to-phoenix-plans-move-along-us-senate

Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

Quote
...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 11, 2012, 11:26:25 PM
Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

"...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...

Doubtful
Lots of people asking/demanding for I-49, but nothing seems to happen. Boozman says he's trying to get money, but I don't see how he can when he keeps saying we need to slash the federal budget  :confused:
Boozman is new as is Womack. Both are pretty much lockstep with the rest of the conservatives. Both talk about Arkansas' needs, but don't do a lot.
Harry Reid, the very powerful Senator from Nevada, has apparently successfully included funding for Interstate 11 in the current draft of the Senate's version of the highway reauthorization bill (and I suspect he will fight hard to keep it in the bill):
http://www.examiner.com/las-vegas-in-national/interstate-from-las-vegas-to-phoenix-plans-move-along-us-senate
Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

"...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...
.

Ross is a lame duck: he's not running for re-election. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 16, 2012, 11:58:13 PM
I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
I had a recent email Q & A with AHTD regarding the removal of the BVB link from the AHTD homepage and was reassured that they are still proceeding with BVB:

Q: I recently noticed that the Bella Vista Bypass link that used to be on the AHTD home page has been removed and deactivated.  Does this mean that completion of BVB has dropped in the scheme of AHTD priorities?

A: I’ll check on that link, but it doesn’t mean anything. We are undergoing changes to our web page. The BV Bypass job continues and the next scheduled job is for the 5 miles from Hwy 72 north to County Road 34.

Thank you for inquiring about that.  The AHTD website is crappy, and needs a upgrade (Hint:  Look at MoDOT's webpage!).  I still think NWA Arkansas is neglected, and priority is given to the Little Rock area.  Yes, I haven't lived here too long, but I've heard that from many people here.  But... in my opinion, but the BVB should be at the top of the priority list (#1, in my opinion) for AHTD.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on January 17, 2012, 08:31:05 AM
Lived in NW Arkansas in the late 70's and it has always been a step child to Little Rock. Yet NW Arky is almost if not past Little Rock in Economic impact with 3 huge national corporations in the area. Yet NW Arkansas is still a cul de sac on the Interstate highway system (better than nothing but should be better).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 19, 2012, 12:41:21 AM
Lived in NW Arkansas in the late 70's and it has always been a step child to Little Rock. Yet NW Arky is almost if not past Little Rock in Economic impact with 3 huge national corporations in the area. Yet NW Arkansas is still a cul de sac on the Interstate highway system (better than nothing but should be better).

The growth here has been very rapid (I've only lived here for a year).  There definitely should be more focus here.  It's sad that the majority of the interchanges along I-540, in NWA, need reconstruction. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 19, 2012, 10:57:35 AM

The growth here has been very rapid (I've only lived here for a year).  There definitely should be more focus here.  It's sad that the majority of the interchanges along I-540, in NWA, need reconstruction. 

I think it's a combination of multiple factors: No one ever anticipated the growth in NWA: no one ever thought any of the "Big 3" would amount to anything and the U of A was more of a wannabe party school until 10-15 years ago.  Plus Fayetteville is so far removed from the rest of the state (geographically & politically) that they're often forgotten.  Even though the I-540 extension had been proposed since the 1970's, it took until the 1990's to get serious about it.
Now that AHTD is getting serious, there's not enough money to do anything.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 23, 2012, 07:05:26 PM
 Has anybody had time to read the article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the Highway department and the money going where the cars are? Also the 1/2 cent sales tax vote this fall being critical to pass for expanding 4 lane roads in Arkansas. It starts on the front page.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 23, 2012, 08:06:06 PM
Has anybody had time to read the article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the Highway department and the money going where the cars are? Also the 1/2 cent sales tax vote this fall being critical to pass for expanding 4 lane roads in Arkansas. It starts on the front page.

It's behind a Paywall online.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 23, 2012, 09:37:44 PM
Sorry,That paper and the Texarkana Gazette are in my lunch room at work so I don't have access to it online;.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 23, 2012, 10:11:49 PM
Well, a little bit of construction on I-540: AHTD is spending $5 million to install 24 miles of cable barriers on I-540: (http://www.4029tv.com/r/30281071/detail.html)

Quote
AHTD officials said they're getting the cables installed along a busy stretch of I-540 ...
The project started last month, and officials said it is expected to be completed by the summer.
"This is a really big project for us. It's a $5 million project, (constructing) 24 miles of cable barriers. It's significantly bigger than most of the cable barrier jobs we've had," Bolick said.
According to AHTD, the cable barrier will be installed in the median from Bentonville all the way to Fayetteville, securing a large part of the interstate, which is well-known for crossover accidents.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 23, 2012, 11:27:25 PM
Here's a thought:

If Mississippi was allowed to post 20-something miles of I-69 when it's no where close to complete, why can't AHTD or MoDOT post I-49?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 24, 2012, 11:35:49 AM
I drove out to Hiawasse to see the progress on the segment they are currently constructing.  It's promising.  They are working on the BVB, a loop around the small town of Hiawasse (which was plastered with signs saying "No annexation" and "Leave Hiawasse Alone".  I'm wondering if Bella Vista or even Centerton is trying to annex them?)  Weird.

Looks like Bella Vista is taking over Hiwasse by force, though Hiwasse would rather be part of Gravette.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Stephane Dumas on January 24, 2012, 01:22:19 PM
Google maps updated their satellite imagery at Texarkana, here the upcoming interchange of I-30 with I-49 http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.479563,-93.966923&spn=0.055482,0.077162&t=k&z=14&vpsrc=6

Edit: Looks like I arrived too late at the finish line. :sleep:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg129064#msg129064
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 24, 2012, 02:32:12 PM
Google maps updated their satellite imagery at Texarkana, here the upcoming interchange of I-30 with I-49 http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.479563,-93.966923&spn=0.055482,0.077162&t=k&z=14&vpsrc=6
Edit: Looks like I arrived too late at the finish line. :sleep:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg129064#msg129064
Actually, I believe it is an update over the link I posted.  I don't remember the southern "prong" at N Stateline Ave being paved.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman ...
Complete or nearly complete are interchanges at Arkansas 22 (Rogers Avenue), Roberts Boulevard and Massard Road.
When the fourth interchange on U.S. 71 is under contract and construction is well under way, the state expects to go forward with the last step, Shipman said. That would be paving the highway and opening it to traffic, perhaps by 2014.
Anyway,  Stephane's post motivated me to check Bing's aerial view of the I-49 work at Chaffee Crossing. (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=35.29965984320673~-94.32473373413086&lvl=13&dir=0&sty=h&where1=Fort%20Smith%2C%20AR&form=LMLTCC)  Pretty good progress.  I checked Google and Bing for initial signs of construction at Hiwasse, but did not see anything.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 24, 2012, 09:02:07 PM

Anyway,  Stephane's post motivated me to check Bing's aerial view of the I-49 work at Chaffee Crossing. (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=35.29965984320673~-94.32473373413086&lvl=13&dir=0&sty=h&where1=Fort%20Smith%2C%20AR&form=LMLTCC)  Pretty good progress.  I checked Google and Bing for initial signs of construction at Hiwasse, but did not see anything.

The bridge at AR 22 is done, Frontier Rd/Ft Smith Blvd is done. Rye Hill Rd finished last month.  Massard Rd is still a work in progress.

C'mon up some time and I'll show you around ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 24, 2012, 10:08:25 PM
The bridge at AR 22 is done, Frontier Rd/Ft Smith Blvd is done. Rye Hill Rd finished last month.  Massard Rd is still a work in progress.
C'mon up some time and I'll show you around ;)
Thanks for the offer.  My roadgeek budget is tight; my wife and kids don't quite "get it".  That said, I am thinking of both 2012 AR I-49 trip and 2013 AR I-49 trip.

It looks like driving on the paved segments of I-49 North is an option if a Texarkana meet comes together.  Today, I spoke with Susan Stafford, a LaDOTD Public Information Officer.  She gave a tentative OK to the notion of meet attendees driving on the paved I-49 North, but there would be some bureaucratic prerequisites ... Even if I cannot make the meet, I might do a "stealth" drive myself before it opens to the general public.  :sombrero:
(above from "2012 meets?" thread on General Highway Talk)
For 2012, I want to drive paved segments of I-49 North before they open to general public and check out new terrain I-49 around Texarkana (I also hold out a quixotic/idiotic hope that, if a meet or personal "stealth" trip were late enough in Summer or early Fall, AHTD would be as accomodating as LaDOTD).  What a great I-49 doubleheader THAT would be!

You should drive the new road and film it.  Nobody would probably even notice and if you did get caught you wouldn't get in that much trouble.
(above from "Texarkana; (Future I-49; I-69 Spur)" thread)

If AHTD is not accomodating, other options may exist ...  :D

Could we make it from Fayetteville to Texarkana and back in a day?
(above from "2012 meets?" thread)

For 2013, I'm thinking of scaling back bugo's idea, making it a Fort Smith-Fayetteville trip, and checking out Chaffee Crossing and BVB construction.  By that time, Howard Hill to US 71S work  and second BVB project work should be well under way.  US 412 work will be cranking, too.  I hope a meet happens; if not, I may need the Road Scholar's guidance through the area.  ;-)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 28, 2012, 11:33:58 AM
Is there still another Bridge left to build between Roberts Road and Massard Road in the Fort Smith project. Shipman says there are 2 jobs left before paving. Job # 40479 was for overpass bridges for Massard Rd. and Custer Blvd., then 2 main lane bridges over Roberts Blvd. Job #40478 is for Grading and structures from Rye Hill to U.S. 71. I don't see another one on the AHTD that he is talking about. http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_f9f4b068-2595-11e1-92b4-001871e3ce6c.html
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 28, 2012, 12:06:18 PM
What will this highway be signed?  Will AASHTO get off their high horse and let AHTD sign it as I-49?  Or will it be another section of AR 549?  It will connect AR 22 to US 71 and probably won't get much traffic until it is extended to I-540 in Alma.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 28, 2012, 01:37:42 PM
Is there still another Bridge left to build between Roberts Road and Massard Road in the Fort Smith project. Shipman says there are 2 jobs left before paving. Job # 40479 was for overpass bridges for Massard Rd. and Custer Blvd., then 2 main lane bridges over Roberts Blvd. Job #40478 is for Grading and structures from Rye Hill to U.S. 71. I don't see another one on the AHTD that he is talking about. http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_f9f4b068-2595-11e1-92b4-001871e3ce6c.html

Looks like maybe Coyote Trail near Roberts Rd.  http://binged.it/wbHJZE

I've heard nothing regarding its designation. But the only interchange in this area is AR 22 so will 49 be paved and "abandoned" or will it have a temporary at-grade terminus? I've heard nothing either way.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 28, 2012, 02:01:20 PM
What will this highway be signed?  Will AASHTO get off their high horse and let AHTD sign it as I-49?  Or will it be another section of AR 549?  It will connect AR 22 to US 71 and probably won't get much traffic until it is extended to I-540 in Alma.
I believe the current FHWA guidance is that a freeway built to interstate standards cannot receive an interstate designation until at least one end of the freeway segment connects to a currently existing part of the interstate system (I believe this is the reason I-22 cannot be signed until the I-65/I-22 interchange is completed in 2014).  It will probably be a long wait for I-49 designation because Arkansas River bridge will have to be built to connect AR 22 to I-540 at Alma, which would then provide the necessary connection.

Above said, it looks like I-49 North in Louisiana will have I-49 signage for 2013 opening, even though it will have neither an I-30 connection nor an I-220 connection (although Texarkana work should be completed, and AR/LA state line to Doddridge will be under construction; maybe that's enough to establish the I-30 "connection"):

This is typical of the signing plans for I-49 North:

(http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/b/bd/Sheet_0110.png)

Note I-49 trailblazer assembly.
(above quote from "I49 in LA" thread)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 28, 2012, 08:00:00 PM
What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 28, 2012, 08:17:45 PM
What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?

In theory, yes, you could extend the road north from Barling, but it would be a road to nowhere.  It would likely just sit there doing nothing until the bridge was built, unless locals could use it to access some of the Corp of Engineer parks.

I'm sure the bridge would be a separate project from the I-40/49 interchange, but they would be so close to each other, I think doing one without the other would be a waste of time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 28, 2012, 09:09:16 PM
What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?

In theory, yes, you could extend the road north from Barling, but it would be a road to nowhere.  It would likely just sit there doing nothing until the bridge was built, unless locals could use it to access some of the Corp of Engineer parks.

I'm sure the bridge would be a separate project from the I-40/49 interchange, but they would be so close to each other, I think doing one without the other would be a waste of time.

I don't like new taxes but I see we to pass the 1/2 cent sale tax in Arkansas to build these roads. And the other day in the paper it said don't look for a new highway bill this year because of election year. So worthless congress is not going to help. It is sad that we spend billions of dollars in america and cannot build new roads to help the economy.


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on January 29, 2012, 06:52:09 PM
Reason why Arkansas doesn't have I-22 like progress is Bama has Richard Shelby. Shelby has been one stubborn SOB in pushing I-22. Stories of him holding up Congressional vacations for more funding are legendary.
Wasn't NC the same way? Seeing that I-73 and I-74 signs have sprung up at a frantic pace (and virtually none elsewhere), there must've been some stubborn SOBs running things in Raleigh too.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 29, 2012, 10:59:23 PM
If I were in charge of AASHTO, I would ban North Carolina from making any changes to their system for 10 years.  Every time the AASHTO changes are released, half of them are from NC.  The moving of US 117 to a freeway then back to the 2 lane road is the most ridiculous example, with the reroutings of I-40 being nearly as bad. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 08, 2012, 09:59:19 PM
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/20299) reports that the second and third largest cities in Arkansas have joined forces to obtain more funding for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas:

Quote
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders held joint press conferences Wednesday [Feb. 8] in their respective cities to discuss the new partnership.
“Our initial focus will be on transportation issues, and other areas of mutual interest will be identified in the future. First: The completion of I-49 is a natural topic for joint emphasis,” Sanders said in a statement. “I-49 will have tremendous economic benefit for our two cities. The benefit to Fort Smith is obvious. It would place us at the center of an east/west and north/south interstate intersection in the center of the United States.  We will see a transportation and logistic enterprise confluence. Job growth will be substantial. There are tremendous benefits to Fayetteville as well.”
Sanders said the “combined efforts” of the two cities in lobbying Congress for I-49 funding “will be significant.”
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders, an Arkansas River bridge east of Barling that could cost up to $350 million, and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
Work has begun on the Bella Vista Bypass, which will connect Arkansas and Missouri with an interstate highway that will eventually be part of I-49. The proposed bypass is about 20 miles, extending from U.S. 71 just south of Bella Vista to U.S. 71 near Pineville, Mo. Arkansas’ portion is approximately 15 miles in length, while the Missouri section will be about 5 miles.
Arkansas has already spent about $20 million on engineering, utility relocation and other preparatory work on the bypass. It is estimated that Arkansas’ share of the project could be as much as $250 million ...
Fort Smith and Fayetteville are the second and third largest cities in Arkansas. We each have strengths that can benefit and support the other. A closer working relationship has the potential to be the catalyst for creating more vibrant growth and development ....

EDIT

A good place to start would be for the two cities to push AHTD to make the redesignation of I-540 as I-49 happen as soon as possible.  :clap:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on February 09, 2012, 11:23:00 AM
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/20299) reports that the second and third largest cities in Arkansas have joined forces to obtain more funding for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas:

Quote
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders held joint press conferences Wednesday [Feb. 8] in their respective cities to discuss the new partnership.
“Our initial focus will be on transportation issues, and other areas of mutual interest will be identified in the future. First: The completion of I-49 is a natural topic for joint emphasis,” Sanders said in a statement. “I-49 will have tremendous economic benefit for our two cities. The benefit to Fort Smith is obvious. It would place us at the center of an east/west and north/south interstate intersection in the center of the United States.  We will see a transportation and logistic enterprise confluence. Job growth will be substantial. There are tremendous benefits to Fayetteville as well.”
Sanders said the “combined efforts” of the two cities in lobbying Congress for I-49 funding “will be significant.”
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders, an Arkansas River bridge east of Barling that could cost up to $350 million, and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
Work has begun on the Bella Vista Bypass, which will connect Arkansas and Missouri with an interstate highway that will eventually be part of I-49. The proposed bypass is about 20 miles, extending from U.S. 71 just south of Bella Vista to U.S. 71 near Pineville, Mo. Arkansas’ portion is approximately 15 miles in length, while the Missouri section will be about 5 miles.
Arkansas has already spent about $20 million on engineering, utility relocation and other preparatory work on the bypass. It is estimated that Arkansas’ share of the project could be as much as $250 million ...
Fort Smith and Fayetteville are the second and third largest cities in Arkansas. We each have strengths that can benefit and support the other. A closer working relationship has the potential to be the catalyst for creating more vibrant growth and development ....

EDIT

A good place to start would be for the two cities to push AHTD to make the redesignation of I-540 as I-49 happen as soon as possible.  :clap:
Hopefully, once the Missouri portion is completed, then I-49 shields will go up along I-540, at least to the part north of I-40. South of I-40, I see it being signed as Future I-49, until AHTD can figure out a way to connect Fort Smith and Texarkana.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on February 14, 2012, 08:04:44 PM
In yesterday's Arkansas Gazette there was an article about Bridges in Arkansas. Scott Bennett mentioned I 49 Bridge between Alma and Fort Chaffee being in the development stage. He said the environmental was done and I think he was talking about it being in the design stage. Hopefully they will know what the actual bridge and cost will be soon.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 14, 2012, 08:47:01 PM
In yesterday's Arkansas Gazette there was an article about Bridges in Arkansas. Scott Bennett mentioned I 49 Bridge between Alma and Fort Chaffee being in the development stage. He said the environmental was done and I think he was talking about it being in the design stage. Hopefully they will know what the actual bridge and cost will be soon.

Gordon, thanks for the heads up on the article. The entire article, Some imagine Chester Street for new bridge (http://beta.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/feb/13/some-imagine-chester-street-new-bridge-20120213/), is behind a pay wall (curiosity led me to pay 99 cents for a one-day subscription).  The good news is that a FEIS has been approved for the entire Texarkana-Fort Smith corridor, but no design work has been done on the bridge:

Quote
Bennett .... cited ... other new bridges in development:
The Interstate 49 bridge over the Arkansas River that would connect Interstate 540 at Alma with a U.S. 71 project under construction on a new location in the area of Fort Chaffee. The environmental impact statement has been approved for the entire I-49 corridor between Texarkana and Fort Smith, but no design work has been done on the bridge.

Maybe Bennett describing it as "in development" means the design work on it is at least on the radar screen.  In contrast, although Bennett mentioned two other major bridge projects as being "in development" (I-69 Mississippi River bridge and Southern Gateway bridge in metro Memphis),  he did NOT mention the I-49 Red River bridge at the Texas state line; the Red River bridge must not be on the radar screen.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 16, 2012, 11:52:57 AM
In case anyone wants some light historical reading, AHTD recently emailed me the Executive Summary of the US 71 Relocation from DeQueen to I-40 FEIS (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/southeast/001747_FEIS_Executive_Summary.pdf) (and Alex is kind enough to host it on the AARoads server).  Enjoy!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: lamsalfl on February 16, 2012, 06:10:53 PM
Wow, I didn't know they selected an alignment already.  I'm kinda surprised at the lack of interchanges for all those towns between Grannis and Mena.  Also, the SA goes through the Ouchita National Forest.  I know it's good for long distance travelers, but if the route isn't going to go closer to those towns, then at least throw them a bone with a couple more interchanges.  At the end of the day, it looks like the route will be about 5 miles to the east of the towns.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 17, 2012, 01:38:15 AM
Wow, I didn't know they selected an alignment already.  I'm kinda surprised at the lack of interchanges for all those towns between Grannis and Mena.  Also, the SA goes through the Ouchita National Forest.  I know it's good for long distance travelers, but if the route isn't going to go closer to those towns, then at least throw them a bone with a couple more interchanges.  At the end of the day, it looks like the route will be about 5 miles to the east of the towns.

I expect AR 246 will be extended from Hatfield to the new I-49 and AR 4 will be extended from Cove.  There might be some more short connector state highways commissioned as well.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 24, 2012, 09:20:50 AM
I just received an email reply from AHTD (my questions and then AHTD answers):
Quote
Q "I noticed in today's listing of December 14 projects to be let that the second Bella Vista Bypass grading and structures contract was not included.  Has that project run into a long term delay?"
A "The next job has changed scope a couple of times, but it is now a turnkey project schedules for May for the section from Highway 72 north to County Road 34."

This article (http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x843242992/Interstate-49-signs-going-up-on-U-S-71) indicates that the first Bella Vista Bypass project is about 25% complete and that the next project, five miles and two lanes, is still on track to be let in May:

Quote
Work to convert U.S. 71 in Arkansas is continuing. Glenn Bolick, spokesman for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said work is under way on a two-lane route around Bella Vista that eventually will become a four-lane bypass.
“We’ve completed 25 percent of the first contract, which is almost $20 million, for a three-mile stretch near Highway 72 South at Hiwasse,” he said. “When that stretch of the highway is completed, we will use that piece. It’s a section of what we call independent utility.”
The department will seek bids for a five-mile, two-lane stretch north of Hiwasse in May.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 24, 2012, 09:51:46 AM

“We’ve completed 25 percent of the first contract, which is almost $20 million, for a three-mile stretch near Highway 72 South at Hiwasse,” he said. “When that stretch of the highway is completed, we will use that piece. It’s a section of what we call independent utility.”

It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 24, 2012, 08:31:41 PM
Is it still going to be a toll road?  If so, I predict a lot of shunpiking will occur as the toll road will be 2 lanes and the surface road will be 4 lanes divided.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on March 20, 2012, 06:37:57 PM
AHTD has asked fpr a grant to help finish the Fort Chaffee Crossing. Hope they get in the 2012 Tiger. grant.http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71.aspx
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 21, 2012, 12:15:15 PM
AHTD has asked fpr a grant to help finish the Fort Chaffee Crossing. Hope they get in the 2012 Tiger. grant.http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71.aspx

It seems like they could have made a more persuasive case by providing more up-to-date information on the Status of I-49 Corridor map (http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71/AR_71_FIG2.pdf), particularly in regard to Louisiana's I-49 North.  It also could have included the Dec. 2012 projected signage date for I-49 in Missouri.  Doing so might have helped them hammer home the point that completion of the section in question is a critical first step for the I-30 to I-40 section of the corridor because the corridor is already essentially complete from I-435 to I-40 (with exception of Bella Vista Bypass) and I-10 to I-30 (with exception of a bit more work around Shreveport).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on March 25, 2012, 04:00:12 AM
Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 25, 2012, 08:41:21 AM
Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on March 28, 2012, 01:11:39 AM
Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)

We need something.  With the recent vote passed for bonds, I'm curious to see what will be done in NWA.  I know it won't be widening, but solely on interchange improvements.  Considering how a few them need to be totally gutted and reconstructed, I really wonder about what will be done this summer.  I've tried to find anything on the AHTD website and Google... and I have found nothing.  It's sad.  I'm used to the State DOT's websites to provide a ton of information about projects/plans... and Arkansas is just not with it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 28, 2012, 09:23:54 PM
Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)

We need something.  With the recent vote passed for bonds, I'm curious to see what will be done in NWA.  I know it won't be widening, but solely on interchange improvements.  Considering how a few them need to be totally gutted and reconstructed, I really wonder about what will be done this summer.  I've tried to find anything on the AHTD website and Google... and I have found nothing.  It's sad.  I'm used to the State DOT's websites to provide a ton of information about projects/plans... and Arkansas is just not with it.

All the interstates (except maybe "north" 540) are in desperate need of repaving. There is a major reconstruction project along I-40 in the vicinity of the Cache River with 2-3 bridges being replaced.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on March 29, 2012, 08:47:58 AM
I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on March 29, 2012, 09:14:43 AM
I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.
Adding overpasses at minor rural roads in southwestern Missouri is certainly pork.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 29, 2012, 09:18:59 AM
I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.

At the risk of turning this political, one man's Pork is another man's Earmark (I-99, anyone? ;) )

But yes, it's needed... we just have to convince Congress it's more important than tax breaks for millionaires.   :fight:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on March 30, 2012, 01:24:37 AM
I very much disagree with you.  US 71 between Kansas City and the northern terminus of I-540 in Arkansas have very high traffic counts.  

Missouri has it's act together, like always.  Arkansas can't even get a 2 lane bypass built within a reasonable amount of time (Bella Vista Bypass).

Trust me, it's not pork... Have you traveled it?  It is a rural corridor, so to speak, but look at the traffic counts.  There you go.

I invite you to come down to NW Arkansas... and SW Missouri.  Experience the nightmare here in NWA... I have never seen such inadequacies.  Keep in mind, this is not a major urban area, so to speak.

And there is accident after accident (on I-540/Future I-49 in NWA)... It's a a common occurrence... And the cable median barrier they are constructing will only provide a "band-aid"... It's rather sad.

I commend Missouri for seeing the potential of I-49... Good for them!

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 30, 2012, 02:56:52 PM
Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

Arkansas has always been behind the times. Not just on 71, but everywhere.  One of the last major improvements on 71 was 4-Laning it south of Greenwood. I don't know if it's money or misplaced priorities, but Arkansas is more RE active than PRO active.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on March 30, 2012, 04:25:57 PM
Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

It was 2 lanes from Jasper to Carthage when I was a kid.  This would have been the early to mid '80s.  I also remember that traffic would be forced onto what is now the frontage road where the 4 lanes were open.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on March 30, 2012, 09:40:25 PM
NW Arkansas if I am right has 3 top 500 companies in Tyson, Hunt and a little retailer called Wal-Mart. All generate tons of traffic and yes I-49 is badly needed in the area.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 31, 2012, 07:26:17 AM
Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

It was 2 lanes from Jasper to Carthage when I was a kid.  This would have been the early to mid '80s.  I also remember that traffic would be forced onto what is now the frontage road where the 4 lanes were open.

I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on March 31, 2012, 04:09:14 PM
With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 31, 2012, 09:55:56 PM
With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

Honest answer: I don't know.

Snarky answer available via private message  :whip:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on April 01, 2012, 03:11:33 AM
I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.

Switchbacks?  Do you mean crossovers where the lanes shifted onto the new roadway? 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 01, 2012, 10:05:47 AM
I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.

Switchbacks?  Do you mean crossovers where the lanes shifted onto the new roadway? 

Yes.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 02, 2012, 02:19:16 AM
With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

You would think so... As massive as Walmart is, I'm surprised that they haven't done more... Traffic congestion here can get crazy.  That being said, Walmart is pushing for an interchange on I-540 at SE 8th Street in Bentonville...  It would greatly help the SE 14th Street/Hudson Road interchange... That gets backed up at peak times like crazy.  A big part of it is the Walmart home office people trying to get on 540 to go south to Springdale/Fayetteville.

That, and the Waltons (so I've heard) hired an outside source to push the wet/dry county issue in Benton County to a vote... Sorely needed (Time to move to the 21st Century!).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 02, 2012, 08:55:24 AM
With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

You would think so... As massive as Walmart is, I'm surprised that they haven't done more... Traffic congestion here can get crazy.  That being said, Walmart is pushing for an interchange on I-540 at SE 8th Street in Bentonville...  It would greatly help the SE 14th Street/Hudson Road interchange... That gets backed up at peak times like crazy.  A big part of it is the Walmart home office people trying to get on 540 to go south to Springdale/Fayetteville.

That, and the Waltons (so I've heard) hired an outside source to push the wet/dry county issue in Benton County to a vote... Sorely needed (Time to move to the 21st Century!).

I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 03, 2012, 04:34:37 PM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

The Highway 72 to Co. Rd. 34 section of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/LETTING%20PLANS/090293.pdf) is scheduled to be let on May 2 (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/JOBS_include.aspx).  EDIT - Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 2.377 MILES OF TWO LANE ROADWAY FOR HWY. 71 AND THE COUNTY ROAD 34 INTERCHANGE IN BENTON COUNTY. THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BASE, BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, PCC PAVEMENT, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER OVERPASS BRIDGE (TOTAL SPAN LENGTH 192.12'), EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman.

Also in the May 2 letting, I believe this is the "fourth interchange" project (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/LETTING%20PLANS/040478.pdf) referenced in the above-linked article. Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 0.635 MILE OF THE HWY. 71 RELOCATED EMBANKMENT, THE EMBANKMENTS FOR THE RAMPS ALONG WITH THE OVERPASS BRIDGE AND APPROACHES AT THE INTERCHANGE OF HWY. 71 AND COUNTY ROAD 8 IN SEBASTIAN COUNTY NEAR THE FORT CHAFFEE MILITARY RESERVATION.  THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, GUARDRAIL, EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER UNIT OVERPASS BRIDGE (329.16 FT.), WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

County Road 8 is also known as Howard Hill Road (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=35.26129840120871~-94.35301494598388&lvl=15&dir=0&sty=h&where1=Fort%20Smith%2C%20AR&form=LMLTCC).

AHTD must be stretching itself to have both a Bella Vista Bypass project and a Chaffee Crossing project in the same letting ...  :wow:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: intelati49 on April 04, 2012, 06:03:01 PM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

The Highway 72 to Co. Rd. 34 section of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/LETTING%20PLANS/090293.pdf) is scheduled to be let on May 2 (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/JOBS_include.aspx).  EDIT - Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 2.377 MILES OF TWO LANE ROADWAY FOR HWY. 71 AND THE COUNTY ROAD 34 INTERCHANGE IN BENTON COUNTY. THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BASE, BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, PCC PAVEMENT, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER OVERPASS BRIDGE (TOTAL SPAN LENGTH 192.12'), EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

It's about damn time... :banghead: :pan: :pan: :pan:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 04, 2012, 11:14:15 PM

County Road 8 is also known as Howard Hill Road (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=35.26129840120871~-94.35301494598388&lvl=15&dir=0&sty=h&where1=Fort%20Smith%2C%20AR&form=LMLTCC).


I know the area fairly well: It's less than 10 miles from me. There are a couple old sections of 71 nearby which are in rough shape.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 07, 2012, 07:12:10 AM
I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?

In my opinion, Walmart Home Office is careful about what it does, which, infrastructure wise, is nothing.  They haven't and won't give money to infrastructural improvements... If they did, the traffic issues in Bentonville would be somewhat resolved.. They are advocating them somewhat with the 8th Street interchange.  Walmart definitely wants the 8th Street interchange, and the City of Bentonville has plans for it on their website.

It makes me sad that I find zero information on the state website.  What purpose does AHTD serve if I can't info on it?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 07, 2012, 02:08:24 PM
I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?

In my opinion, Walmart Home Office is careful about what it does, which, infrastructure wise, is nothing.  They haven't and won't give money to infrastructural improvements... If they did, the traffic issues in Bentonville would be somewhat resolved.. They are advocating them somewhat with the 8th Street interchange.  Walmart definitely wants the 8th Street interchange, and the City of Bentonville has plans for it on their website.

It makes me sad that I find zero information on the state website.  What purpose does AHTD serve if I can't info on it?


I think AHTD has little to do with it. It's mainly the city that's doing the work:
http://www.bentonvillear.com/8th_street_project.html

Wal-Mart was a strong proponent of the regional cargo passenger airport, as were JB Hunt and Tyson,  which was paid for with bonds issued by Llama Company (Alice Walton) .

Not surprising they don't contribute much to infrastructure improvements: they don't like employee benefits, either.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on April 09, 2012, 09:17:23 PM
Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 10, 2012, 05:08:36 PM
Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 11, 2012, 12:14:57 AM
Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 11, 2012, 01:13:20 AM
Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!

AHTD may be responsible for the actual interchange,  but 8th Street itself isn't a state maintained roadway. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on April 11, 2012, 07:05:22 AM
Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!

I don't know if something similar has happened in Arkansas, but here in Huntsville, AL the city of Huntsville fully paid for the widening of US 431 through part of the city, so it had little to no involvement from ALDOT.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 11, 2012, 11:20:13 AM

I don't know if something similar has happened in Arkansas, but here in Huntsville, AL the city of Huntsville fully paid for the widening of US 431 through part of the city, so it had little to no involvement from ALDOT.

Not to my knowledge, though AHTD has been known to assume maintenance for a road, improve it, then turn it back to the city.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 13, 2012, 01:26:02 AM
AHTD may be responsible for the actual interchange,  but 8th Street itself isn't a state maintained roadway. 

I'm just used to the state recognizing what needs to be done, and doing the main work (with little city coordination) when it came to projects like that.

In Sioux Falls SD, they reconstructed most of I-29 through the city.  The SDDOT also reconstructed the interchanges (putting in SPUIs and a Parclo), along with the streets involved (usually it was 1/4 mile to a 1 mile on each side of the interchange, depending).  I loved traveling I-29 in SF with 3 lanes and an auxiliary lane... Compared to I-540 here in NWA.

Maybe it's because SD is a low population state (I've heard both sides), but dang, they got it right up there when it comes to funding.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 17, 2012, 11:36:38 AM
After getting Arkansas voters to approve the bond referendum for interstate maintenance in November, AHTD and the Arkansas legislature will come back in November 2012 and ask Arkansas voters to approve a one-half percent increase in the sales tax for construction of and improvements to four-lane highways (including additional lanes).  Completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass is one of the projects that would be funded by the increase:
http://thecabin.net/news/2011-12-24/highway-improvement-advocates-gearing-sales-tax-hike-campaign
Quote
The Legislature this year referred to the 2012 general election ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the state’s 6 percent sales tax to 6 1/2 percent to fund a $1.8 billion program that would connect all corners of the state with four-lane highways ...
Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department ... has said approval of the half-cent sales tax increase would fund a number of large, expensive projects across Arkansas, including ... [t]wo lanes of the proposed Bella Vista bypass ...

In this article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/21425), Scott Bennett reiterates that completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass would be funded by the bonds.  He also mentions that the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor (I assume I-540) would be widened from four to six lanes:

Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 22, 2012, 01:38:41 AM
Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
Sigh... well... He realizes the issues, but he needs to decommission a ton of state highways, and fix the funding formula for transportation funding (Not something he can do).  That might help.  I do admire his drive.  540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: mcdonaat on April 22, 2012, 05:59:35 AM
Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
Sigh... well... He realizes the issues, but he needs to decommission a ton of state highways, and fix the funding formula for transportation funding (Not something he can do).  That might help.  I do admire his drive.  540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.
Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 23, 2012, 11:40:52 PM
Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?

Knowing Arkansas, 49 and 71 will run concurrent, but 71 will be "invisible" .
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on April 24, 2012, 12:19:15 AM
Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?

Knowing Arkansas, 49 and 71 will run concurrent, but 71 will be "invisible" .

I assume that 71 will remain on its current alignment except for a few places (Foran Gap, the causeway near Milwood Lake, etc.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 01, 2012, 11:00:45 AM
In this article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/21425), Scott Bennett reiterates that completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass would be funded by the bonds.  He also mentions that the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor (I assume I-540) would be widened from four to six lanes
540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.

AHTD official Dick Trammel was in Bentonville yesterday lobbying for the sales tax increase:

Quote
Transportation experts spent Monday morning talking traffic in Bentonville, Arkansas.
State Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel joined Alex Herrgott, the US Chamber of Commerce's Director of Transportation and Infrastructure, and US Senator John Boozeman on a panel to discuss the issues facing northwest Arkansas and the country.
"540 is full," Trammel says. "Every morning you see the congestion."
Herrgott says now is the time to address infrastructure issues, because traffic will increase as the economy continues to recover.
"If you think things are bad now, you should see two years from now," he says. "Failure to adequately address capacity on that road in the next five or ten years will increase congestion, choke out goods and services, and will have substantial negative impacts on the economy."
He says we need to expand highways and interstates across the country.
"It's not just about people getting to and from work," Herrgott says. "It's about competing in the global marketplace."
In November the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation plans to ask voters in to approve a half-cent sales tax to pay for the expansion of I-540 to six lanes. Trammel says the tax would last for ten years, and would also pay for the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass and part of a bypass for Springdale.
"We don't have the funding now to do these expensive and highly congested areas," Trammel says."It takes three to five years to finish those projects so I'm just hoping the people give us the opportunity now."
The panel was part of the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce's "Focus on the Economy" series.

Trammel paints a pretty bleak picture if the sales tax increase is not approved by the voters.  Vote aside, I don't understand why the I-540 widening is not already a higher priority at AHTD.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 01, 2012, 12:14:28 PM

Trammel paints a pretty bleak picture if the sales tax increase is not approved by the voters.  Vote aside, I don't understand why the I-540 widening is not already a higher priority at AHTD.

Purely conjecture on my part, but I wonder if has to do with how remote NW Arkansas is from Little Rock? Surely 540 would be a bigger priority than the 430/630 rebuild? Of course, no one walks about the 440 extension, BUT I-530 is in the process of a major renovation. Sounds to me like mismanaged priorities.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on May 04, 2012, 11:10:29 PM
Low Bid for Hwy. 72 North to CO. RD. 34 on the Bella Vista Bypass was Kolb Grading, LLC of Mo. of 13,647,413.56. This is for 2.37 miles of two lane roadway and the Interchange at Co. Rd. 34. Also a low bid of 17,173,759.98 was for the interchange at 71 Hwy. and Fort Chaffee crossing. Includes a bridge for Co. Rd. 8 over future I 49 and the Base surface that includes .635 miles.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 11, 2012, 08:14:56 AM
This article (http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/210471/119/THV-Extra-Ark-transportation-projects) has the latest cost estimate to complete I-49 through Arkansas: $3 billion (with no targeted completion date):

Quote
But that's only one highway project underway in Arkansas. Highway 549 is underway as well, which some day will be named I-49 along the western corridor .... It's an international project passing through Arkansas in bits and pieces, but no timeframe .... "Even though we've spent well in excess of a billion dollars to date, it's going to take us about $3 billion more to complete I-49 in Arkansas," Ort says.

AHTD does not seem to be a team player in terms of keeping Louisiana's I-49 South in the conversation:

Quote
"What we're primarily focused on is the connection between Kansas City, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana," says Ort.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on May 11, 2012, 09:13:23 AM
Not from Arkansas but I thought Arky had permission to toll the BVB to complete? What's the hold up? Construction rates will never be cheaper than now. Plus if they toll when would they come off?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 11, 2012, 11:20:13 AM
Not from Arkansas but I thought Arky had permission to toll the BVB to complete? What's the hold up? Construction rates will never be cheaper than now. Plus if they toll when would they come off?

I'm not sure if the AR Legislature has amended the state constitution yet: if not, it's against the constitution (or maybe the highway charter) to build toll roads. So far, all the work is being done under ARRA.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on May 15, 2012, 07:26:26 AM
This article (http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/210471/119/THV-Extra-Ark-transportation-projects) has the latest cost estimate to complete I-49 through Arkansas: $3 billion (with no targeted completion date):

Quote
But that's only one highway project underway in Arkansas. Highway 549 is underway as well, which some day will be named I-49 along the western corridor .... It's an international project passing through Arkansas in bits and pieces, but no timeframe .... "Even though we've spent well in excess of a billion dollars to date, it's going to take us about $3 billion more to complete I-49 in Arkansas," Ort says.

AHTD does not seem to be a team player in terms of keeping Louisiana's I-49 South in the conversation:

Quote
"What we're primarily focused on is the connection between Kansas City, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana," says Ort.

Someone didn't proofread their article apparently:

Quote
We will have some lane closures probably in the next eight to 12 weeks. Motorists are going to see tremendous benefits of this.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 15, 2012, 08:19:12 AM

Someone didn't proofread their article apparently:


Or maybe Mr Ort actually said that. ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 17, 2012, 10:57:57 PM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

Google Maps imagery now shows construction of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hiwasse,+AR&hl=en&ll=36.430813,-94.345093&spn=0.049859,0.077162&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.844639,79.013672&oq=hiwasse+&t=h&hnear=Hiwasse,+10,+Benton,+Arkansas&z=14); it must be true. :hyper:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on May 21, 2012, 01:38:22 AM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

Google Maps imagery now shows construction of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hiwasse,+AR&hl=en&ll=36.430813,-94.345093&spn=0.049859,0.077162&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.844639,79.013672&oq=hiwasse+&t=h&hnear=Hiwasse,+10,+Benton,+Arkansas&z=14); it must be true. :hyper:

It's shocking, isn't it?  There is serious issues with the transportation funding in Arkansas.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 21, 2012, 09:26:16 AM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

Google Maps imagery now shows construction of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hiwasse,+AR&hl=en&ll=36.430813,-94.345093&spn=0.049859,0.077162&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.844639,79.013672&oq=hiwasse+&t=h&hnear=Hiwasse,+10,+Benton,+Arkansas&z=14); it must be true. :hyper:

It's shocking, isn't it?  There is serious issues with the transportation funding in Arkansas.

A combination of limited funds and misplaced priorities. I-530 is getting reconstructed while I-40 is rotting.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: sr641 on May 21, 2012, 05:48:31 PM
Arkansas is too busy building US 67 to Walnut Ridge.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 21, 2012, 06:52:32 PM
Arkansas is too busy building US 67 to Walnut Ridge.

A combination of limited funds and misplaced priorities.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on May 21, 2012, 09:49:08 PM
It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

Google Maps imagery now shows construction of the Hiwasse Bypass (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hiwasse,+AR&hl=en&ll=36.430813,-94.345093&spn=0.049859,0.077162&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.844639,79.013672&oq=hiwasse+&t=h&hnear=Hiwasse,+10,+Benton,+Arkansas&z=14); it must be true. :hyper:

It's shocking, isn't it?  There is serious issues with the transportation funding in Arkansas.

A combination of limited funds and misplaced priorities. I-530 is getting reconstructed while I-40 is rotting.

40 is horrible through Russellville.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 21, 2012, 10:04:00 PM

40 is horrible through Russellville.

It was never improved when Gov. Huckabee got the bond issue passed: "no money".

Around Ozark, I-40 is cracked and pitted very badly, as well.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 22, 2012, 07:33:24 AM
A combination of limited funds and misplaced priorities.
A combination of limited funds and misplaced priorities.

Although this article is primarily about a controversy surrounding the possible tolling of I-49 South in Louisiana (http://theadvocate.com/news/2890492-123/regional-split-arises-over-i-49), comments allegedly made by Arkansas legislators to a visitor from Louisiana may reflect a lack of commitment to I-49 by at least some Arkansan legislators:

Quote
But state Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, noted that I-49 between Shreveport and the Arkansas border was financed without any tolls.
“We have built ourselves to the cornfields or cotton fields or whatever,” Jones said.
He said that, when the road was being built, there was a “song and dance” about the need to finish the road because Arkansas planned an I-49 link to Fort Smith, Kansas City, Mo. and eventually Canada.
But Jones said when he visited the Arkansas Legislature earlier this year lawmakers there laughed about that notion, which they said would not happen for several lifetimes.
The road plan has been discussed since the 1990s.
(bold emphasis supplied by me)

To be fair, their alleged laughter may have simply been a reflection of the lack of money.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on May 22, 2012, 09:52:55 AM
Arkansas built most of future I-49 with earmarks from DC.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 22, 2012, 11:25:27 AM
Arkansas built most of future I-49 with earmarks from DC.

So was I-540 north of Alma ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on May 24, 2012, 07:27:38 PM
I asked the AHTD bridge department when do they plan to design the I 49 Arkansas River Bridge In the Fort Smith area. So I guess it will be a long time before we could drive on it.       

Our bridge program through 2016 does not include that structure.
 
Carl J. Fuselier, P.E.
Division Head - Bridge
Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on May 31, 2012, 04:44:01 PM
Arkansas built most of future I-49 with earmarks from DC.

So was I-540 north of Alma ;)

I have no problems with earmarks like I-540/I-49 that benefit a majority of the people. Now those earmarks that study the mating habits of flying turd squirrels of Eastern Kentucky get me going.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 21, 2012, 02:02:25 PM
AHTD has asked fpr a grant to help finish the Fort Chaffee Crossing. Hope they get in the 2012 Tiger. grant.http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71.aspx

West Memphis was recently awarded an $11 million TIGER IV grant (http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/blog/memphis-in-motion/2012/06/west-memphis-wins-11-million-grant.html).  I have not seen the final list from USDOT, but I suspect AHTD's silence means that the above I-49 project did not get a grant.  However, the project is listed for a 2013 letting in the Preliminary 2013-16 STIP (http://www.arkansashighways.com/stip/2013-2016/2013-2016_Prelim_STIP.pdf):

Quote
JOB /ITEM NUMBER-040376
COUNTY-Sebastian
RTE-071
TERMINI-Hwy. 71-Hwy. 22 (Base & Surf.) (S)
TYPE WORK-New Location
LENGTH-6.04
YEAR-2013

Quote
Alma Mayor John Ballentine believes the Alma portion is likely to be the last leg of the still-unfunded highway completed because of the costly bridge that must span the Arkansas River.
Ballentine reckons the structure will cost $400 million, but that number is a shape-shifter, changing based on who is speaking and what the cost includes.
Ken O’Donnell, until recently the director of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the stated cost is ... $280 million to $320 million. That’s starting with the $100 million for the bridge span itself, then adding approaches, ramps and the other things needed to make it accessible.
Because the route approaching the bridge travels through the Kibler bottoms, a flood plain, it might require building a berm or putting the roadway on supports as it extends to the bridge.
O’Donnell said costs for the highway on-grade are computed on a linear foot basis. If the roadway is elevated, the cost must be computed on a square-foot basis
The entire article, Some imagine Chester Street for new bridge (http://beta.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/feb/13/some-imagine-chester-street-new-bridge-20120213/), is behind a pay wall (curiosity led me to pay 99 cents for a one-day subscription).  The good news is that a FEIS has been approved for the entire Texarkana-Fort Smith corridor, but no design work has been done on the bridge:
Quote
Bennett .... cited ... other new bridges in development:
The Interstate 49 bridge over the Arkansas River that would connect Interstate 540 at Alma with a U.S. 71 project under construction on a new location in the area of Fort Chaffee. The environmental impact statement has been approved for the entire I-49 corridor between Texarkana and Fort Smith, but no design work has been done on the bridge.
Maybe Bennett describing it as "in development" means the design work on it is at least on the radar screen.
I asked the AHTD bridge department when do they plan to design the I 49 Arkansas River Bridge In the Fort Smith area       
Quote
Our bridge program through 2016 does not include that structure.
Carl J. Fuselier, P.E.
Division Head - Bridge
Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department

In looking at the Preliminary STIP, I'm mildly disappointed that a relatively small amount of money was not set aside for the design work on the Arkansas River Bridge.  Maybe AHTD is waiting to see if the half-cent sales tax passes, which would provide for widening of I-540 and two-lane Bella Vista Bypass, before it even thinks about initiating the design work for the bridge.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on June 22, 2012, 04:29:27 AM
Quote
In looking at the Preliminary STIP, I'm mildly disappointed that a relatively small amount of money was not set aside for the design work on the Arkansas River Bridge.  Maybe AHTD is waiting to see if the half-cent sales tax passes, which would provide for widening of I-540 and two-lane Bella Vista Bypass, before it even thinks about initiating the design work for the bridge.
AHTD is the most ridiculous government (and non gov for that matter) department that I have ever come across.   

What a mess.  And no funding... Unless it's in Little Rock...

Fail, fail, fail... And so sick of it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 29, 2012, 08:33:31 PM
I had a chance today to check out the "Hiwasse Bypass" (tm):

On the east end, bridge columns are being built for where AR 72 will pass over I-49. The embankment is mostly finished as is prefabricated concrete panels with a faux brickwork design.

On the west end, it is still mostly dirt work. The level of I-49 has still not been completely lowered.

AR 279 South of Hiwasse has been detoured along what appears to be a future frontage road. Bridge columns are going up where I-49 will cross over AR 279. This appears to be a grade separation only with no access to or from I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on June 29, 2012, 09:02:25 PM
So 2 interchanges in a row on I-49 will be for AR 72?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 29, 2012, 09:04:45 PM
So 2 interchanges in a row on I-49 will be for AR 72?

It appears that way, but I've not verified the plans.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on June 29, 2012, 09:12:45 PM
That will be as silly as all the AR 282 interchanges from I-540.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 29, 2012, 09:18:00 PM
That will be as silly as all the AR 282 interchanges from I-540.

At least each of the 282's go someplace different  (sort of).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: intelati49 on June 29, 2012, 11:04:29 PM
That will be as silly as all the AR 282 interchanges from I-540.

At least each of the 282's go someplace different  (sort of).

Kind of like the MO 100 interchanges on I-44
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on June 30, 2012, 10:08:41 AM
What is the next section of the Bella Vista Bypass that AHTD plans to let for construction? I don't see any on the STIP for 2013-2016.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 30, 2012, 11:24:21 PM
A couple photos I took yesterday around Hiwasse:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8157/7475848488_7b24aeca81_c_d.jpg)
West embankment and center column of future bridge over I-49 at AR 72 southeast of Hiwasse.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7278/7475848032_c18d9d1736_c_d.jpg)
AR 279 at I-49 just south of Hiwasse. 279 is temporarily detoured along what will eventually be one of 49's frontage roads
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on July 01, 2012, 05:34:37 AM
Nice to see some progress... As much as I hate AHTD.

I just hope they don't f*&^ it up like they did with I-540 in NWA... Meh, too late.

US71, do you feel these will be frontage roads?  I don't see that.




Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 01, 2012, 08:51:32 AM
Nice to see some progress... As much as I hate AHTD.

I just hope they don't f*&^ it up like they did with I-540 in NWA... Meh, too late.

US71, do you feel these will be frontage roads?  I don't see that.


It's an educated guess. The Detour on 279 hugs I-49...it's the E-W road near the center
http://goo.gl/maps/z8TM
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on July 02, 2012, 07:21:50 PM
There were 2 articles in the Arkansas Gazette today about promoting the state wide 1/2 cent sales tax. They have 3 projects in Northwest Arkansas area that will be on the list to get money. 1- 125 million to widening stretches of I 540 in Washington and Benton counties to 6 lanes. 2- 100 million for completion of the Bella Vista Bypass of 2 lanes. 3- 150 million to help build a 4 lane section of U.S. 412 Bypass north of Springdale. Maybe Little Rock want get all of the money if voted in. Although it said Little Rock would 300 million for a new bridge at the Arkansas river on I 30.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 02, 2012, 07:51:50 PM
There were 2 articles in the Arkansas Gazette today about promoting the state wide 1/2 cent sales tax. They have 3 projects in Northwest Arkansas area that will be on the list to get money. 1- 125 million to widening stretches of I 540 in Washington and Benton counties to 6 lanes. 2- 100 million for completion of the Bella Vista Bypass of 2 lanes. 3- 150 million to help build a 4 lane section of U.S. 412 Bypass north of Springdale. Maybe Little Rock want get all of the money if voted in. Although it said Little Rock would 300 million for a new bridge at the Arkansas river on I 30.

I-30? I figured they would go for the new Broadway Bridge. I think finishing I-440 should be a priority in the Little Rock area.

As others have pointed out, AHTD doesn't prioritize very well.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on July 03, 2012, 09:05:14 AM
There were 2 articles in the Arkansas Gazette today about promoting the state wide 1/2 cent sales tax. They have 3 projects in Northwest Arkansas area that will be on the list to get money. 1- 125 million to widening stretches of I 540 in Washington and Benton counties to 6 lanes. 2- 100 million for completion of the Bella Vista Bypass of 2 lanes. 3- 150 million to help build a 4 lane section of U.S. 412 Bypass north of Springdale. Maybe Little Rock want get all of the money if voted in. Although it said Little Rock would 300 million for a new bridge at the Arkansas river on I 30.

I-30? I figured they would go for the new Broadway Bridge. I think finishing I-440 should be a priority in the Little Rock area.

As others have pointed out, AHTD doesn't prioritize very well.

Is the existing bridge not wide enough to handle the traffic? Or is the existing bridge falling apart?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 03, 2012, 09:43:14 AM

Is the existing bridge not wide enough to handle the traffic? Or is the existing bridge falling apart?

The I-30 bridge is considered substandard and is starting to age and need repairs. I think AHTD wants wider shoulders and the Corps of Engineers says the piers are too closely spaced for barge traffic.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on July 03, 2012, 10:19:17 AM

Is the existing bridge not wide enough to handle the traffic? Or is the existing bridge falling apart?

The I-30 bridge is considered substandard and is starting to age and need repairs. I think AHTD wants wider shoulders and the Corps of Engineers says the piers are too closely spaced for barge traffic.


Was that bridge built before the river was "upgraded" to the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System?

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on July 06, 2012, 10:22:53 AM
This is probably the only Arkansas I-49 shield, and likely the first one ever made:

(http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u126/bugo348/sinez/routemarkerI-49.jpg)
(above quote from I-49 Coming to Missouri (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg155386#msg155386) thread)

I wish you would take your I-49 shield to AHTD in Little Rock, offer to let them make copies, and then get one of them to do to the Arkansas delegation what a Texas Transportation Commissioner recently did to the Texas delegation with I-69 shields (http://www.i69texasalliance.com/NewsUpdates/update%20Congress%207.1.12.html). Give them a constant reminder.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 06, 2012, 11:28:59 PM

Is the existing bridge not wide enough to handle the traffic? Or is the existing bridge falling apart?

The I-30 bridge is considered substandard and is starting to age and need repairs. I think AHTD wants wider shoulders and the Corps of Engineers says the piers are too closely spaced for barge traffic.


Was that bridge built before the river was "upgraded" to the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System?

rte66man

I believe it was. The I-30 bridge was built circa 1960 and the Little Rock section of McClellan-Kerr project was finished around 1968.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on July 07, 2012, 02:21:43 AM

Is the existing bridge not wide enough to handle the traffic? Or is the existing bridge falling apart?

The I-30 bridge is considered substandard and is starting to age and need repairs. I think AHTD wants wider shoulders and the Corps of Engineers says the piers are too closely spaced for barge traffic.


Was that bridge built before the river was "upgraded" to the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System?

rte66man

I believe it was. The I-30 bridge was built circa 1960 and the Little Rock section of McClellan-Kerr project was finished around 1968.

It still had to be built with navigation in mind since the plan to deepen the channel was in the works. There are two other traffic bridges and two railroad bridges between downtown LR and NLR that didn't have to be replaced (the Main Street Bridge was built in the 1970s after the navigation project was finished and I believe both railroad bridges have lifting center spans).

The I-30 bridge is perfectly good other than the fact that it's barely wide enough for six lanes. Functionally obsolete.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on July 07, 2012, 05:11:49 AM
There were 2 articles in the Arkansas Gazette today about promoting the state wide 1/2 cent sales tax. They have 3 projects in Northwest Arkansas area that will be on the list to get money. 1- 125 million to widening stretches of I 540 in Washington and Benton counties to 6 lanes. 2- 100 million for completion of the Bella Vista Bypass of 2 lanes. 3- 150 million to help build a 4 lane section of U.S. 412 Bypass north of Springdale. Maybe Little Rock want get all of the money if voted in. Although it said Little Rock would 300 million for a new bridge at the Arkansas river on I 30.

My 2 cents on AR Trans funding:  It's ridiculous, and I probably sound like a broken record.  I complain way too much on this forum.  And I apologize for my bi*&^ing again.

We see them constructing future I-49 in SW AR, and constructing more of US 67 (Interstate standards I believe) to the northeast of Newport, AR... aka low traffic counts.

Common sense would tell you to have projects in areas with high traffic counts and high accident count areas?  Right?  Or am I crazy?

Ummm... Yeah.  I thought, for sure, my interchange on I-540 in NWA would see something, some sort of reconstruction, this summer... Some sort of improvement... No change... Zero.  Backed up, as always.

My hate for AHTD has increased, and I didn't think that was possible.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on July 07, 2012, 08:59:51 PM
Future I 49 in SW AR was earmarked I think for a 100 million by State rep. in This area. Congress has designated Future I 49 as a high priority corridor. But US 67 is a AHTD Priority and Randy Ort said in the Arkansas Gazette about a month ago that was his and some others dream to extend it to Interstate standards to ST Louis. Even though Missouri dropped there side of it. One thing you can count on is AHTD has there retirement meeting every 3 months. That is what they concentrate on.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on July 21, 2012, 11:29:02 AM
The second half of this July 15 KTBS-Shreveport TV video report (http://www.ktbs.com/news/I-49-Louisiana-and-Arkansas-Projects/-/144844/15565946/-/sollgtz/-/index.html) focuses on the I-49 funding challenges for the Fort Smith to Texarkana section.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 07, 2012, 04:26:30 PM
This is probably the only Arkansas I-49 shield, and likely the first one ever made
(above quote from I-49 Coming to Missouri (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg155386#msg155386) thread)
(http://i.imgur.com/f9uLy.jpg)

Although the latter assertion may continue to be true, the former looks like it will soon no longer be true. I emailed AHTD and asked if MAP-21 might encourage them to reapply to AASHTO for I-49 designations. The response:

Quote
We are completing an application to have I-540 (I-40 to Missouri State Line ) redesignated as I-49 and plan to submit to AASHTO for consideration at the fall meeting.

The Special Committee on Route Numbering meets on November 15.  AHTD still has a chance to get I-49 shields facing the highway before MoDOT.  Game on?

edit - Or, will AHTD coordinate with MoDOT this December, and then coordinate with LaDOTD in Summer 2013 for SW Arkansas and I-49 North segments?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 27, 2012, 07:21:21 PM
Last Friday, I drove to Booneville, AR. Along the way, I spotted another section of Future 49 under construction (yellow line)

http://goo.gl/maps/GHDV5

This is roughly halfway between I-540 at Ft Smith and Jct 10 Spur near Greenwood.

Very hilly, rugged terrain. I expect there will be some road cuts in this area
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on August 27, 2012, 07:56:16 PM
Last Friday, I drove to Booneville, AR. Along the way, I spotted another section of Future 49 under construction (yellow line)

http://goo.gl/maps/GHDV5
That's the "Chaffee Crossing" segment; it's been under construction for several years. The Arkansas River crossing to the north is on hold.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 27, 2012, 08:11:46 PM
Last Friday, I drove to Booneville, AR. Along the way, I spotted another section of Future 49 under construction (yellow line)

http://goo.gl/maps/GHDV5
That's the "Chaffee Crossing" segment; it's been under construction for several years. The Arkansas River crossing to the north is on hold.

The section in yellow is a new segment (less than 6 months old).  If nothing else, it could be a "bypass" between 71 and AR 22 at Barling. ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 27, 2012, 09:37:42 PM
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman.
.... in the May 2 letting, I believe this is the "fourth interchange" project ... Here is AHTD's description of the project:
Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 0.635 MILE OF THE HWY. 71 RELOCATED EMBANKMENT, THE EMBANKMENTS FOR THE RAMPS ALONG WITH THE OVERPASS BRIDGE AND APPROACHES AT THE INTERCHANGE OF HWY. 71 AND COUNTY ROAD 8 IN SEBASTIAN COUNTY NEAR THE FORT CHAFFEE MILITARY RESERVATION.  THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, GUARDRAIL, EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER UNIT OVERPASS BRIDGE (329.16 FT.), WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.
Last Friday ... I spotted another section of Future 49 under construction (yellow line)
http://goo.gl/maps/GHDV5
The section in yellow is a new segment (less than 6 months old).

Given the time frame and the length of the yellow line, it looks like the "fourth interchange" project.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on August 27, 2012, 09:59:51 PM
In today's Arkansas Democrat Gazette was an Article about the Bella Vista Bypass. The first segment is about 50% complete and the 2nd segment started in June. Both are scheduled to be complete in 2014. There is no money earmarked to do another section unless the sale tax amendment is passed in November. If it does pass they will finish 2 lanes of the Bypass and also widen some I 540 from Fayetteville to Bentonville. Also one section of the Springdale Bypass will be built. Otherwise there is no section for construction to be built until 2016. There is no named opposition so far for the amendment as of now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 27, 2012, 10:00:07 PM
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman.
.... in the May 2 letting, I believe this is the "fourth interchange" project ... Here is AHTD's description of the project:
Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 0.635 MILE OF THE HWY. 71 RELOCATED EMBANKMENT, THE EMBANKMENTS FOR THE RAMPS ALONG WITH THE OVERPASS BRIDGE AND APPROACHES AT THE INTERCHANGE OF HWY. 71 AND COUNTY ROAD 8 IN SEBASTIAN COUNTY NEAR THE FORT CHAFFEE MILITARY RESERVATION.  THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, GUARDRAIL, EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER UNIT OVERPASS BRIDGE (329.16 FT.), WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.
(above quote from I-49 in AR (Bella Vista, Fort Smith) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg141534#msg141534) thread)
Last Friday ... I spotted another section of Future 49 under construction (yellow line)
http://goo.gl/maps/GHDV5
The section in yellow is a new segment (less than 6 months old).

Given the time frame and the length of the yellow line, it looks like the "fourth interchange" project.

Yes, quite likely. CR 8 is Howard Hill Rd, which is just SW of where the last project ended (Rye Hill Rd). Judging from the grading, I would say the dirt work will probably end just before 71. Lots of traffic in the area, so there really isn't a good place to stop for actual photos.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: dariusb on August 28, 2012, 12:12:05 AM
The second half of this July 15 KTBS-Shreveport TV video report (http://www.ktbs.com/news/I-49-Louisiana-and-Arkansas-Projects/-/144844/15565946/-/sollgtz/-/index.html) focuses on the I-49 funding challenges for the Fort Smith to Texarkana section.

I enjoyed watching that video as well as the I-49 Road To The Future segments.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 06, 2012, 09:57:52 AM
First six-lane section of the Interstate in NWA expected to open by year's end. (pay) (http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2012/sep/06/i-540-6-lane-section-opening-set-20120906/)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 06, 2012, 10:14:54 AM
First six-lane section of the Interstate in NWA expected to open by year's end. (pay) (http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2012/sep/06/i-540-6-lane-section-opening-set-20120906/)

I've been watching that. There will be a Jersey Barrier between the NB and SB lanes of I-540. I'll be up that way again in a few days so I'll get a better look.

Update:
See my comments here: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5278.msg172752#msg172752
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 25, 2012, 08:54:44 PM
Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman ... Complete or nearly complete are interchanges at Arkansas 22 (Rogers Avenue), Roberts Boulevard and Massard Road.
When the fourth interchange on U.S. 71 is under contract and construction is well under way, the state expects to go forward with the last step, Shipman said. That would be paving the highway and opening it to traffic, perhaps by 2014 ...
Given the time frame and the length of the yellow line, it looks like the "fourth interchange" project.
Yes, quite likely. CR 8 is Howard Hill Rd, which is just SW of where the last project ended (Rye Hill Rd). Judging from the grading, I would say the dirt work will probably end just before 71. Lots of traffic in the area, so there really isn't a good place to stop for actual photos.

It looks like it won't be too long before there will be some paving to go on top of the dirt.  AHTD is advertising a 5.495 mile paving project in Chaffee Crossing for its October 24 letting (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/notices/040376%20notice.pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/sQIDF.jpg)

The Plans (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/LETTING%20PLANS/040376.pdf) indicate that the paving will begin just north of the Future I-49/ US 71 interchange:

(http://i.imgur.com/r2MXW.jpg)

It looks like they have a good chance of meeting that 2014 opening target.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 25, 2012, 10:33:09 PM
The Rye Hill-Barling stretch of I-49 will be pretty much worthless when it is first opened.  It will be useful for Barling residents going south on 71, but I doubt it gets 2000 cars a day until it is extended.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 25, 2012, 10:42:04 PM
The Rye Hill-Barling stretch of I-49 will be pretty much worthless when it is first opened.  It will be useful for Barling residents going south on 71, but I doubt it gets 2000 cars a day until it is extended.

Or a truck bypass. Should we start kicking around numbers (like Spur 71) ?  ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on September 25, 2012, 10:46:17 PM
Probably a second Highway 549.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 25, 2012, 10:57:22 PM
Probably a second Highway 549.

I'd have to disagree, though another x49 is possible.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on September 26, 2012, 05:59:59 PM
Take a closer look at the schematic posted above. US71B????? I thought it was AR255.

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 26, 2012, 06:29:38 PM
Take a closer look at the schematic posted above. US71B????? I thought it was AR255.

rte66man

Looks like it's co-signed as 71B/255.... an apparent mistake.  I hope AHTD isn't dumb enough to do a re-route on 71B.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on September 26, 2012, 07:26:31 PM
59 would make a lot of sense as a temporary number.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 26, 2012, 11:20:57 PM
49 is the only number that makes sense.  Call it AR 49, I don't care.  Just don't give it a number that is planned to become obsolete in a few years.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 26, 2012, 11:29:39 PM
49 is the only number that makes sense.  Call it AR 49, I don't care.  Just don't give it a number that is planned to become obsolete in a few years.

Like 471? ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 26, 2012, 11:38:23 PM
471 was meant to be permanent.  It was the idiot business owners along the road that caused it to be changed back.  To be honest, 71B is the better number for the road.  But it should revert to 71 and the spur between 71 and 540 in south Fayetteville could become 471.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 27, 2012, 01:00:10 AM
471 was meant to be permanent.  It was the idiot business owners along the road that caused it to be changed back.  To be honest, 71B is the better number for the road.  But it should revert to 71 and the spur between 71 and 540 in south Fayetteville could become 471.

About 20 years ago, I think AHTD still called it 471S, but it's now invisible 71S.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 27, 2012, 01:20:19 AM
71S?  It's mainline US 71.  Once there was a 71S sign on 540 south but it was an error and was replaced.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 27, 2012, 08:46:33 AM
71S?  It's mainline US 71.  Once there was a 71S sign on 540 south but it was an error and was replaced.

I though I saw on a map the section of the old 71 Bypass from 540 to College Ave was 71S (though not posted)?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on September 27, 2012, 01:00:18 PM
Probably a second Highway 549.

Arkansas has a history of this. It'll either be SH 549 or 449.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 27, 2012, 06:47:59 PM
Not trying to veer into a state that I'm not supposed to, I'll make it germain:

- Visited the UnderCliff bar and grill in Tipton Ford, Missouri (just south of Joplin, where you can hear the traffic on the near-future I-49 bridge (http://www.undercliff.net) from the restaurant's front deck as well as watch Kansas City Southern trains on that railroad's original Kansas City to Lake Charles/Beaumont-Port Arthur mainline.  What's interesting is that the restaurant is on old U.S. 71.  WOW.  It's only a paved country road with no shoulders.  What a difference a few decades make.  Other businessmen/bikers were at the UnderCliff, bound for BBB in Fayetteville.

- Hadn't driven on I-44 southwest from Joplin to the Oklahoma line in a while.  WOW #2 (though I've seen the east side development).  The trucking companies and the big truck stops in nice buildings popping up at this future I-44/I-49 junction makes me wonder what's going to happen when I-49 is finally linked between Pineville, MO and NWA (and then on to Fort Smith) and someday (when I'm dead) to Texarkana when Fort Smith genuinely becomes a two-interstate junction city and Shreveport (and possibly Texarkana) becomes a three-junction city.

Back to Arkansas now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on October 26, 2012, 05:43:19 PM
The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 26, 2012, 07:26:10 PM
The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.

I saw that.  Maybe we'll have a Ft Smith bip-pass in a couple years ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 29, 2012, 12:26:30 PM
The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.

On October 28, AHTD awarded the contract to APAC-Tennessee, Inc. (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Oct%20'12%20Award%20List.pdf) Also, this Oct. 25 TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2012/10/25/officials-hope-new-highway-improves-area/) has some footage of Future I-49 construction through Chaffee Crossing and projects that construction should be completed in about two years:

Quote
Plans are in the works to build a major interstate right through the heart of the River Valley. The state Highway Commission chose bids this week for a portion of road that is expected to become part of Interstate 49.
A portion of I-49 will run right through Chaffee Crossing. The state expects construction to begin in a couple of months ....
The new seven mile stretch will run through Chaffee Crossing .... new portion of highway that will connect Highway 71 with Highway 22 near Central City ....
“We are extremely excited,” said Stephanie Malone, Marketing Director for Chaffee Crossing. “It’s gonna relieve some traffic and send some traffic our way, close to 43,000 trips a day.” ....
Construction should take about two years.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on October 29, 2012, 12:43:47 PM
43,000 cars a day before it connects to I-540/Future 49 north at Alma?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 29, 2012, 12:53:09 PM
The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.

On October 28, AHTD awarded the contract to APAC-Tennessee, Inc. (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Oct%20'12%20Award%20List.pdf) Also, this Oct. 25 TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2012/10/25/officials-hope-new-highway-improves-area/) has some footage of Future I-49 construction through Chaffee Crossing and projects that construction should be completed in about two years:

Quote
Plans are in the works to build a major interstate right through the heart of the River Valley. The state Highway Commission chose bids this week for a portion of road that is expected to become part of Interstate 49.
A portion of I-49 will run right through Chaffee Crossing. The state expects construction to begin in a couple of months ....
The new seven mile stretch will run through Chaffee Crossing .... new portion of highway that will connect Highway 71 with Highway 22 near Central City ....
“We are extremely excited,” said Stephanie Malone, Marketing Director for Chaffee Crossing. “It’s gonna relieve some traffic and send some traffic our way, close to 43,000 trips a day.” ....
Construction should take about two years.

All the grading and structures are complete from AR 22 at Barling to just past Rye Hill. Rye Hill to US 71, crossing Howard Hill Rd, just started a couple months ago and is projected to finish around 2014. I wonder if AHTD & APAC will wait until that's done before starting paving.

KFSM makes it sound like construction has just begun even though it's been on-going for 3+ years. Also, 49 won't run to Canada, only to Kansas City.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on November 12, 2012, 07:12:22 PM
Move Arkansas Forward has a Proposed Constitutional Fact Sheet #1 (http://www.movearkansasforward.com/pdf/TurnbackBooklet.pdf) that lists by region the four-lane highway projects that would be supported by the half-cent sales tax to be voted on in November (pages 6-7/88 of pdf; pages 4-5 of document):
Quote
Four-Lane Projects of Regional Significance
Northwest Arkansas
• Completion of the initial two lanes of the ultimate four lanes of the Bella Vista bypass
This article (http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=725282) reports that Issue No.1 was approved by the voters
(quote from Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6952.msg183504#msg183504) thread)

This Nov. 12 Joplin Globe article (http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x2082769768/Bella-Vista-bypass-going-forward-following-passage-of-half-cent-sales-tax-in-Arkansas) has three Nov. 7 photos of construction on the Bella Vista Bypass and reports that the BVB will be one of the early projects funded by the recently approved sales tax increase:

Quote
... the outcome of a vote last week in Arkansas, when residents imposed a half-cent sales tax to raise money for transportation projects around the state.
Among those projects that will be funded with the new tax revenue are the first two lanes of the Bella Vista bypass. Missouri officials have committed to matching what Arkansas does, meaning the long-awaited project is on the road to becoming a reality.
“The good news is that the Bella Vista bypass will be one of the earliest projects in this program,” Randy Ort, spokesperson for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on November 14, 2012, 03:37:31 PM
(http://kurtjwayne.com/images/pineville49.jpg)

The current southernmost Missouri (as of 12/12/12) exit to I-49 at Pineville, waiting for the bag to come off...the blue signs are all up the current U.S. 71 now from this point at the turnoffs.  Pineville is the last zip code in Missouri prior to crossing the Arkansas line at Bella Vista.  1/2 mile south of this is the four-lane extended signage structure, northbound lane rock cut and (currently blocked-off) southbound exit ramp to the future BV bypass, all of which were in place around 2005/2006 and ready to be built had the Arkansas legislature been ready to fund their side then.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 14, 2012, 04:29:24 PM
is it just me or does that shield lack the state name?  Missouri is usually quite fastidious about this.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: yakra on November 15, 2012, 09:27:44 PM
It's not just you. Scott noticed the same in the I-49 Coming to MO thread.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on November 19, 2012, 05:21:41 PM
Last night driving south through Anderson past McDonald County High School, the blue covering had been removed off one of the signs and it said "Interstate" in the red area.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 20, 2012, 07:41:33 PM
Last night driving south through Anderson past McDonald County High School, the blue covering had been removed off one of the signs and it said "Interstate" in the red area.

They ALL do. The state name is usually in the blue area above the number (Interstate State XX).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on November 20, 2012, 08:30:19 PM
Last night driving south through Anderson past McDonald County High School, the blue covering had been removed off one of the signs and it said "Interstate" in the red area.

They ALL do. The state name is usually in the blue area above the number (Interstate State XX).

Heh, sorry.  You can tell who doesn't watch the signs as much.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: intelati49 on November 28, 2012, 04:05:39 PM
is it just me or does that shield lack the state name?  Missouri is usually quite fastidious about this.

This is correct. :pan:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 28, 2012, 04:09:27 PM
is it just me or does that shield lack the state name?  Missouri is usually quite fastidious about this.

Usually they are, yes.

I am hoping to attend the ceremony (got my new shirt ready), so maybe I can investigate further.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 28, 2012, 04:42:31 PM
Maybe Missouri has done away with state named shields.  The signs on the new part of I-44 in Tulsa has neutered signs, so it wouldn't be the only state doing it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Alps on November 28, 2012, 09:11:22 PM
In NJ, state names have been left to individual projects/design consultants and contractors. More often than not, they're included, but there's no pattern to it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 03, 2012, 05:34:28 PM
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)

I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49:

Quote
The short answer is that we can’t apply for I-49 designation unless we can get some kind of exceptions.  Here are the reasons.
1.       AASHTO’s US Route Numbering Policies state that there will be no Interstate Route bearing the same number designation as a US Numbered Route in any State (see Attachment, Item 3 on Page 8 of 11 and a similar discussion  on Page 4, Item 4).
2.       US Highway 49 exists in Arkansas and Mississippi.  It begins in Piggott, Arkansas and travels through the State to Helena/West Helena and then crosses the Mississippi River to Gulfport, MS.
3.       Both Missouri and Louisiana have portions of I-49.  Missouri’s portion travels between Kansas City and the Arkansas State Line.  The portion in Louisiana is not yet complete to the Arkansas State Line.
4.       For Arkansas to be able to rename I-540 to I-49 (and Arkansas Highway 549 to I‑49), US 49 will have to be either renumbered or changed from a US Highway to a State Highway. 
5.       AASHTO designation guidelines allow for a US Highway contained within a single State, but the highway must be at least 300 miles long (see Attachment, Page 5 of 11).  US 49 is only 235.6 miles long in Mississippi meaning that it could not be a stand-alone segment of US Highway based on the guidelines.
.. we continue to work on a resolution for this.

Very interesting that US 49 in Mississippi is a large part of the problem.

edit

As previously posted in the Improving I-540 at Fort Smith thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg196166#msg196166), AHTD apparently intends to dually designate I-49 with I-540 instead of redesignating I-540 as I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on December 03, 2012, 05:46:17 PM
^ I-41 and I-74 in NC are precedents against that reasoning...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 03, 2012, 05:53:56 PM
Actually I-24/US 24 in Illinois is a better example. Tell them that Illinois has no problems with it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 03, 2012, 06:05:24 PM
Actually I-24/US 24 in Illinois is a better example. Tell them that Illinois has no problems with it.
Missouri renumbered MO 57 as 171 after I-57 was built, yet now they have TWO 64's (MO 64 and I-64) and TWO 72's (MO 72 and I-72).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Alex on December 03, 2012, 06:06:12 PM

I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49:

Quote
The short answer is that we can’t apply for I-49 designation unless we can get some kind of exceptions.  Here are the reasons.
1.       AASHTO’s US Route Numbering Policies state that there will be no Interstate Route bearing the same number designation as a US Numbered Route in any State (see Attachment, Item 3 on Page 8 of 11 and a similar discussion  on Page 4, Item 4).
2.       US Highway 49 exists in Arkansas and Mississippi.  It begins in Piggott, Arkansas and travels through the State to Helena/West Helena and then crosses the Mississippi River to Gulfport, MS.
3.       Both Missouri and Louisiana have portions of I-49.  Missouri’s portion travels between Kansas City and the Arkansas State Line.  The portion in Louisiana is not yet complete to the Arkansas State Line.
4.       For Arkansas to be able to rename I-540 to I-49 (and Arkansas Highway 549 to I‑49), US 49 will have to be either renumbered or changed from a US Highway to a State Highway. 
5.       AASHTO designation guidelines allow for a US Highway contained within a single State, but the highway must be at least 300 miles long (see Attachment, Page 5 of 11).  US 49 is only 235.6 miles long in Mississippi meaning that it could not be a stand-alone segment of US Highway based on the guidelines.
.. we continue to work on a resolution for this.

Very interesting that US 49 in Mississippi is a large part of the problem.

Thank you Grzrd for looking into this!

The people at AASHTO really need to have better communications across their committee. Seriously, this is the rational given to prevent I-49 in AR? The precedent of Interstate/U.S. number duplication within a state has been broken on a number of occasions now. Why should it matter in this instance, especially when the two routes in question are across the state from one another and never come close to meeting. Do the people that approve things for NC or WI never talk to the people in charge of the Arkansas applications? Even next door in Texas you have IH 69 and US 69 signed in the same state, and they will eventually also intersect...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: triplemultiplex on December 04, 2012, 10:40:32 AM
I can't imagine that AASHTO wouldn't grant an exception for this supposed 'conflict' given all the precedent, both old and new.  But the idea that they bring it up all is still pretty stupid.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on December 04, 2012, 11:45:09 PM
Some good pics........

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x2082769768/Bella-Vista-bypass-going-forward-following-passage-of-half-cent-sales-tax-in-Arkansas
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 05, 2012, 12:04:56 AM
Some good pics........

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x2082769768/Bella-Vista-bypass-going-forward-following-passage-of-half-cent-sales-tax-in-Arkansas
If you can get the pictures to open correctly :(
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 11, 2012, 07:50:13 PM
This article (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/US-71-in-Mo-south-of-Kansas-City-turned-into-I-49-4108657.php) sets forth some sobering numbers for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas - $2.8 billion to complete I-49, with only $4 billion currently available for overall needs in Arkansas over the next ten years:

Quote
I-49 is mainly new construction in Arkansas, with the cost to complete a stretch between Interstates 30 and 40 through the Ouachita mountains estimated at $2 billion, said Randy Ort, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Even with the state's new highway sales tax, he said Arkansas doesn't have much to put toward the I-49 projects because of other transportation needs.
"There's about $2.8 billion needed to complete I-49 in Arkansas," Ort said. "Basically we've identified $23 billion in needs over the next 10 years, but only $4 billion to address those needs. So money is a big issue."
Ort said Arkansas has the nation's 12th-largest highway system but ranks 43rd in revenue to pay for it.
"It's a priority and we want to get it done," Ort said. "We understand there are advantages, not just for Arkansas but for the whole region."

It's going to be a looooooong wait ...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 12, 2012, 10:01:10 AM

Congratulations on the name change!  ;-)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on December 12, 2012, 11:50:32 PM
This article (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/US-71-in-Mo-south-of-Kansas-City-turned-into-I-49-4108657.php) sets forth some sobering numbers for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas - $2.8 billion to complete I-49, with only $4 billion currently available for overall needs in Arkansas over the next ten years

This TV video report (http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-interstate-49-i49-missouri-joplin-unveiling-ceremony-economic-opportunity-20121212,0,5111997.story) is primarily about the I-49 unveiling in Missouri, but it includes Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez making the following comment:

Quote
Many say I-49 will connect Missouri to the rest of the country and the world.
"If you look at the stretch of I-49 from Louisiana up to Canada, it's an amazing opportunity here that, as a nation, we cannot miss," said Mendez.

If Mendez truly means what he says, and federal funding could be at play, then MAP-21 (http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/LegislativeText/CRPT-112hrpt-HR4348.pdf) might provide a 95% federal funding opportunity for significant sections of I-49 in Arkansas (page 70/599 of pdf; page 70 of document):

Quote
SEC. 1116. PRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS TO IMPROVE FREIGHT MOVEMENT.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 120 of title 23, United States Code, the Secretary may increase the Federal share payable for any project to 95 percent for projects on the Interstate System and 90 percent for any other project if the Secretary certifies that the project meets the requirements of this section.
(b) INCREASED FUNDING.—To be eligible for the increased Federal funding share under this section, a project shall—
(1) demonstrate the improvement made by the project to the efficient movement of freight, including making progress towards meeting performance targets for freight movement established under section 150(d) of title 23, United States Code; and (2) be identified in a State freight plan developed pursuant to section 1118.
(c) ELIGIBLE PROJECTS.—Eligible projects to improve the movement of freight under this section may include, but are not limited to—
(1) construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and operational improvements directly relating to improving freight
movement
...

IF AHTD were to be aggressive in pursuing this funding, then they might have a receptive ear in Mendez to navigate the technical requirements of eligibility for the funding.  Even a 90% share as "any other project" would be significant.

I admittedly have not read all of the technical requirements for the funding, so maybe I am simply engaging in wishful thinking ... At the very least, AHTD should investigate the possibility.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on January 22, 2013, 10:55:48 AM
Just random, but I drove to Gravette today from Bella Vista through what used to be "Hiwasse".  The infrastructure for the future bridge between Hiwasse and Gravette (about 1-2 miles west of downtown Hiwasse) is being set, and construction is proceeding north from there toward the state line...cuts are being put in place for the south exit ramps also there.  Forgive me but, did that article say when Missouri is actually going to start digging on their side?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 22, 2013, 12:12:14 PM
did that article say when Missouri is actually going to start digging on their side?

Information contained in this post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg183602#msg183602) indicates that MoDOT has the BVB in its STIP, but that Missouri wants Arkansas to have a firm timetable for construction to the state line before they begin.  Arkansas will not begin collecting the sales tax until July 1, 2013; however, this post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg184388#msg184388) includes a quote from an AHTD spokesperson that the BVB will be one of the early projects in the sales tax program.

I'll throw out an optimistic guess that Missouri will start turning dirt on the BVB in Spring 2015; that's just my guess.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Anthony_JK on January 22, 2013, 12:50:27 PM
I assume that that is contingent upon AR commiting to a full 4-lane BVB, and not just a temporary Super-2 as is presently proposed??
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 22, 2013, 01:01:07 PM
Information contained in this post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg183602#msg183602)
I assume that that is contingent upon AR commiting to a full 4-lane BVB, and not just a temporary Super-2 as is presently proposed??

I asked that question in my phone conversation and he said that the commitment to two lanes will be sufficient:

I spoke with a MoDOT individual today and he confirmed that the above 2015 project in the Draft STIP is for the Bella Vista Bypass. However, it is contingent on whether Arkansas will have construction under way to the state line by that time. As he put it, there is no need to build it to a dead-end and have it sit for a long time. MoDOT already has the money set aside and will build the entire four lanes even if Arkansas has to stay at two lanes for a while.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on January 22, 2013, 07:55:50 PM
Thanks, gang.

I can assure you, that stretch north of the highway I saw they're building will go to NOWHERE if it doesn't go to the state line...it may head straight to the Bella Vista western city limits.  Don't know.  BTW, I'll be curious if they build an exit for BV at that point, for either Glasgow and/or Highlands (I forget the east/west street there which loops northward and turns into Glasgow heading back east.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 23, 2013, 10:29:44 AM
Thanks, gang.

I can assure you, that stretch north of the highway I saw they're building will go to NOWHERE if it doesn't go to the state line...it may head straight to the Bella Vista western city limits.  Don't know.  BTW, I'll be curious if they build an exit for BV at that point, for either Glasgow and/or Highlands (I forget the east/west street there which loops northward and turns into Glasgow heading back east.)

Based on what I have read, the next segment to be built after the "Hiwasse Bypass" is supposed to be to the MO state Line.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 26, 2013, 07:32:35 AM
This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2013/01/24/i-49-corridor-to-be-finished-in-2014/) has footage of construction in the Chaffee Crossing area:

Quote
Crews expect all work along 71 to be wrapped up by the end of 2014 or early in 2015 ....
“We have three projects that are complete on the northern portion,” Joe Shipman, District Engineer for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said. “We have one project that will be complete basically in the next few weeks. We have a project at the interchange at Highway 71 in the Jenny Lind community that is well underway. It’s expected to wrap up by the end of the year.”
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 26, 2013, 08:31:47 AM
This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2013/01/24/i-49-corridor-to-be-finished-in-2014/) has footage of construction in the Chaffee Crossing area:

Quote
Crews expect all work along 71 to be wrapped up by the end of 2014 or early in 2015 ....
“We have three projects that are complete on the northern portion,” Joe Shipman, District Engineer for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said. “We have one project that will be complete basically in the next few weeks. We have a project at the interchange at Highway 71 in the Jenny Lind community that is well underway. It’s expected to wrap up by the end of the year.”

In the vicinity of Howard Hill Rd, they appear to be working quickly, but done by the end of the year, I have my doubts though I suppose it's possible. 

I spoke with Mr Shipman a few days ago about what designation the Ft Smith-Barling segment might have (the media keeps calling it Highway 71), but he said no decision has been made at this time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: cjk374 on January 26, 2013, 01:50:33 PM
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)

I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49:

Quote
The short answer is that we can’t apply for I-49 designation unless we can get some kind of exceptions.  Here are the reasons.
1.       AASHTO’s US Route Numbering Policies state that there will be no Interstate Route bearing the same number designation as a US Numbered Route in any State (see Attachment, Item 3 on Page 8 of 11 and a similar discussion  on Page 4, Item 4).
2.       US Highway 49 exists in Arkansas and Mississippi.  It begins in Piggott, Arkansas and travels through the State to Helena/West Helena and then crosses the Mississippi River to Gulfport, MS.
3.       Both Missouri and Louisiana have portions of I-49.  Missouri’s portion travels between Kansas City and the Arkansas State Line.  The portion in Louisiana is not yet complete to the Arkansas State Line.
4.       For Arkansas to be able to rename I-540 to I-49 (and Arkansas Highway 549 to I‑49), US 49 will have to be either renumbered or changed from a US Highway to a State Highway. 
5.       AASHTO designation guidelines allow for a US Highway contained within a single State, but the highway must be at least 300 miles long (see Attachment, Page 5 of 11).  US 49 is only 235.6 miles long in Mississippi meaning that it could not be a stand-alone segment of US Highway based on the guidelines.
.. we continue to work on a resolution for this.

Very interesting that US 49 in Mississippi is a large part of the problem.

edit

As previously posted in the Improving I-540 at Fort Smith thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg196166#msg196166), AHTD apparently intends to dually designate I-49 with I-540 instead of redesignating I-540 as I-49.
^ I-41 and I-74 in NC are precedents against that reasoning...
Actually I-24/US 24 in Illinois is a better example. Tell them that Illinois has no problems with it.
Missouri renumbered MO 57 as 171 after I-57 was built, yet now they have TWO 64's (MO 64 and I-64) and TWO 72's (MO 72 and I-72).
The colors aren't great on this one, but this was one shot I had...

(http://www.formulanone.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Int10LA-US61-US61signs.jpg)
Apparently it didn't matter to Louisiana either.  They also have LA 59 VERY close to I-59, which should have been a no-no according to AASHTO.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 07, 2013, 09:55:39 PM
Through acquisitions the KCS got the Louisiana and Arkansas and a railroad which runs pretty much parallel to I-49 (current, plus I-10 and future) all the way to New Orleans, and now with their still developing Mexico line they're running parallel to a future Kansas City/Mexico corridor via I-49 and I-69 .... Shows me just how critical this emerging dual I-69 and I-49 corridor is as well.
(above quote from I-69 in TX (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3624.msg167179#msg167179) thread)
This TV video report (http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-interstate-49-i49-missouri-joplin-unveiling-ceremony-economic-opportunity-20121212,0,5111997.story) is primarily about the I-49 unveiling in Missouri, but it includes Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez making the following comment:
Quote
Many say I-49 will connect Missouri to the rest of the country and the world.
"If you look at the stretch of I-49 from Louisiana up to Canada, it's an amazing opportunity here that, as a nation, we cannot miss," said Mendez.
At approximately the 1:00 mark of this TV video report (http://www.ktbs.com/news/Officials-Meet-in-Austin-for-I-69-Update/-/144844/18435332/-/1142dc0z/-/index.html), the following map caught my eye:
(http://i.imgur.com/JHFlRzp.jpg)
(bottom quote from I-69 in LA (and LA 3132/Shreveport Inner Loop Extension) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4510.msg202233#msg202233) thread)

The above map provides a great visual of how the Alma-to-Texarkana I-49 corridor in western Arkansas is crucial to connecting I-49 in Missouri and NWA (I-540), I-29, I-35, the I-369/I-69 corridor through Texas, and I-49 through southwest Arkansas and Louisiana.  I wonder if Arkansas officals will be able to persuasively make the case for I-49 funding?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on March 20, 2013, 12:11:50 AM
Yesterday there was a long front page article about highway and road projects underway in Northwest Arkansas.  They mentioned the BV bypass and that there will be no stopping it now (they expect to possibly "let" bids for all the remaining sections to the Missouri State line soon).  Wish I could link it but it's behind a paywall.

They were also talking about other areas in NWA that have road construction, a lot of them.  It will be interesting when the Springdale bypass is complete and, from that, the new road to the XNA airport.  I doubt there are that many airports in the U.S. that serve metro areas of near 500,000 people that only have two-lane roads serving them.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on March 20, 2013, 07:46:01 AM

I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49:

Quote
The short answer is that we can’t apply for I-49 designation unless we can get some kind of exceptions.  Here are the reasons.
1.       AASHTO’s US Route Numbering Policies state that there will be no Interstate Route bearing the same number designation as a US Numbered Route in any State (see Attachment, Item 3 on Page 8 of 11 and a similar discussion  on Page 4, Item 4).
2.       US Highway 49 exists in Arkansas and Mississippi.  It begins in Piggott, Arkansas and travels through the State to Helena/West Helena and then crosses the Mississippi River to Gulfport, MS.
3.       Both Missouri and Louisiana have portions of I-49.  Missouri’s portion travels between Kansas City and the Arkansas State Line.  The portion in Louisiana is not yet complete to the Arkansas State Line.
4.       For Arkansas to be able to rename I-540 to I-49 (and Arkansas Highway 549 to I‑49), US 49 will have to be either renumbered or changed from a US Highway to a State Highway. 
5.       AASHTO designation guidelines allow for a US Highway contained within a single State, but the highway must be at least 300 miles long (see Attachment, Page 5 of 11).  US 49 is only 235.6 miles long in Mississippi meaning that it could not be a stand-alone segment of US Highway based on the guidelines.
.. we continue to work on a resolution for this.

Very interesting that US 49 in Mississippi is a large part of the problem.

Thank you Grzrd for looking into this!

The people at AASHTO really need to have better communications across their committee. Seriously, this is the rational given to prevent I-49 in AR? The precedent of Interstate/U.S. number duplication within a state has been broken on a number of occasions now. Why should it matter in this instance, especially when the two routes in question are across the state from one another and never come close to meeting. Do the people that approve things for NC or WI never talk to the people in charge of the Arkansas applications? Even next door in Texas you have IH 69 and US 69 signed in the same state, and they will eventually also intersect...

I just thought of a reason why this has come up, and it isn't an AASHTO problem, but an Arkansas problem. I think internally Arkansas only refers to the route number and makes no distinction between whether it is a Interstate, US, or State Route. With that said, I don't see why they can't just put up I-49 signs but still refer to it internally as 549 until they can come up with a different system internally for referring to state routes.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think there are any state and US routes in Arkansas that have the same number.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on March 20, 2013, 07:56:53 AM
I just thought of a reason why this has come up, and it isn't an AASHTO problem, but an Arkansas problem. I think internally Arkansas only refers to the route number and makes no distinction between whether it is a Interstate, US, or State Route. With that said, I don't see why they can't just put up I-49 signs but still refer to it internally as 549 until they can come up with a different system internally for referring to state routes.
Oh please. If http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635 can have a single number (159), so can US 49 and I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: J N Winkler on March 20, 2013, 01:04:29 PM
In regard to Arkansas I-49, in this month's advertisements (for the April 17 letting) AHTD has a contract (030313) for bridges and surfacing on what it calls US 71 Section 1--Louisiana state line north to Doddridge.  This is a full freeway and is the continuation of I-49 North into Arkansas.  It is, however, fairly short, and neither the plans nor the bid items include any signing.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 20, 2013, 06:16:08 PM
In regard to Arkansas I-49, in this month's advertisements (for the April 17 letting) AHTD has a contract (030313) for bridges and surfacing on what it calls US 71 Section 1--Louisiana state line north to Doddridge.  This is a full freeway and is the continuation of I-49 North into Arkansas.  It is, however, fairly short, and neither the plans nor the bid items include any signing.

I was through there yesterday: bridge girders are finally up at Doddridge, though approach work is still under construction. Signage is going up in the Texarkana area. Along I-30, signs appear complete. Along AR 549/Future I-49, there is still work to be done. AR 245 will be Exit 35, I-30 appears to be Exit 37A-B.

As far as the numbering: Arkansas already has US 59 and AR 59, so I don't see why US 49 and I-49 would be a problem.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: J N Winkler on March 20, 2013, 06:43:05 PM
As far as the numbering: Arkansas already has US 59 and AR 59, so I don't see why US 49 and I-49 would be a problem.

If I understand the email Grzrd quotes correctly, the obstacle is AASHTO, which gets involved in both legs of a US and Interstate number duplication rather than just one leg as in the case of a state and US number duplication.  But the email implies that Arkansas has not yet applied, so the real problem could be that the AHTD personnel responsible for overseeing a route numbering application are reading just the AASHTO policy without being aware of exceptions that have been made elsewhere, including in a neighboring state.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on March 20, 2013, 09:33:31 PM
I was through there yesterday: bridge girders are finally up at Doddridge, though approach work is still under construction. Signage is going up in the Texarkana area. Along I-30, signs appear complete. Along AR 549/Future I-49, there is still work to be done. AR 245 will be Exit 35, I-30 appears to be Exit 37A-B.

Have any signs been replaced along the AR 245 freeway yet changing it to AR 549 or AR 151?

As far as the numbering: Arkansas already has US 59 and AR 59, so I don't see why US 49 and I-49 would be a problem.

True, but they may get around that because US 59 is multiplexed with another US route (US 71 or US 270) through all of its length in Arkansas, so internally the route is probably referred to as 71 or 270 and not 59. I still don't see why they can't just apply for it anyway.

One interesting thing is that future I-69 corridor signs have been posted in Arkansas even though there is an AR 69, but there are no Future I-49 signs anywhere that I know of in Arkansas, even though it is MUCH closer to being signed than I-69 is.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 20, 2013, 11:34:27 PM
I was through there yesterday: bridge girders are finally up at Doddridge, though approach work is still under construction. Signage is going up in the Texarkana area. Along I-30, signs appear complete. Along AR 549/Future I-49, there is still work to be done. AR 245 will be Exit 35, I-30 appears to be Exit 37A-B.

Have any signs been replaced along the AR 245 freeway yet changing it to AR 549 or AR 151?

I've seen nothing for AR 151, but there is one AR 549 (and a Detour 245) at the Arkansas Ave Exit (where 245 gets rerouted).

Independent markers up at 549 and 71 north of Texarkana, but they are covered. Overhead signage is still being worked on along the new section.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on March 26, 2013, 09:28:35 PM
Just got back from a trip from OKC to Indianapolis.  Had some extra time, so I took the scenic route from Tulsa to Springfield via Hiwassee.  The piers and end walls are in at the western junction of AR72 and I49.  The beams are sitting to the side awaiting placement.  It looked as if the ramps and roadbed was cleared north of the overpass, but there was too much mud for me to investigate further.

The overpass at AR279 is nearly complete (just lacked the guardrails).  There is a parallel road just to the south of 49 that runs over to the eastern junction with AR72.  It gave me an opportunity to get a good look at the roadbed.  It's ready for paving.

The AR72 overpass south of Hiwassee is complete.  It was made for 4 lanes, but only two were paved on either side (the approaches of course).
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8593255467)

I have some pics that I will try to post later this week.

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on March 26, 2013, 09:43:57 PM

The AR72 overpass south of Hiwassee is complete.  It was made for 4 lanes, but only two were paved on either side.


If memory serves correct, AHTD acquired Right of Way for 4 Lanes, but only has the money to build 2 at this time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on March 26, 2013, 10:06:59 PM
Two on either side makes 4 total, doesn't it?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: kphoger on March 26, 2013, 10:20:21 PM
Two on either side makes 4 total, doesn't it?

That's what I was thinking!  :biggrin:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on March 26, 2013, 10:28:41 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/

Go to the "March 2013 Road Trip" set.

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 27, 2013, 01:09:11 PM
If I understand the email Grzrd quotes correctly, the obstacle is AASHTO, which gets involved in both legs of a US and Interstate number duplication rather than just one leg as in the case of a state and US number duplication.  But the email implies that Arkansas has not yet applied, so the real problem could be that the AHTD personnel responsible for overseeing a route numbering application are reading just the AASHTO policy without being aware of exceptions that have been made elsewhere, including in a neighboring state.

I really believe that the problem does lie with AHTD personnel.  In past emails, I have provided several examples to AHTD of I-XX and US XX in the same state.  In my most recent email, I asked if the problem had been resolved and if AHTD was submitting I-49 application(s) in time for the AASHTO Spring meeting.  AHTD's response:

Quote
We are unaware of any resolution to the issue related to the I-49 signage.

 :banghead:



The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.
On October 28, AHTD awarded the contract to APAC-Tennessee, Inc. (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/letting/Oct%20'12%20Award%20List.pdf) Also, this Oct. 25 TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2012/10/25/officials-hope-new-highway-improves-area/) has some footage of Future I-49 construction through Chaffee Crossing and projects that construction should be completed in about two years

This March 21 article (http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/river-valley/Paving-begins-on-Chaffee-Crossing-stretch-of-I-49/-/14498626/19407564/-/format/rsss_2.0/-/9p6ulp/-/index.html) reports that the paving project has begun and includes a photo of a crew pouring concrete.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on March 28, 2013, 08:15:43 AM
^ Try asking them about how they refer to everything as simply "Highway" in their bid lettings, for example, and if that has anything to do with why I-49 can't be signed.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: kphoger on March 28, 2013, 10:00:01 AM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/

Go to the "March 2013 Road Trip" set.

rte66man

Or just go to the direct link (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/sets/72157633097063219/).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 28, 2013, 10:56:23 AM
Here's a link to a pdf of the 2007 AASHTO's disapprovals of Missouri's I-49 application and the Arkansas I-49 North application:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/AM2007_USRN_ReporttoSCOH.pdf
Try asking them about how they refer to everything as simply "Highway" in their bid lettings, for example, and if that has anything to do with why I-49 can't be signed.

The use of "Highway" did not prevent AHTD from applying in 2007, and the presence of US 49 did not appear to be a factor in AASHTO's disapproval of the application.  That said, I have sent an email to AASHTO with an I-49 "hypothetical", and asked if they have granted waivers in the past.  Depending on AASHTO's response, I may ask AHTD about their internal policies.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 14, 2013, 10:23:53 PM
This April 9 article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/27235) reports that, although there is still no official timeline, Bella Vista Bypass construction is ready to begin once the money starts coming in from the tax:

Quote
The half-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in November 2012 starts being collected July 1 and will last for 10 years. The projects that will be funded with the largest portion of that money have already been decided, planned and are ready to move forward when the money starts to roll in.
“Revenue will start to pour in around August because there is about a two-month delay between the time Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration collects the money and allocates the money,” said Danny Straessle, assistant public information office for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). ....
Anyone who travels to Bella Vista knows that traffic on U.S. 71 can be snarly at best. This project’s purpose is to make traffic safer and more efficient by moving traffic from the Missouri state line to I-540 south of Bella Vista.
Although no official timeline has been established, this project is essentially ready to go, Straessle said. The design work is already complete.
“Initially we are only constructing the two northbound lanes of what will ultimately become a four-lane, access-controlled (Interstate-type) facility,”
he said. “No funding has been identified for the southbound lanes. When the northbound lanes are open, we will run traffic in both directions- similar to a two-lane highway.”



I had a chance today to check out the "Hiwasse Bypass" (tm)

You may have a case of trademark infringement.  The above-linked article, reporting on current BVB construction projects, discusses "a bypass around Hiwasse":

Quote
There are also two related construction projects underway in conjunction with this project that are funded with STIP money. Those projects include a bypass around Hiwasse and construction will complete interchanges with Highway 72 as well as the two northbound lanes between the north and south interchanges.
Another project picks up where the other ends and extends the bypass to Benton County Road 34.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 25, 2013, 01:24:42 PM
MAP-21 (http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/LegislativeText/CRPT-112hrpt-HR4348.pdf) might provide a 95% federal funding opportunity for significant sections of I-49 in Arkansas (page 70/599 of pdf; page 70 of document):
Quote
SEC. 1116. PRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS TO IMPROVE FREIGHT MOVEMENT.
At the very least, AHTD should investigate the possibility.

Atkins North America recently completed its I-69 Innovative Financing Study Final Findings (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/statewide_planning/Studies/AHTD%20I-69%20Innovative%20Financing%20Study_Final%20Findings%20Report_02192013.pdf) and the Executive Summary (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/statewide_planning/Studies/AHTD%20I-69%20Innovative%20Financing%20Study_Executive%20Summary_01092013.pdf), and the Final Findings provide a discussion of Section 1116 that is also relevant to I-49 and the Arkansas River bridge (page 18/122 of pdf; page 13 of document):

Quote
Section 1116 of MAP‐21 includes provisions for development of a freight plan .... the Secretary may increase the Federal share payable for any project to 95 percent for projects on the Interstate System and 90 percent for any other project if the Secretary certifies that the project meets the requirements of this section .... The potential for increased Federal participation could be beneficial for all I‐69 segments, but particularly bridge segments that are high cost and for which funding for the entire segment must be available before any construction can be initiated ... the states should coordinate with FHWA to ensure that I‐69 is included in the Freight Plan to better position themselves for a reduced State match under MAP‐21 and future funding programs.

Including the I-49 Arkansas River bridge in an Arkansas freight plan appears to be a no-brainer ...



Quote
Projects of National and Regional Significance [1120]
MAP-21 authorizes $500 million from the General Fund (subject to appropriation) in FY 2013 only
(above quote from I-69 Ohio River Bridge (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3245.msg198385#msg198385) thread)
This Jan. 23 Texarkana Gazette article (behind paywall) (http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/2013/01/23/miller-county-quorum-court-approves-meas-573189.php) reports that the Miller County Quorum Court will ask for support from the National Association of Counties and the Arkansas congressional delegation to support I-49 funding for rural Arkansas .... Since the Doddridge-to-Louisiana state line paving project is already funded and slated to be let in 2013 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg155771#msg155771), and will complete the final Miller County I-49 segment, I wonder if this an initial step of a multi-state (and possibly national) coordinated effort to get I-49 throughout rural Arkansas designated as a Project of National and Regional Significance and become eligible for related funding in future years?
(above quote from Texarkana (Future I-49, I-69 Spur)  (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg199304#msg199304) thread)

The Final Findings also provide a discussion of Projects of National and Regional Significance ("PNRS")and how individual state DOTs should coordinate with FHWA (pp. 17-18/122 of pdf; pp. 12-13 of document):

Quote
Section 1120 of MAP‐21 states the following:
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the MAP‐21, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate regarding projects of national and regional significance.”
The report must include a comprehensive list of each project of national and regional significance that has been compiled through a survey of State DOTs .... to improve the opportunity for Federal funding of I‐69 segments under both the current and future versions of this program, each state represented in this study should contact FHWA to ensure that they are involved in the process and provide the documentation necessary to support FHWA’s determination that I‐69 warrants a position on the list based on the requirements identified above.

Several months ago I asked AHTD if they had applied for FY 2013 PNRS funding, and I was informed that MAP-21 had killed the PNRS program ...  :banghead:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on April 25, 2013, 04:48:51 PM
Couple of mini-updates on this at Hiwasse:

1.  They've built one of those "cement mills" (or whatever you call those structures meant to generate a lot of concrete at a specific location) at the new bridge at Hwy 72(? - the highway between Bentonville and Gravette).

2.  Absolutely NOTHING being done east of that bridge (the segment between 72 and where I-540 ends at the Bentonville/Bella Vista line) yet that I can tell.  It will be fascinating to see how they pull that off given there's more development in that area though not heavily so.

3.  Funny thing...there are three bridges under construction in Hiwasse..that one, just south of the main part of town, and the western crossing of Hwy 72.  Right before that west bridge was a subdivision that was started around the "boom" years of the mid-2000s but abandoned after just one house was built.  Now small houses appear to be being not built, but MOVED there.  Not sure why (cheap land?) but there are two moved houses on blocks plus a third which looks like it may have been moved.  Not something one sees every day around here, especially not near an interstate under construction.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on April 30, 2013, 08:11:49 PM
Missouri has funding for the BVB in the out years. Have a feeling with Arkansas kicking into gear this summer on BVB that Missouri will slide construction up.

http://contribute.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/construction_program/STIP2013-2017/districtconstruct/documents/1_Projects_014.pdf
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on April 30, 2013, 10:19:23 PM
Back in Jan. 31 the Highway commissioners voted to accept  the staff's members to enter into negotiations with Garver LLC in North Little Rock to serve as the program manager for the 1/2 cent sales tax program. Also to use Stephen's Inc. in Little Rock to serve as the Financial advisor and bond Company for this project. Today I noticed that the Jobs # for the !/2 cent sale tax have changed to have CA in front of the Jobs. For instance now for the Bella Vista Bypass they are now CA 0903,CAo904,CA0905 to complete the 2 lanes of the project. The other 2 lanes still the standard AHTD job #'s. I saw an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazzette what CA would stand for but can't remember. Looks like there will be a new Tab on the web site for the jobs that are going to be done.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on May 05, 2013, 10:29:28 PM
I see where M0DOT has moved up there STIP for the Bella Vista Bypass to Start in the Fall of 2014. Job # 7PO601 has construction money to start there part. So Arkansas has made them feel they will work on the 2 lanes early in the 1/2 cent sales tax construction.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 06, 2013, 10:56:40 AM
I'll be passing through Pineville, MO next weekend, so I'll look to see if MoDOT is doing anything on 49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on May 14, 2013, 12:01:30 AM
As if we didn't have enough reasons for the I-49 Bella Vista bypass to be built, Crowder College of Neosho is building a significant second campus in Jane, MO, right off U.S. 71 (posts near bottom of the page). (http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/24917-mcdonald-county-tidbit/page-5)  Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville creates enough traffic...if the new Crowder campus even has 1/4 of the traffic this will further add to bottlenecks at the stop light intersection of Larry Neff Road and U.S. 71.

(Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...and the clock keeps going on the BVB construction.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on May 22, 2013, 09:35:50 AM
Paving has started on both the east and west Hiwasse exits of future I-49.  Asphalt. *sigh*  :-/ X-(
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on May 22, 2013, 09:21:49 PM
Paving has started on both the east and west Hiwasse exits of future I-49.  Asphalt. *sigh*  :-/ X-(

They might be just laying down the base and then will be putting the rebar and concrete on top of that afterward.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on May 23, 2013, 05:00:52 PM
Move Arkansas Forward has a Proposed Constitutional Fact Sheet #1 (http://www.movearkansasforward.com/pdf/TurnbackBooklet.pdf) that lists by region the four-lane highway projects that would be supported by the half-cent sales tax to be voted on in November (pages 6-7/88 of pdf; pages 4-5 of document):
Quote
Four-Lane Projects of Regional Significance
Northwest Arkansas
• Completion of the initial two lanes of the ultimate four lanes of the Bella Vista bypass
This article (http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=725282) reports that Issue No.1 was approved by the voters
(quote from Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6952.msg183504#msg183504) thread)

This article (http://www.thv11.com/news/article/266323/2/Arkansas-highway-officials-considering-tolls-on-I-40), primarily about the possibility of tolling I-40 (and previously discussed in the 6 Laning I-40  (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6548.msg223076#msg223076) thread), reports that, even though Arkansas voters approved the one-half cent sales tax to fund the initial two lanes of the BVB, AHTD is currently investigating the tolling potential of the BVB:

Quote
Are you only looking at this section of Interstate 40?  No, the Department is currently investigating tolling potential in two other corridors (Northbelt Freeway, in conjunction with Metroplan, and the Bella Vista Bypass).

Tolls on top of a sales tax increase; interesting.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 23, 2013, 05:40:05 PM

Tolls on top of a sales tax increase; interesting.

I don't remember the original source, but I had heard that Bella Vista Bypass could NOT be tolled since it used Federal Money (ARRA funds).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on May 25, 2013, 05:01:27 AM
As far as I know, tolls in Arkansas have never existed except for a couple of long-discontinued ferries. Don't know of any newly-built roads in the state that can support a toll. Maybe the North Belt as long as that area grows.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on May 26, 2013, 02:35:43 PM
As far as I know, tolls in Arkansas have never existed except for a couple of long-discontinued ferries. Don't know of any newly-built roads in the state that can support a toll. Maybe the North Belt as long as that area grows.

There have been toll bridges in Arkansas.

Adding tolls to I-40 east of North Little Rock would only make a miserable drive that much worse.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on May 31, 2013, 11:42:15 AM
Very, very bad news out of Scott County, Arkansas just south of Fort Smith and Greenwood.

U.S. 71 at Y City (near the junction of the highway that goes to Hot Springs) and Parks was completely flooded by yesterday's storms with homes washed away.  The Scott County sheriff was apparently killed alongside possibly others.

https://www.facebook.com/4029news?fref=ts

This is a minor point compared to it, but an interstate cannot get to this area fast enough if said road will have bridges and safeguards against this.  (Fortunately U.S. 59 is an alternate, but it's ASTOUNDING how much beautiful no-man's-land is there for miles without a gas station. EDIT: Highway 59 at Page (paralleling Rich Mountain near the AR/OK line) is down to one lane. (http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/river-valley/floods-lead-to-multiple-road-closures-in-leflore-county/-/14498626/20372042/-/v0oicgz/-/index.html))
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on May 31, 2013, 11:57:49 AM
Very, very bad news out of Scott County, Arkansas just south of Fort Smith and Greenwood.

U.S. 71 at Y City (near the junction of the highway that goes to Hot Springs) and Parks was completely flooded by yesterday's storms with homes washed away.  The Scott County sheriff was apparently killed alongside possibly others.

That would be US 270 East. 

I never considered that area flood prone, except around the Ouachita River at Acorn.  Most of that area is National Forest, so there's not a lot of commercial build-up.  There's a Shell/EZ Mart just to the north, but no other other active stations until Mena, approx 20 miles south.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on June 01, 2013, 03:15:26 AM
A little-known fact is the Ouachita Mountains catch all the moisture flowing north from the Gulf, so they get more rain than anywhere else in the contiguous U.S. west of the Mississippi (with the exception of coastal Louisiana). Some places average more than 60 inches a year.

The Appalachians in Georgia/Tennessee/North Carolina suffer the same deal. They're higher, so they get dumped on more.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on June 01, 2013, 05:25:10 AM
heh heh Ouachita
(http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures%5C9545%5COUCH%201159-Eldorado,%20KS-12-27-2002.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 01, 2013, 09:27:21 AM
This article says the there was a 24 foot flash flood that hit the Fourche la Favre river on Thursday and "temporarily swamped" the Highway 71 bridge. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_US_SEVERE_WEATHER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-05-31-21-22-15)  I guess that's one thing the engineers of future I-49 will have to, er, seriously consider.

Wow.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 01, 2013, 09:48:28 AM
This article says the there was a 24 foot flash flood that hit the Fourche la Favre river on Thursday and "temporarily swamped" the Highway 71 bridge. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_US_SEVERE_WEATHER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-05-31-21-22-15)  I guess that's one thing the engineers of future I-49 will have to, er, seriously consider.

Wow.

One would think that is obvious, but given Arkansas it might not be.

Fortunately, the bridge appears to be undamaged.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on June 03, 2013, 08:51:40 AM
This article says the there was a 24 foot flash flood that hit the Fourche la Favre river on Thursday and "temporarily swamped" the Highway 71 bridge. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_US_SEVERE_WEATHER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-05-31-21-22-15)  I guess that's one thing the engineers of future I-49 will have to, er, seriously consider.

Wow.

One would think that is obvious, but given Arkansas it might not be.

Fortunately, the bridge appears to be undamaged.

I hope they are putting the elevations of these bridges to withstand a 100-year flood event. I thinkhope that is standard practice.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 07, 2013, 02:35:23 PM
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)
I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49

I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor.

First, my question:

Quote
I was just looking at the Interstates FAQ page and read the answer to the question of why there is no Interstate 50.  I can think of several exceptions to this rule, including an I-74/US 74 overlap in North Carolina and a future interchange between I-69 and US 69 in Texas.  What factors does FHWA consider in granting an exception to the rule?  In particular, I am thinking about the possibility of I-49 and US 49 in Arkansas.  It seems like an exception to the rule would make a lot of sense in the Arkansas scenario.

The FHWA answer (with my emphasis):

Quote
Thank you for your inquiry on FHWA’s Interstate numbering policies.  FHWA generally bases our review of proposed Interstate numbering requests on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) numbering policies in their Transportation Policy Book.  Most Interstate numbering requests are consistent with these policies, but these policies are neither law nor regulation.  We are not required to adhere to them in exercising our authority over Interstate numbering. 
You mentioned several exceptions to the policy, “that a State should not have an Interstate route and US route with the same number”.  In each case, Congress chose the number ( I-74, I-69 and I-49 ) and wrote it into law. These statutory numbering designations supersede the authority of FHWA, which is required to implement Federal law, and also AASHTO, a voluntary association with no enforcement authority.  If a State requests a designation using the congressionally set number, FHWA is required by law to approve that request even if it is inconsistent with AASHTO’s numbering policies used for the remainder of the System.  In fact, if a State requested a number that differs from the number in the statute, FHWA would turn it down.
Because the Interstate and U.S. numbering plans are mirror images of each other, the central States could be faced with requesting an Interstate number that coincides with a US route designation.  In those rare cases, FHWA and AASHTO have been committed to working with the requesting States to ensure the numbering adequately meets their needs and the integrity of the Interstate System.  Through this process, both organizations are able to work with States on developing an Interstate System that is representative of the States’ and country’s needs.
One additional point is that few motorists are aware of AASHTO’s Interstate numbering plan or that the numbers follow a pattern.  In general, motorists are not confused when numbering inconsistencies occur as they navigate around the country not by the numbering plan but by maps, directions, GPS, the guide signs on the highways, or other means.  Thank you for your inquiry and continued interest in the Interstate System.

The first question in my mind (assuming no error in FHWA's answer) is where is the "I-49" designation written into law? At first glance, in looking at the FHWA Statutory Listing of Corridor Descriptions (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/high_priority_corridors/hpcor.cfm) page, High Priority Corridor 72 is described as follows:

Quote
72.The North-South corridor, along Interstate Route 49 North, from Kansas City, Missouri, to Shreveport, Louisiana.

If this is indeed a Congressional mandate, then FHWA (and AASHTO) would be powerless to deny an AHTD I-49 numbering request (FHWA approval would still be needed as to whether a certain section meets current interstate-grade standards).



I just thought of a reason why this has come up, and it isn't an AASHTO problem, but an Arkansas problem. I think internally Arkansas only refers to the route number and makes no distinction between whether it is a Interstate, US, or State Route. With that said, I don't see why they can't just put up I-49 signs but still refer to it internally as 549 until they can come up with a different system internally for referring to state routes.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think there are any state and US routes in Arkansas that have the same number.

I suspect Cody may be right and that this is purely an internal AHTD thing.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 07, 2013, 02:44:40 PM
in this case, 49 is not a bad number - especially since US-49 is on the other side of the state, and thus the potential for confusion is fairly minimal.  (see also: I-24/US-24 in Illinois.  I believe AASHO hand-waved that one as "far enough apart; it's fine".)

that said: there goes Congress meddling in things it does not understand.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 07, 2013, 05:31:56 PM
... at the FHWA Statutory Listing of Corridor Descriptions (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/high_priority_corridors/hpcor.cfm) page, High Priority Corridor 72 is described as follows:
Quote
72.The North-South corridor, along Interstate Route 49 North, from Kansas City, Missouri, to Shreveport, Louisiana.
in this case, 49 is not a bad number

Do you not have a lurking fear that Congress has designated "I-49N" shields for Arkansas?  :bigass:



that said: there goes Congress meddling in things it does not understand.

Agreed.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 11, 2013, 11:14:14 AM
I emailed AHTD and asked if MAP-21 might encourage them to reapply to AASHTO for I-49 designations. The response:
Quote
We are completing an application to have I-540 (I-40 to Missouri State Line ) redesignated as I-49 and plan to submit to AASHTO for consideration at the fall meeting.
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)
I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor .... If this is indeed a Congressional mandate, then FHWA (and AASHTO) would be powerless to deny an AHTD I-49 numbering request (FHWA approval would still be needed as to whether a certain section meets current interstate-grade standards).

After having I-49 North (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg128594#msg128594) and I-49 South (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg128609#msg128609) designation applications denied in 2007, and the 2012 decision to not submit designation applications because of the apparent US 49 problem, it now appears that AHTD will try again at the October, 2013 AASHTO meeting. I emailed AHTD and asked them if they had considered that the language designating High Priority Corridor 72 would make FHWA and AASHTO powerless to deny an I-49 numbering request (assuming respective segments are interstate-grade). The reply:

Quote
Our planning division tells me that they are submitting again this fall and that they are using the same justification that you mention.

I do not know if they will try for both I-540 north of Alma and AR 549 in SW Arkansas; I will wait to be surprised.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on June 11, 2013, 11:39:05 AM
I emailed AHTD and asked if MAP-21 might encourage them to reapply to AASHTO for I-49 designations. The response:
Quote
We are completing an application to have I-540 (I-40 to Missouri State Line ) redesignated as I-49 and plan to submit to AASHTO for consideration at the fall meeting.
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)
I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor .... If this is indeed a Congressional mandate, then FHWA (and AASHTO) would be powerless to deny an AHTD I-49 numbering request (FHWA approval would still be needed as to whether a certain section meets current interstate-grade standards).

After having I-49 North (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg128594#msg128594) and I-49 South (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg128609#msg128609) designation applications denied in 2007, and the 2012 decision to not submit designation applications because of the apparent US 49 problem, it now appears that AHTD will try again at the October, 2013 AASHTO meeting. I emailed AHTD and asked them if they had considered that the language designating High Priority Corridor 72 would make FHWA and AASHTO powerless to deny an I-49 numbering request (assuming respective segments are interstate-grade). The reply:

Quote
Our planning division tells me that they are submitting again this fall and that they are using the same justification that you mention.

I do not know if they will try for both I-540 north of Alma and AR 549 in SW Arkansas; I will wait to be surprised.
There's still the chance that they will be denied again, as the part in the middle still needs to be constructed; hopefully we'll see at least AR 549 converted into I-49 once the Shreveport link is completed.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on June 11, 2013, 11:42:03 AM
With I-49 in MO being signed, I don't see now why I-540 couldn't be signed as I-49 now. It connects to I-40, and, even if it didn't, with the new rules on designating new interstates (like with I-69 in the Brownsville area), I don't see a problem with it being designated as I-49 anyway.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 11, 2013, 02:06:13 PM
I emailed AHTD and asked if MAP-21 might encourage them to reapply to AASHTO for I-49 designations. The response:
Quote
We are completing an application to have I-540 (I-40 to Missouri State Line ) redesignated as I-49 and plan to submit to AASHTO for consideration at the fall meeting.
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)
I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor .... If this is indeed a Congressional mandate, then FHWA (and AASHTO) would be powerless to deny an AHTD I-49 numbering request (FHWA approval would still be needed as to whether a certain section meets current interstate-grade standards).

After having I-49 North (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg128594#msg128594) and I-49 South (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg128609#msg128609) designation applications denied in 2007, and the 2012 decision to not submit designation applications because of the apparent US 49 problem, it now appears that AHTD will try again at the October, 2013 AASHTO meeting. I emailed AHTD and asked them if they had considered that the language designating High Priority Corridor 72 would make FHWA and AASHTO powerless to deny an I-49 numbering request (assuming respective segments are interstate-grade). The reply:

Quote
Our planning division tells me that they are submitting again this fall and that they are using the same justification that you mention.

I do not know if they will try for both I-540 north of Alma and AR 549 in SW Arkansas; I will wait to be surprised.
There's still the chance that they will be denied again, as the part in the middle still needs to be constructed; hopefully we'll see at least AR 549 converted into I-49 once the Shreveport link is completed.

Henry, with that logic (not bad logic at that) I-540 has just as much of a shot given that A) I-49 now is actually as far south as the official Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area (south of Pineville, MO in McDonald County) and; B) like with Texarkana, there are only a few more miles left to be built to link the "orphan" section with the current I-49 and those connecting miles are in the process of being built out, albeit with not as much ground plowed yet on the north side.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on June 12, 2013, 11:12:40 AM
I emailed AHTD and asked if MAP-21 might encourage them to reapply to AASHTO for I-49 designations. The response:
Quote
We are completing an application to have I-540 (I-40 to Missouri State Line ) redesignated as I-49 and plan to submit to AASHTO for consideration at the fall meeting.
I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg166650#msg166650) to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8157.msg187410#msg187410) thread)
I recently received a response from AHTD and, surprisingly, the reason lies with the presence of US 49
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor .... If this is indeed a Congressional mandate, then FHWA (and AASHTO) would be powerless to deny an AHTD I-49 numbering request (FHWA approval would still be needed as to whether a certain section meets current interstate-grade standards).

After having I-49 North (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg128594#msg128594) and I-49 South (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg128609#msg128609) designation applications denied in 2007, and the 2012 decision to not submit designation applications because of the apparent US 49 problem, it now appears that AHTD will try again at the October, 2013 AASHTO meeting. I emailed AHTD and asked them if they had considered that the language designating High Priority Corridor 72 would make FHWA and AASHTO powerless to deny an I-49 numbering request (assuming respective segments are interstate-grade). The reply:

Quote
Our planning division tells me that they are submitting again this fall and that they are using the same justification that you mention.

I do not know if they will try for both I-540 north of Alma and AR 549 in SW Arkansas; I will wait to be surprised.
There's still the chance that they will be denied again, as the part in the middle still needs to be constructed; hopefully we'll see at least AR 549 converted into I-49 once the Shreveport link is completed.

Henry, with that logic (not bad logic at that) I-540 has just as much of a shot given that A) I-49 now is actually as far south as the official Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area (south of Pineville, MO in McDonald County) and; B) like with Texarkana, there are only a few more miles left to be built to link the "orphan" section with the current I-49 and those connecting miles are in the process of being built out, albeit with not as much ground plowed yet on the north side.
Which is precisely why I would expect I-540 to be dually signed with Future I-49 shields until the Bella Vista gap is fully closed.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 18, 2013, 08:42:59 PM
As previously posted in the Improving I-540 at Fort Smith thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg196166#msg196166), AHTD apparently intends to dually designate I-49 with I-540 instead of redesignating I-540 as I-49.
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor.

I received a clarification from FHWA today and it looks like FHWA will not resist an AHTD I-49 numbering request and that FHWA is further ordering AASHTO to stand down because of HPC 72:

Quote
Thank you for your follow-up questions and correspondence.  Please note, I am also copying Marty Vitale with AASHTO, for their records and information.  As far as the designation of the Arkansas segments of the North-South Corridor as I-49, FHWA is required by law to approve future Intestate route designation request once: the segment meets Interstate Standard;  connects or plans to connect to the existing System, by October 1, 2037.  Once those two requirements are met the designation request must be initiated by the State.
High Priority Corridor (HPC) #1 is identified as a future Intestate route in Section 1105 of ISTEA, as amended. HPC #1 is described as the North-South Corridor from Kansas City, Mo to Shreveport, LA.  HPC # 72 also described as the North-South Corridor between Kansas City, MO and Shreveport, LA.  HPC #72 reads, “The North-South corridor, along Interstate 49 North, from Kansas City, Missouri, to Shreveport, Louisiana”.  HPC # 72 was added to Section 1105 of ISTEA, as amended by Section 1304 of SAFETEA-LU.  This amendment, establishes the numbering for the North-South Corridor between Kansas City and Shreveport.

All AHTD has to do now is ask ..............
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 20, 2013, 03:01:58 PM
I see where M0DOT has moved up there STIP for the Bella Vista Bypass to Start in the Fall of 2014. Job # 7PO601 has construction money to start there part. So Arkansas has made them feel they will work on the 2 lanes early in the 1/2 cent sales tax construction.
AHTD has released the 2013 Arkansas Highway map (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/mapping_graphics/2013%20AR%20State%20Highway%20Map%20-%20State%20Side.pdf) and the 2013 map does not have the projected route through Texas
(above quote from Texarkana (Future I-49, I-69 Spur) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg228335#msg228335) thread)

Although the projected route of Future I-49 through Texas has disappeared on the 2013 map, the projected route of Missouri's section of the Bella Vista Bypass has appeared on the 2013 map (the 2012 map (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/mapping_graphics/State_Highway_Map_State_Side_2012.PDF) only has the projected route of the Arkansas section of the Bella Vista Bypass):

(http://i.imgur.com/Tb8MeVq.png)

Maybe this is another hint that the Bella Vista Bypass will be an early project in the sales tax program.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 20, 2013, 10:35:01 PM
FWIW, by that map above the first layer of pavement has been laid (though probably not in all lanes) from the east 72 bridge over this new highway to the west 72 bridge over future I-49, a distance of around 2-3 miles.  They're grading on the north side of the west 72 crossing, but also building a bridge over it and won't be able to link the two segments until the bridge is complete and they can reroute traffic from the old section of the highway over it.

Weird thing's already happened.  Right before that west crossing, a new subdivision has popped up, largely made up of homes that were moved from other locations.  The subdivision was started in the mid-2000s but was abandoned with only one house built.  Now with one-two other new builds plus the "move-ins", there are at least six.  Gonna be interesting to see what happens with the town formerly known as "Hiwasse", where the aforementioned (total of three) crossings are.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 20, 2013, 10:47:40 PM
FWIW, by that map above the first layer of pavement has been laid (though probably not in all lanes) from the east 72 bridge over this new highway to the west 72 bridge over future I-49, a distance of around 2-3 miles.  They're grading on the north side of the west 72 crossing, but also building a bridge over it and won't be able to link the two segments until the bridge is complete and they can reroute traffic from the old section of the highway over it.

Weird thing's already happened.  Right before that west crossing, a new subdivision has popped up, largely made up of homes that were moved from other locations.  The subdivision was started in the mid-2000s but was abandoned with only one house built.  Now with one-two other new builds plus the "move-ins", there are at least six.  Gonna be interesting to see what happens with the town formerly known as "Hiwasse", where the aforementioned (total of three) crossings are.

I think there are only 2 interchanges: 72East and 72West. IIRC, AR 279 is only a grade separation.  I need to get back up there and investigate it further.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 20, 2013, 11:38:12 PM
Grzrd,

I can't get onto the arkansashighways.com site...what does the Fort Smith map look like?  (Gotta be frank, I'm astounded how much FSM people and/or investors are betting on I-49 there with all the construction in the Barling area.  There is building going on EVERYWHERE west of the future I-49 right-of-way.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 20, 2013, 11:54:19 PM
Grzrd,

I can't get onto the arkansashighways.com site...what does the Fort Smith map look like?  (Gotta be frank, I'm astounded how much FSM people and/or investors are betting on I-49 there with all the construction in the Barling area.  There is building going on EVERYWHERE west of the future I-49 right-of-way.)

Future 49 doesn't show on the Ft Smith inset at all.

The land is relatively cheap in Barling considering it's mostly Ft Chaffee property. There's a new fire station going up on Massard Rd near I-49, plus a museum going up next to the nature center. AHTD just moved their shop out that way and there is talk of a third High School for Ft Smith in the area, as well.  There's also a Mitsubishi wind turbine plant built with major tax incentives that never opened. There are several other businesses promising to build, but I don't remember who they are, off-hand.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on June 21, 2013, 10:32:20 AM
Grzrd,

I can't get onto the arkansashighways.com site...what does the Fort Smith map look like?  (Gotta be frank, I'm astounded how much FSM people and/or investors are betting on I-49 there with all the construction in the Barling area.  There is building going on EVERYWHERE west of the future I-49 right-of-way.)

Future 49 doesn't show on the Ft Smith inset at all.

The land is relatively cheap in Barling considering it's mostly Ft Chaffee property. There's a new fire station going up on Massard Rd near I-49, plus a museum going up next to the nature center. AHTD just moved their shop out that way and there is talk of a third High School for Ft Smith in the area, as well.  There's also a Mitsubishi wind turbine plant built with major tax incentives that never opened. There are several other businesses promising to build, but I don't remember who they are, off-hand.


In other words, I-540 south of I-40 will remain just that, as I-49 is being built further east.

It's no surprise that the old Fort Chaffee is being redeveloped into a mixed-use area, especially in anticipation of the new highway coming through it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 21, 2013, 10:50:09 AM
Grzrd,

I can't get onto the arkansashighways.com site...what does the Fort Smith map look like?  (Gotta be frank, I'm astounded how much FSM people and/or investors are betting on I-49 there with all the construction in the Barling area.  There is building going on EVERYWHERE west of the future I-49 right-of-way.)

Future 49 doesn't show on the Ft Smith inset at all.

The land is relatively cheap in Barling considering it's mostly Ft Chaffee property. There's a new fire station going up on Massard Rd near I-49, plus a museum going up next to the nature center. AHTD just moved their shop out that way and there is talk of a third High School for Ft Smith in the area, as well.  There's also a Mitsubishi wind turbine plant built with major tax incentives that never opened. There are several other businesses promising to build, but I don't remember who they are, off-hand.


In other words, I-540 south of I-40 will remain just that, as I-49 is being built further east.


Yes, though there is a proposed spur off 540 (in the vicinity of Greenwood Rd/AR 45) that will eventually connect to I-49
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: RoadSigma on June 21, 2013, 01:22:47 PM
I will be so glad when Arkansas builds thier part of I-49...so much faster access to eastern texas and especially New Orleans from up here in Kansas City.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 21, 2013, 02:08:25 PM
I see where M0DOT has moved up there STIP for the Bella Vista Bypass to Start in the Fall of 2014. Job # 7PO601 has construction money to start there part. So Arkansas has made them feel they will work on the 2 lanes early in the 1/2 cent sales tax construction.
This article (http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/atkins-wins-us-transport-contracts) reports that, instead of Garver, Atkins, in partnership with Brown & Gay Engineers and Fugro Consultants, has been selected to provide on-call construction services for AHTD:
Quote
The contract specifically calls for Atkins to support a new programme that will use a temporary sales tax to fund a US$1.8bn, ten-year project to build and improve four-lane highways throughout the state.
Now the wait begins to see which project will be first .....
(bottom quote from Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6952.msg228305#msg228305) thread)

It's still unofficial, but I just received an AHTD email indicating that the Bella Vista Bypass project is first in line and that there may be a kickoff event for it in late 2013/early 2014:

Quote
The schedule has not been finalized, but unofficially it looks like that the Bella Vista job would be the first one and it could happened before the end of the year even though 2014 is more likely. We have some tentative plans to host a kickoff event and that one seems to be the most likely one.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 21, 2013, 10:37:40 PM
the Future I-49 corridor is east of this section of I-540. A map on page 23/36 of the Executive Summary of the US 71 Relocation From Dequeen to I-40 Final Environmental Impact Statement pdf (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/southeast/001747_FEIS_Executive_Summary.pdf) shows the location of this section of I-540 relative to the proposed route of Future I-49.  If I interpret the map correctly, it looks like the long-range plan is to build a "spur" from the southern section of I-540 to connect with Future I-49 just south of the current US 71 (which, along with I-40, would create a possible I-x49 loop)
(above quote from Improving I-540 at Fort Smith (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg195657#msg195657) thread)
there is a proposed spur off 540 (in the vicinity of Greenwood Rd/AR 45) that will eventually connect to I-49

Here's the map of the proposed I-540 "southern spur" referenced above that would connect to I-49:

(http://i.imgur.com/6I42K0a.jpg)

edit

Gotta be frank, I'm astounded how much FSM people and/or investors are betting on I-49 there with all the construction in the Barling area.  There is building going on EVERYWHERE west of the future I-49 right-of-way.

Given that the FEIS is now approximately 16 years old, has there been enough development along the proposed I-540 "southern spur" corridor to now make it prohibitively expensive?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on June 22, 2013, 09:59:21 AM
FWIW, by that map above the first layer of pavement has been laid (though probably not in all lanes) from the east 72 bridge over this new highway to the west 72 bridge over future I-49, a distance of around 2-3 miles.  They're grading on the north side of the west 72 crossing, but also building a bridge over it and won't be able to link the two segments until the bridge is complete and they can reroute traffic from the old section of the highway over it.

Weird thing's already happened.  Right before that west crossing, a new subdivision has popped up, largely made up of homes that were moved from other locations.  The subdivision was started in the mid-2000s but was abandoned with only one house built.  Now with one-two other new builds plus the "move-ins", there are at least six.  Gonna be interesting to see what happens with the town formerly known as "Hiwasse", where the aforementioned (total of three) crossings are.

I think there are only 2 interchanges: 72East and 72West. IIRC, AR 279 is only a grade separation.  I need to get back up there and investigate it further.

You are correct, there aren't any on/off ramps at AR279.  I was there in March:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8593255773/

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 27, 2013, 01:48:14 PM
It's still unofficial, but I just received an AHTD email indicating that the Bella Vista Bypass project is first in line and that there may be a kickoff event for it in late 2013/early 2014

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/28415#.Ucx4mr7D-M8) reports that "shortly after July 4" the order of projects should be known and that "it's assumed" that the Bella Vista Bypass will be the first project:

Quote
Shortly after July 4, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department should know the order of projects that will be completed with the half-cent sales tax that will start being collected July 1 with money to start flowing in August, said Danny Straessle, assistant public information officer with ASHTD. While not confirmed for a few more weeks, it’s assumed that the Bella Vista Bypass will probably be the first project.
“The purpose of this project is safe and efficient movement of traffic from the Missouri state line to I-540 south of Bella Vista,” he said. “Volume has necessitated this work as the current route on U.S. Highway 71 is loaded with traffic and is not conducive to free-flow movement like an Interstate-type facility would be.”
Another major Northwest Arkansas development will be later in July, he said. The July 24 bid letting with the Arkansas Highway Commission will award a contract to widen Interstate 540 from Highway 16 to Porter Road to three lanes at an estimated cost of $9 million.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 27, 2013, 06:30:38 PM
Another major Northwest Arkansas development will be later in July, he said. The July 24 bid letting with the Arkansas Highway Commission will award a contract to widen Interstate 540 from Highway 16 to Porter Road to three lanes at an estimated cost of $9 million.

That's approx 1 more mile. I'm sure they will tear out the new cable barriers and put in a Jersey Barrier like they did between Hwy 16 and US 62.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 30, 2013, 01:10:52 AM
One last question, since I'm a "non-highway" person.

Can someone tell me if (as I believe I saw today) "Rocky Dell Hollow" is going to be a future ramp off future I-49?  I saw grading work done to this road with what appeared to be an exit ramp grade.  That's going to be fascinating...that road goes, like the neck of a tuning fork, straight into a curve from where the two main roads of west Bella Vista (Glasgow Road to the north, Highlands Road to the south) split.  Heretofore, U.S. 71 has bisected Bella Vista, and west BV has been essentially closed off, accessible only by dirt roads from the west.  Now, this is going to open up that side of town.

Gonna be fascinating to see what they do there at that exit, if indeed it is one.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on June 30, 2013, 01:30:03 AM
Looks like there will be an interchange at or near Rocky Dell Hollow: http://bellavistaarkansas.org/bella-vista-bypass.html
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 30, 2013, 09:45:41 AM
Can someone tell me if (as I believe I saw today) "Rocky Dell Hollow" is going to be a future ramp off future I-49?  I saw grading work done to this road with what appeared to be an exit ramp grade.  That's going to be fascinating...that road goes, like the neck of a tuning fork, straight into a curve from where the two main roads of west Bella Vista (Glasgow Road to the north, Highlands Road to the south) split.

Looking at the June 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_june07.pdf), it's possible that you are looking at grading for a frontage road that will maintain property access for a relocated farm (page 10/91 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/DLkC5bG.jpg)

The changes to this interchange are summarized on page 12/91 of the pdf:

Quote
The County Road 34 (Ferrell Road) interchange was enlarged to meet current design standards, County Road 34 was realigned west of the interchange to reconnect the local road network, and a frontage road was added to maintain property access.



I think there are only 2 interchanges: 72East and 72West. IIRC, AR 279 is only a grade separation.

A map on page 8/91 of the above Design Reassessment pdf confirms that there is no interchange at AR 279, but it is interesting to note that the 1998 plans had included an interchange at AR 279:

(http://i.imgur.com/H6OejTR.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 30, 2013, 12:46:39 PM
Can someone tell me if (as I believe I saw today) "Rocky Dell Hollow" is going to be a future ramp off future I-49?  I saw grading work done to this road with what appeared to be an exit ramp grade.  That's going to be fascinating...that road goes, like the neck of a tuning fork, straight into a curve from where the two main roads of west Bella Vista (Glasgow Road to the north, Highlands Road to the south) split.

Looking at the June 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_june07.pdf), it's possible that you are looking at grading for a frontage road that will maintain property access for a relocated farm (page 10/91 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/DLkC5bG.jpg)

The changes to this interchange are summarized on page 12/91 of the pdf:

Quote
The County Road 34 (Ferrell Road) interchange was enlarged to meet current design standards, County Road 34 was realigned west of the interchange to reconnect the local road network, and a frontage road was added to maintain property access.



I think there are only 2 interchanges: 72East and 72West. IIRC, AR 279 is only a grade separation.

A map on page 8/91 of the above Design Reassessment pdf confirms that there is no interchange at AR 279, but it is interesting to note that the 1998 plans had included an interchange at AR 279:

(http://i.imgur.com/H6OejTR.jpg)

Grzrd, from your top photo that's exactly what this appears to be.  The proposed toll booths are very near where I saw the road off the main (future) interstate.  I was at (maybe the only remaining Northwest Arkansas supermarket not named "Walmart" or "Harps") Bella Vista's Allen Foods today, where they have a huge map of BV on the wall of the store entry way.  Right through where this future interstate runs is a huge, far and away the largest undeveloped BV-owned bloc of land on the west side of town which says "reserved for future development".  Boy, is it going to.  Bella Vista is the ONLY one of Northwest Arkansas' big six cities (BV, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs) that has absolutely no non-dirt-road access on one side of town.

That's going to change, drastically.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Desert Man on June 30, 2013, 01:35:01 PM
As previously posted in the Improving I-540 at Fort Smith thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg196166#msg196166), AHTD apparently intends to dually designate I-49 with I-540 instead of redesignating I-540 as I-49.
I recently indirectly asked FHWA about the I-49/US 49 situation, and (I have asked for clarification about where "I-49" was written into law) I was surprised to find out that FHWA's position appears to be that Congressional action mandates the use of "I-49" in the I-49 corridor.

I received a clarification from FHWA today and it looks like FHWA will not resist an AHTD I-49 numbering request and that FHWA is further ordering AASHTO to stand down because of HPC 72:

Quote
Thank you for your follow-up questions and correspondence.  Please note, I am also copying Marty Vitale with AASHTO, for their records and information.  As far as the designation of the Arkansas segments of the North-South Corridor as I-49, FHWA is required by law to approve future Intestate route designation request once: the segment meets Interstate Standard;  connects or plans to connect to the existing System, by October 1, 2037.  Once those two requirements are met the designation request must be initiated by the State.
High Priority Corridor (HPC) #1 is identified as a future Intestate route in Section 1105 of ISTEA, as amended. HPC #1 is described as the North-South Corridor from Kansas City, Mo to Shreveport, LA.  HPC # 72 also described as the North-South Corridor between Kansas City, MO and Shreveport, LA.  HPC #72 reads, “The North-South corridor, along Interstate 49 North, from Kansas City, Missouri, to Shreveport, Louisiana”.  HPC # 72 was added to Section 1105 of ISTEA, as amended by Section 1304 of SAFETEA-LU.  This amendment, establishes the numbering for the North-South Corridor between Kansas City and Shreveport.

All AHTD has to do now is ask ..............

Redesignation of I-540 to "49" makes more sense, less confusing to the drivers using the route and transportation officials in charge of the project. The I-540 is an extension of the 49 - same route - however to change the number will confuse long-time residents at first used to the "540". Actually, I-49 ends in Kansas City, MO where another north-south freeway: the I-29 also ends. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on June 30, 2013, 03:54:03 PM
I think there are only 2 interchanges: 72East and 72West. IIRC, AR 279 is only a grade separation.
the June 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_june07.pdf) .... A map on page 8/91 of the above Design Reassessment pdf confirms that there is no interchange at AR 279, but it is interesting to note that the 1998 plans had included an interchange at AR 279:
(http://i.imgur.com/H6OejTR.jpg)

The November 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_nov07.pdf), not to be confused with the earlier June 2007 Design Reassessment, discusses the proposed AR 279 interchange and the solution that has been developed (page 2/16 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/X9vUQUg.jpg)

Figure 2 (page 4/16 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/e0XUPIJ.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 30, 2013, 04:22:09 PM

Redesignation of I-540 to "49" makes more sense, less confusing to the drivers using the route and transportation officials in charge of the project. The I-540 is an extension of the 49 - same route - however to change the number will confuse long-time residents at first used to the "540". Actually, I-49 ends in Kansas City, MO where another north-south freeway: the I-29 also ends. 

Maybe the road can be dually designated with "north" 540 eventually phased out (ala AR 471/US 71B).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 30, 2013, 05:30:30 PM
There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.

Wouldn't be surprised to see one either at the future interchange on the map Grzrd posted above (of the interchange at west Bella Vista, AR) or to the north of it in the current woody hills at the state line.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on June 30, 2013, 05:45:31 PM
There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.


I'm guessing you mean I-30.  Otherwise, that's one part of I-35 I've *never* been on :D
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: roadman65 on June 30, 2013, 06:37:59 PM
There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.

Wouldn't be surprised to see one either at the future interchange on the map Grzrd posted above (of the interchange at west Bella Vista, AR) or to the north of it in the current woody hills at the state line.
When I traveled US 71 from Northern Missouri to Shreveport in 01, there was a Welcome Center just south of the MO/ AR line.  I would imagine there would have to be one on the new interstate as well, unless Arkansas closed the one I visited as it has been know for states  to have been closing State Line Welcome Centers such as NJ for US 22 prior to I-78 being completed or PennDOT closing the I-95 SB one near Scudder's Falls Bridge.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 30, 2013, 08:32:21 PM
There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.


I'm guessing you mean I-30.  Otherwise, that's one part of I-35 I've *never* been on :D

It's less than 5 years old. Replaced an older one between Exits 1 and 2.  The one in Bella Vista is a bit older, but it replaced one at the state line.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on June 30, 2013, 09:50:56 PM
There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.


I'm guessing you mean I-30.  Otherwise, that's one part of I-35 I've *never* been on :D

It's less than 5 years old. Replaced an older one between Exits 1 and 2.  The one in Bella Vista is a bit older, but it replaced one at the state line.

I think the current one in Bella Vista is a LOT older.  And given all that's happening in northwest Arkansas (in less than a year, USA Today has run an article (two days ago, actually) called 'Mayberry' goes Manhattan (http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/06/27/bentonville-broadens-its-palette/2466567/) about Bentonville; the "Amazeum" plans have been announced (http://amazeum.org/), Bentonville and its dining scene made the Washington Post's "In/out list" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/features/2012/year-in-review/the-list.html) (dumping the dining scene of Charleston, SC) and Southern Living asked if Bentonville is "the south's next cultural 'Mecca'?" (http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2012/10/06/is-bentonville-the-souths-next-cultural-mecca/)).

Off I-30 (thanks for the correction on my goof :-P ) near Texarkana Arkansas is wanting to put its best foot forward for Texas and Texas-bound visitors.  Gut feeling is that near that west Bella Vista interchange Grzrd put the map for above Arkansas will want to put its best foot forward also for northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith (got some things happening there as well even without considering Chaffee Crossing) (http://www.usmarshalsmuseum.com/).  They need to replace the (excuse me) dump that's on the west side of U.S. 71 in Bella Vista right now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on June 30, 2013, 10:53:34 PM


I think the current one in Bella Vista is a LOT older.  And given all that's happening in northwest Arkansas (in less than a year, USA Today has run an article (two days ago, actually) called 'Mayberry' goes Manhattan (http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/06/27/bentonville-broadens-its-palette/2466567/) about Bentonville; the "Amazeum" plans have been announced (http://amazeum.org/), Bentonville and its dining scene made the Washington Post's "In/out list" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/features/2012/year-in-review/the-list.html) (dumping the dining scene of Charleston, SC) and Southern Living asked if Bentonville is "the south's next cultural 'Mecca'?" (http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2012/10/06/is-bentonville-the-souths-next-cultural-mecca/)).

Off I-30 (thanks for the correction on my goof :-P ) near Texarkana Arkansas is wanting to put its best foot forward for Texas and Texas-bound visitors.  Gut feeling is that near that west Bella Vista interchange Grzrd put the map for above Arkansas will want to put its best foot forward also for northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith (got some things happening there as well even without considering Chaffee Crossing) (http://www.usmarshalsmuseum.com/).  They need to replace the (excuse me) dump that's on the west side of U.S. 71 in Bella Vista right now.

You should have seen the Hellhole it replaced  :thumbdown:.  I'm not in Bentonville enough to really tell how bit it's becomng (and I will never go to Alice's museum), but I know it's growing a lot to the west, esp along the road to XNA (about the only direction they can go).  It will be interesting to see what happens when the Arkansas Music Pavilion and Walton Arts Center move up that way.

The Marshall's Museum could be a big draw for Ft Smith: I know they're hoping with all the money they are spending on it. We now have signs at the city limits about being the easternmost town of the old west. I have mixed feelings about the museum, but am taking a wait and see attitude.


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on July 01, 2013, 12:46:40 AM
Why two interchanges at AR 72 but none at AR 279? 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on July 01, 2013, 09:10:18 AM
Looks like there will be an interchange at or near Rocky Dell Hollow: http://bellavistaarkansas.org/bella-vista-bypass.html
The November 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_nov07.pdf) ... (page 4/16 of pdf) ....
(http://i.imgur.com/e0XUPIJ.jpg)
Why two interchanges at AR 72 but none at AR 279?

The map that NE2 linked shows the relationship of the three locations. In the 1998 concept design, each of the three locations had an interchange.  By the time 2006 rolled around, the 0.75 mile length from AR 279 to AR 72 East was deemed too close for two interchanges and the decision was made to choose either AR 279 or AR 72 East as an interchange location.  The primary argument for the AR 279 location was that it provided the most direct access to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and that there were plans to upgrade it to four lanes.  The primary argument for the AR 72 East location was that AR 72 East had higher current and projected traffic volumes than AR 279.  The AR 72 East location was chosen because of the higher traffic volumes.

However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 01, 2013, 10:59:27 AM

However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.

Also came in handy as a 279 Detour last Summer ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on July 01, 2013, 03:23:39 PM
Is TO AR 279 going to be signed from I-49?  Are there going to be TO I-49 signs on the frontage road?  If not, this setup is a failure.  The 72 west interchange is totally unnecessary.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Lyon Wonder on July 11, 2013, 06:22:56 PM
Renumber US-49 in AR and MS to US-47 or even a 3-digit number.  Problem solved!!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 11, 2013, 06:37:00 PM
Renumber US-49 in AR and MS to US-47 or even a 3-digit number.  Problem solved!!

If one can get Mississippi to go along with that.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on July 11, 2013, 08:12:01 PM
There's no problem except Arkansas's misinterpretation of AASHTO's anality.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on July 11, 2013, 08:54:50 PM
There's no problem except Arkansas's misinterpretation of AASHTO's anality.

...but not alanity....
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on July 17, 2013, 12:01:50 PM
Looks like the bridge over Hwy. 72 West between Gravette and Hiwasse is near completion.  What's fascinating about this location is that there's a "berm" that's been built by moving earth for future I-49 north of here, which also blocks the view of construction to the north (toward that future west Bella Vista interchanges Grzrd had the map of earlier).  The berm is right next to the section of the current highway which will have to be demolished to make way for I-49 once the aforementioned bridge is finished.  Once that's done and the old highway/berm are removed drivers will have a clear view right and left of the future interstate.

BTW, Grzrd, I've made an e-mail inquiry into the Arkansas Visitor's Bureau to ask about any available information for plans for a future I-49/Bella Vista-NWA area Welcome Center.  It's inevitable there will be a new one with an Interstate...just "where", "manned/unmanned" and "how big".

Water lines are also being laid east of Gravette (which is west of the previously mentioned bridge) but I'm not sure if that's for expected development along the interchange or just for the nice houses (not as big a developments as near Bentonville, but nice homes nonetheless) being built along Hwy. 72 east of G-town.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on July 17, 2013, 12:11:30 PM
Looks like the bridge over Hwy. 72 West between Gravette and Hiwasse is near completion.  What's fascinating about this location is that there's a "berm" that's been built by moving earth for future I-49 north of here, which also blocks the view of construction to the north (toward that future west Bella Vista interchanges Grzrd had the map of earlier).  The berm is right next to the section of the current highway which will have to be demolished to make way for I-49 once the aforementioned bridge is finished.  Once that's done and the old highway/berm are removed drivers will have a clear view right and left of the future interstate.

BTW, Grzrd, I've made an e-mail inquiry into the Arkansas Visitor's Bureau to ask about any available information for plans for a future I-49/Bella Vista-NWA area Welcome Center.  It's inevitable there will be a new one with an Interstate...just "where", "manned/unmanned" and "how big".

Water lines are also being laid east of Gravette (which is west of the previously mentioned bridge) but I'm not sure if that's for expected development along the interchange or just for the nice houses (not as big a developments as near Bentonville, but nice homes nonetheless) being built along Hwy. 72 east of G-town.

You may wish to contact AHTD. I have a friend with the Dept of Tourism who says AHTD is responsible for the Info Centers.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on July 25, 2013, 09:39:46 AM
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/jul/25/i-540-widening-tap/ (pay, but schedule published)

Quote

TIMELINE
The Projects

Bid schedules for the first six half-cent sales tax projects are:

• Bella Vista Bypass (I-540 interchange): Late 2013

• Bella Vista Bypass (U.S. 71 to Arkansas 72): Late 2013

• Bella Vista Bypass (Benton County 34 to Missouri line): Early 2014

• Springdale Northern Bypass (I-540 to Arkansas 112): Late 2014

• I-540 Widening (Southeast 14th Street to East Central Avenue): Early 2015

• I-540 Widening (Fulbright Expressway to Sunset Avenue): Mid-2015

Source: Arkansas Highway And Transportation Department

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on July 25, 2013, 10:03:30 AM
^ Great find and great news! Here's a free article:

http://www.thecitywire.com/node/28743#.UfEu4b7D-M8

Quote
The first six highway construction projects funded by the “Connecting Arkansas Program” (CAP) are in Benton and Washington counties ....AHTD Spokesman Randy Ort said the six projects made the top of the list because “they were much further along in the process.” .... Those projects aren’t the end of the line for Northwest Arkansas work. A bid on work for I-540 (Highway 264 and New Hope Road) should be let in mid 2015. A bid for U.S. 412 work between Highways 67 and 141, and work for I-540 (U.S. 412 and Wagon Wheel Road) is expected to be let in mid 2017.

edit

This PowerPoint presentation from the July 24, 2013 AHTD Commission Business Meeting (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/072413_Commission%20Meeting%20Powerpoint.pdf) contains the entire CAP Schedule and here is a snip of the three Bella Vista Bypass projects (page 47/61 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/lTS5eJL.png)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on July 25, 2013, 07:19:45 PM
Thanks, Grzrd.  If I'm reading this correctly, does this snip graphic you placed above mean they're working to have the BV bypass complete at year 2016's end on the Arkansas side?  (That seems reasonable...granted, Missouri has to have their section complete).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on July 25, 2013, 09:24:35 PM
does this snip graphic you placed above mean they're working to have the BV bypass complete at year 2016's end on the Arkansas side?  (That seems reasonable...granted, Missouri has to have their section complete).

I don't see the BVB mentioned elsewhere on the Schedule, which leads me to believe that they intend to have grading and paving completed by the end of 2016.  If Missouri stays on schedule and lets their five-mile section in Fall 2014, then they would have two full construction seasons to finish their section by the end of 2016.  I agree that such a schedule seems reasonable.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 01, 2013, 10:55:59 PM
right now it's estimated that Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith has a combined metro population, right now, of 784,000 people (http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/45620-population-trends-of-northwest-arkansas/page-4) .... In addition, in 30 years Northwest Arkansas alone is predicted (without Fort Smith) to have 1,000,000 people. (http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2013/01/28-metros-have-a-shot-at-joining-the.html)
(above quote from Texarkana (Future I-49, I-69 Spur) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg236619#msg236619) thread)
The November 2007 Design Reassessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/Reassessment_nov07.pdf) ... (page 4/16 of pdf) ....
(http://i.imgur.com/e0XUPIJ.jpg)
By the time 2006 rolled around, the 0.75 mile length from AR 279 to AR 72 East was deemed too close for two interchanges and the decision was made to choose either AR 279 or AR 72 East as an interchange location ... The AR 72 East location was chosen because of the higher traffic volumes.

However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.

I wonder whether the explosive growth in the area has exceeded expectations and AHTD may see a need to upgrade to an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange sooner rather than later, perhaps as part of the project to upgrade the BVB from two lanes to four lanes?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 04, 2013, 08:44:33 AM
From yesterday's Joplin (MO) Globe:

Quote

“The design of the highway is complete,” he said. “The acquisition of property is complete. All we have been waiting on is the funding. It is basically ready to go.’’

Rob Smith, communications and policy specialist for the Northwest Arkansas Council, which supported the Connecting Arkansas Program, said, “The importance of the Bella Vista bypass project and the other two major highway projects in Northwest Arkansas that will occur because voters approved Issue No. 1 cannot be overstated.

“Research commissioned by the NAC and conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute last year showed our two-county area of Northwest Arkansas loses $103 million annually due to traffic congestion,’’ he said in an email statement. “The researchers told us major projects, such as the Bella Vista bypass, will help reduce that figure.”

The council is a private, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1990 to work on issues, such as infrastructure, education, economic development and community vitality. The council has about 100 members.

Said Smith: “For Northwest Arkansas and for Southwest Missouri, there’s no highway project more important than the Bella Vista bypass.’’

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1664877140/Arkansas-to-seek-bids-for-initial-two-lanes-of-Bella-Vista-bypass/?state=taberU


So I guess it's official.  :nod:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on August 04, 2013, 11:07:14 AM
FY 2013 TIGER Grants
DOT is authorized to award $473.847 million in TIGER Discretionary Grants pursuant to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Pub. L. 113-6, March 26, 2013).  This appropriation is similar, but not identical to the appropriation for the “TIGER” program authorized and implemented pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”). Because of the similarity in program structure, DOT will continue to refer to the program as ‘‘TIGER Discretionary Grants.’’ As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2013 TIGER program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.

It looks to me that the Bella Vista Bypass would qualify for the other 2 lanes from Tiger 2013. I wonder if the AHTD put in an application.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 04, 2013, 02:09:04 PM
Good question, Gordon.

I also wonder if, despite it seeming all-but-quixotic and certainly non-considerable right now, the stretch of highway between Fort Smith and Texarkana will in a few years, quicker than we think, itself be called "the most important project in southwest Arkansas".  Or maybe Arkansas proper.

(http://i.imgur.com/JHFlRzp.jpg)

I'm reminded, for anyone who remembers it, of when the Larry Johnson/Stacy Augmon-led undefeated UNLV basketball team (fresh off a national championship season, going undefeated until a loss to Christian Laettner/Bobby Hurley-led Duke in the NCAA semis, with all five UNLV players making "all-American" and being called "the greatest team to never win a national championship") came to Arkansas (which itself only had one loss and had perhaps its most heralded recruiting class to date playing as seniors, who set the table for back-to-back national championship games a few years later, winning one of them).  At the time, UNLV was #1 in the polls, Arkansas #2.

Larry Johnson couldn't get into SMU academically in his hometown of Dallas, but he was smart enough in a pre-Arkansas game interview, when told that someone (Dick Vitale?) had predicted UNLV to lose, to respond: "Hey, he's pretty good.  He's usually right."  In reality, Dick Vitale, in the UNLV/UA pregame, said "The UNLV players are sky-high about this game".  And they were, blowing out Arkansas on the latter's home court.

Promise not to use this Texas DOT map above (reprinted on video recently by KTBS-TV Channel 3/Shreveport) again, but the fact that the Texas DOT did this map, and that key to it is I-49/Arkansas, tells me that secretly, behind the scenes, there are some important people sky-high about a prospect of a completed I-49.  And again, given the fact that the possible chief I-49(/I-69) beneficiary Houston is now America's #1 goods port (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/07/houston_supplants_new_york.html) also tells me that some of these sky-high players may have some very deep pockets.  Don't get me wrong, they won't spend their own money to build an interstate through the Ouachitas.  But they can make a LOT of noise about it.  And sometimes that's all it takes.

This will get interesting in the Natural State.  Many of us expecting otherwise may even live to see it...

(EDIT: hadn't ever looked it up, but Wiki says stats show the ports of South Louisiana and Houston were ranked #1 and 2, with the NYC/NJ port #3.  Beaumont is #4!  Meanwhile, Duluth/Superior (#18 in the US) Port's website says this port is the #1 volume port on the Great lakes, (http://www.duluthport.com/) #2 in dry bulk in the U.S. (though I'm guessing much of that is grain which wouldn't head down the I-49 corridor).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_American_ports#United_States

This tells us so much of we need to know about I-49/I-69.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Brandon on August 05, 2013, 04:03:42 PM
^^ Here's the Wiki listed by US port volume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ports_in_the_United_States
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 05, 2013, 06:32:02 PM
^^ Here's the Wiki listed by US port volume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ports_in_the_United_States

Thanks, Brandon.

Amazing: The "Winnie-Minnie-New-Hou" corridor is going to link the Central US/Central Canada (and beyond) to 7 of the top 10 ports in America, 8 if you count the access to nearby Mobile for people coming from the north/northwest.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 07, 2013, 01:55:53 PM
http://bvwv.nwaonline.com/news/2013/aug/07/interchange-first-list-20130807/

The link above is pay, so I'll type in part of the story, by Cassi Lapp:

Interchange first on list
Bids to be let by end of year for first of three projects

Quote

Construction of the bypass around Hiwasse began March 2011 and connects a portion of Arkansas Highway 72 back on itself, creating a bypass of the Hiwasse area of Gravette.  Two interchanges are being constructed, on the southeast and northwest sides of Hiwasse. The interchanges and roadway connecting the two is epxected to be completed next spring.

The price of that project is $19.8 million, (Danny) Straessle (of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department) said.

The second project already in the works is an interchange at Rocky Del (sic) Hollow Road, west of the Highlands in Bella Vista.

Construction on the interchange and the road to connect to the Arkansas 72 interchange began in the summer of 2012.  Straessle said the project should wrap up late in the summer of 2014.  This will create a continuous two-lane state highway from Hiwasse nearing the Missouri state line.


and;

Quote

A third project will also go to bid early next year to complete the highway from Rocky Del (sic) Hollow Road to the state line.

"The Bella Vista Bypass project has been ready to go for some time; we just needed the money.  Overpasses at interchanges are being built to full interchanges, they just won't have southbound lanes," Straessle said.

There is a plan for a future four-land highway to become I-49 running from Louisiana to Canada.  But the money isn't there yet, Straessle said, and the completion date for that is an unknown at this time.

"Ideas are being kicked around.  One is a toll study, but that is in its infancy," he said.  A toll-road study was completed once before, he added, but at the time was not feasible to support the bypass.

"We're taking a look at that again," he said.


Takeaways?

1.  I still say the state of Arkansas runs the risk of looking foolish for not having thought to build I-49 between Greenwood and Texarkana.  Our second largest risk of looking foolish is going to be having the BV bypass two lane, during the time it is two-lane.

2.  According to this article, Mr. Straessle is predicting the aforementioned Rocky Dell Hollow interchange (west Bella Vista) to the east Highway 72 interchange will be fully complete, in two-lane form, next summer, which means,

3.  The Rocky Dell Hollow-to-Missouri line section and (the BIG one, IMO) the east Highway 72 interchange-to-I-540's-current-end section will be the two areas which take from 2014 (or this year, if they're started*) to 2016 per Grzrd's schedule posted earlier.

*On another forum, a resident near the future BV bypass says she's spoken with people who are doing constant fossil / artifact digs near the Lowe's at Bentonville/Bella Vista in advance of future I-49 coming through there in a couple of years.

Sorry for the long post.  :pan:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 07, 2013, 02:08:30 PM
(http://www.century21.com/listhub/photo/420x315/photos.listhub.net/ARMLSAR/647687/0?lm=20120120T190851)

Heh, went looking for "Rocky Dell Hollow Road" to make sure I was spelling it right, and found this, one of many listings for the same property - a weird thing I see happening is that subdivisions are being built along the sides of this future interstate elsewhere in the BV area, not just here:

Quote
Beautiful serene property on the west side of one of the proposed Bella Vista bypass interchanges. Mostly pasture (about 30% wooded). Close to the Bella Vista gun range. Public water at the site. Owner is willing to subdivide.,There is also additional acreage available on the east side of the planned interchange. Cattle on property. Okay to drive by property to see, but do not enter property. Call listing agent to arrange for access to property.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 07, 2013, 08:24:47 PM
Any estimates on how much a upgrade from super two to four lanes would cost?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on August 07, 2013, 09:33:45 PM
Any estimates on how much a upgrade from super two to four lanes would cost?

I would think maybe a third of thee cost of the project to build the super-2. The bridges over the freeway will already be wide enough so those will be sufficient. New bridges will need to be built for the new carriageway, and grading and pavement will be needed for the new carriageway as well. The drainage structures, I would think, would partly be in place.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 08, 2013, 10:37:34 AM
For a citation of this area's population growth (and the now-being-addressed need for a through interstate), to anyone who remembers driving through Bentonville, Arkansas 20-30 years ago (or even 50 years ago when the one stop light was said to be a "blinker") Bentonville High School is set to have 4,200 students this year, 5,000 in 3 years if a new high school isn't built (http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=451592) according to a story by KNWA-TV yesterday.

And that's not counting six other high schools in neighboring cities (Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs) that have an average of 2,400 students each.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 08, 2013, 12:27:52 PM
Major flooding at U.S. 71 in Bella Vista - This is what I-49's BV bypass will (whew) replace in 3 years. (http://www.4029tv.com/weather/Cars-rush-through-flooded-street-in-Bella-Vista/-/8899072/21385262/-/qt8v6t/-/index.html?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=4029%2Bnews)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on August 08, 2013, 09:53:31 PM
For a citation of this area's population growth (and the now-being-addressed need for a through interstate), to anyone who remembers driving through Bentonville, Arkansas 20-30 years ago (or even 50 years ago when the one stop light was said to be a "blinker") Bentonville High School is set to have 4,200 students this year, 5,000 in 3 years if a new high school isn't built (http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=451592) according to a story by KNWA-TV yesterday.

And that's not counting six other high schools in neighboring cities (Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs) that have an average of 2,400 students each.

Link didn't work.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 09, 2013, 09:42:26 AM
For a citation of this area's population growth (and the now-being-addressed need for a through interstate), to anyone who remembers driving through Bentonville, Arkansas 20-30 years ago (or even 50 years ago when the one stop light was said to be a "blinker") Bentonville High School is set to have 4,200 students this year, 5,000 in 3 years if a new high school isn't built (http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=451592) according to a story by KNWA-TV yesterday.

And that's not counting six other high schools in neighboring cities (Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs) that have an average of 2,400 students each.

Link didn't work.

Sorry, Road Hog.  Try this:  http://www.nwahomepage.com/fulltext-news/second-high-school-solution-for-growth/d/fulltext-news/kahwErWO4UComYOqfImn8Q
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on August 10, 2013, 11:42:06 AM
It's worse than I thought, actually. By the time Bentonville builds its second high school, the two separate schools will still be among the 10 biggest in the state. Springdale split several years ago and SHS is still No. 2 in enrollment (Har-Ber is No. 9).

I'm looking at Arkansas Activities Association enrollment numbers, but those only count grades 10-12 and use average numbers from the past 3 years.

I wonder, though, if the desire is still pretty strong to keep Bentonville a one-school town. They're winning state championships by the ton with their numbers advantage and the whole town supports one program. Same dynamic is in play in Texas, in places like Allen and Southlake.

End of sports thread-jack. Back to roads.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 11, 2013, 12:04:27 AM
It's worse than I thought, actually. By the time Bentonville builds its second high school, the two separate schools will still be among the 10 biggest in the state. Springdale split several years ago and SHS is still No. 2 in enrollment (Har-Ber is No. 9).

I'm looking at Arkansas Activities Association enrollment numbers, but those only count grades 10-12 and use average numbers from the past 3 years.

I wonder, though, if the desire is still pretty strong to keep Bentonville a one-school town. They're winning state championships by the ton with their numbers advantage and the whole town supports one program. Same dynamic is in play in Texas, in places like Allen and Southlake.

End of sports thread-jack. Back to roads.

Yes, there has been.  And while it is still a one-school town they're playing Euless, TX Trinity next month, with Trinity ranked #17 in the nation, #3 in Texas. (http://www.fearlessfriday.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=128535.0)  This after "Bennie" played teams ranked #1 at one point or another last season in Oklahoma (Tulsa Union, in the big preseason scrimmage), Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas (http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/bentonville-tigers-(bentonville,ar)/football-fall-12/schedule.htm), beating them all before losing in the rematch to Fayetteville in the 2012 state championship game.  South Panola won it all in Mississippi last year, too.  According to Rivals and USA Today, South Panola finished as America's top team in 2010 (Euless Trinity started as America's top team and pretty much held it until losing, surprisingly, in the Texas 5A championship game.)

I've veered off roads too much here, too, so I'll stop from here on out.  Suffice it to say that this isn't our father's northwest Arkansas.  Goodness, it's really not our oldest brother's northwest Arkansas, either.  (A decade ago you'd never have seen a northwest Arkansas team hanging with schools like the aforementioned.  Then Springdale 2005 came along and ever since then the talent seems to have just kept coming, mainly because the kids who were little in the first big move in wave from the early 2000s are coming of high school age.)  There's all sorts of things happening here most people wouldn't have dreamt of 15 or more years ago.  And, IMO, when the interstate is finished, and ESPECIALLY if I-49(/I-69 through Texas) is finished we may not have seen "nuthin'" yet.

Back to highways for good.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on August 13, 2013, 07:48:41 PM
I asked about the cost from a super two to a true Interstate as we can all see the need. Not a resident of Arkansas but do the local residents seem willing to take a higher tax rate to help support four lanes (like NE Missouri did with US-36/I-72)? This tax would be on top of the new statewide tax but would speed I-49 and yes 6 lanes ahead quicker plus the US-420 project.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 13, 2013, 08:08:16 PM
I asked about the cost from a super two to a true Interstate as we can all see the need. Not a resident of Arkansas but do the local residents seem willing to take a higher tax rate to help support four lanes (like NE Missouri did with US-36/I-72)? This tax would be on top of the new statewide tax but would speed I-49 and yes 6 lanes ahead quicker plus the US-420 project.

Depends who you ask. NW Arkansas, maybe. Southern Arkansas, not likely.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on August 17, 2013, 12:43:28 PM
A good article on internet of Bella Vista bypass. http://mdcp.nwaonline.com/news/2013/aug/16/new-arkansas-tax-fund-bella-vista-bypass--20130815/
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on August 20, 2013, 07:44:14 PM
In the above news it said Arkansas was looking at tolls again for the south bound lanes of Bella Vista Bypass. I read back in the summer that I 40 and this project would be hard to make a toll road because they cannot toll fees on existing roads that Federal money has been spent on. For instance AHTD said if they add another lane to I 40 from Little Rock to Memphis, they could toll that lane only so if you got over in the far left lane, you have to pay. But if you drove the distance in the 2 inside lanes you would not have to pay. On the Bella Vista Bypass the North bound lanes have had federal money involved so the south bound lanes would not If tolled. Missouri said when they build there part it would be all 4 lanes because of expense and they have the money set aside. Looks like that would be a mess.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 20, 2013, 08:28:37 PM
In the above news it said Arkansas was looking at tolls again for the south bound lanes of Bella Vista Bypass. I read back in the summer that I 40 and this project would be hard to make a toll road because they cannot toll fees on existing roads that Federal money has been spent on. For instance AHTD said if they add another lane to I 40 from Little Rock to Memphis, they could toll that lane only so if you got over in the far left lane, you have to pay. But if you drove the distance in the 2 inside lanes you would not have to pay. On the Bella Vista Bypass the North bound lanes have had federal money involved so the south bound lanes would not If tolled. Missouri said when they build there part it would be all 4 lanes because of expense and they have the money set aside. Looks like that would be a mess.

Arkansas would also have to rewrite the highway laws to permit tolling.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on August 20, 2013, 10:29:14 PM
I agree,  Especially sense the 2 lanes north will have also 1/2 cent sales tax money passed by the voters and there was not any mention any of those roads would be possible toll roads in the future.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 24, 2013, 08:58:44 PM
Man, this is weird.

Visiting Fort Smith today, and I see that work has indeed resumed on the (currently) "Interstate to nowhere".   Road graders were working the roadbed in the area around future I-49 and Rogers Avenue in a suburb called Barling.  At the sparkling Massard Road bridge (emblazoned with plaques bearing the names of AHTD officials including the omnipresent former Razorback cheerleader Dick Trammell), where there was an interstate of weeds in May the roadbed has been mowed and is in the process of grading.  There was an earthmover and a grader parked under the bridge.  The future northbound lanes are graded for two lanes and shoulders...the future southbound ones are just graded one lanes.  There was a black substance that appears to be on the graded ground...don't know if that's herbicide but there were no weeds growing on the graded bed.

New buildings keep being built.  The Phoenix Metals facility, announced in May, is among those, 1/4 mile west (http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/91527/phoenix-metals-announces-new-fort-smith-facility) of the future Interstate.  Though I tend to discount it, a veteran retail clerk at Dillard's in Fort Smith says the hot rumor is that there's going to be an open air mall built in this area much like Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers.  Were I not to know better, this would almost be like some Stephen King novel or Twilight Zone episode where a city is mysteriously being built on the edge of nowhere.  In reality, it shows me how many people are really betting on the future main corridor between Mexico and Canada.  And my gut feeling is Fort Smith will almost be as big a beneficiary as Shreveport, with better river connections though not-as-strong rail ones.

Update: there IS a mall being planned for this place! (http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/93860/no-endangered-beetles-at-barling-mall-site)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on August 25, 2013, 02:10:13 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 25, 2013, 02:55:18 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

Codyg, can't speak for those in the know but I've not heard of any.  That's what makes this so "Rod Serling-ish/Stephen King-ish".  These businesses (including the proposed 70 store, 90-100 acre shopping mall which according to the Dillard's employee I spoke with may look very much like the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers, AR, pictured below, though the newspaper article says it will be more like this (http://ftsmithpavilion.com/) shopping center which appears to be only 1/3 the size of the future Barling/I-49 development) are MILES from I-40 right now, and even a few miles (at least) east of the current Fort Smith Interstate bypass...but the reason the Phoenix Metals people I linked to the story on above (whose structure is going up right now, 3 months after the announcement) said they located there is because of its proximity to I-40.

(EDIT...didn't see it before, but here's the newspaper article on the shopping mall (http://swtimes.com/sections/business/fcra-close-barling-mall-property.html), again, bear in mind there is virtually NOTHING here right now save a convenience store, woods, and a sparkling new bridge-and-interstate-to-nowhere.  Amazingly, this is such an in-plain-sight-huge-secret that there aren't even any comments in the newspaper article on it, pro or con):

(http://media.arkansasonline.com/img/photos/2010/09/11/promenade6COLxFIT__t598.jpg?b7052f07a6139e7088ebc43100469802b2560d37)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 27, 2013, 04:41:55 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

I recently had an email Q & A exchange with AHTD and the short answer is that AHTD does not even have plans to begin the design work for the Arkansas River bridge:

Quote
Q: With the opening of the Chaffee Crossing section of I-49 scheduled for late 2014, does AHTD plan to begin design work on the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge at any time in the foreseeable future?

A: Not at this time. There isn’t any funding identified for that river crossing.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 27, 2013, 04:46:06 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

I recently had an email Q & A exchange with AHTD and the short answer is that AHTD does not even have plans to begin the design work for the Arkansas River bridge:

Quote
Q: With the opening of the Chaffee Crossing section of I-49 scheduled for late 2014, does AHTD plan to begin design work on the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge at any time in the foreseeable future?

A: Not at this time. There isn’t any funding identified for that river crossing.

Grzrd, just posted an answer to the "Chaffee Crossing" thread on a concern about this.

It's going to be fascinating to see how both the I-49 Arkansas River Bridge (with its attendant junctions at current I-540 Alma and Rogers Ave/Ark 22) and the I-49 Greenwood/Texarkana sections get resolved if they ever do.  (And, frankly, these dreams are going to be seen less as shaped like "pipes" and more like "bullseyes".  There are a LOT of people who appear to be dearly wanting the rest of this interstate to happen as it closes in, pincer-like, on those final two* areas.

*Not including Lafayette-New Orleans, currently also served through I-10.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 28, 2013, 11:12:03 AM

(EDIT...didn't see it before, but here's the newspaper article on the shopping mall (http://swtimes.com/sections/business/fcra-close-barling-mall-property.html), again, bear in mind there is virtually NOTHING here right now save a convenience store, woods, and a sparkling new bridge-and-interstate-to-nowhere.  Amazingly, this is such an in-plain-sight-huge-secret that there aren't even any comments in the newspaper article on it, pro or con):


There is a new High School that is going to be built at the west end of Chaffee Crossing and there are several factories as well. AHTD just moved their Fort Smith offices out there, there's the Janet Huckabee Nature Center near the south end, a proposed nature museum next to it and a new fire station under construction. :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on August 28, 2013, 01:41:51 PM
A former Mena mayor wants AHTD to build the section around Mena before the rest of the highway.  He said that AHTD claimed they didn't have the money to build it.  Sounds like an excuse to me.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on August 29, 2013, 01:00:36 AM
A former Mena mayor wants AHTD to build the section around Mena before the rest of the highway.  He said that AHTD claimed they didn't have the money to build it.  Sounds like an excuse to me.

It makes sense to build the segments around towns first as bypasses (Mena, Waldron, etc.) and then connect them as you go.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on August 29, 2013, 08:44:53 AM
A former Mena mayor wants AHTD to build the section around Mena before the rest of the highway.  He said that AHTD claimed they didn't have the money to build it.  Sounds like an excuse to me.

It makes sense to build the segments around towns first as bypasses (Mena, Waldron, etc.) and then connect them as you go.

AHTD is not known for common sense.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on August 29, 2013, 01:03:59 PM
A former Mena mayor wants AHTD to build the section around Mena before the rest of the highway.  He said that AHTD claimed they didn't have the money to build it.  Sounds like an excuse to me.

It makes sense to build the segments around towns first as bypasses (Mena, Waldron, etc.) and then connect them as you go.

That is the way Texas does it (see US277, US81, US82, etc).

rte66man
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on August 29, 2013, 09:22:28 PM
This article (http://www.thv11.com/news/article/266323/2/Arkansas-highway-officials-considering-tolls-on-I-40), primarily about the possibility of tolling I-40 (and previously discussed in the 6 Laning I-40  (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6548.msg223076#msg223076) thread), reports that, even though Arkansas voters approved the one-half cent sales tax to fund the initial two lanes of the BVB, AHTD is currently investigating the tolling potential of the BVB:
Quote
Are you only looking at this section of Interstate 40?  No, the Department is currently investigating tolling potential in two other corridors (Northbelt Freeway, in conjunction with Metroplan, and the Bella Vista Bypass).

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29319) reports that AHTD is investigating the possibility of tolling not only the Bella Vista Bypass, but also "other sections of the interstate", and that there is a "realistic possibility" that the entire four lanes of the BVB might be completed within the current time frame for two lane construction, even in the absence of tolling:

Quote
AHTD Public Information Officer Randy Ort said while Missouri was struggling to secure the funding necessary to finish its portion of the Bella Vista Bypass, Arkansas had secured enough to install two of the highway's planned four lanes. To complete the other four lanes, AHTD would have to figure out a way to raise an additional $50 million.
One way to possibly pay for the Arkansas portion of not only the Bella Vista Bypass, but other sections of the interstate, would be the creation of Arkansas' first ever toll road, which Ort said was being studied for feasibility.
"It's a candidate to be a toll road, but we need to get the results of this study," he said. "Another reason the results of this study are so important, no only will that show us whether or not it's feasible as a toll road, it will provide us a great amount of data and information as to what it will take to complete the final two lanes to make it the ultimate four lanes that both states want. So by getting the results of the toll study, we think there is a possibility, and a realistic possibility, whether it's a toll road or not a toll road that we will be able to complete this as a four lane facility in the time frame that we committed to only committed to build the two lanes."

Where would AHTD find the money in the absence of tolls?



This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2013/08/29/highway-officials-discuss-ways-to-speed-up-i-49-corridor/), in addition to having footage of the paving project in the Chaffee Crossing area, reports an AHTD estimate of twenty years to connect Fort Smith, Texarkana, and Bella Vista via I-49:

Quote
“We still have a pretty sizable gap in Arkansas from Texarkana to Fort Smith,” Ort said. ”It’s going to be about 180 miles and about a 2.5 billion dollars. That’s very hard to fund a project of that size.”
“That’s a very expensive project,” explained Dick Trammel,  Now I think in the future, everyone’s going to work towards trying to make that possible. I think the funding is going to be the problem.”
The Highway Department says they’re committed to completing the I49 corridor across the state. However, they estimate it could be 20 years before Texarkana connects to Fort Smith and up through Bella Vista.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on August 29, 2013, 11:14:27 PM
Good work, Grzrd.

Dig the man with the I-49 necktie toward the report's end!

BTW, don't know where they'll get the money, but I-49 as two lanes around Bella Vista could be, I'm afraid, an absolute MESS given the traffic it will see.  Glad they're thinking ahead on this one if they follow through.

EDIT:

Some fascinating things on that City Wire article:

1.  Trouble in the Show Me State?

Quote
"And today, we have the plans done. They've been done for many years. We would have to go in and refresh those plans, but that would be a relatively minor task. We purchased the land but we have one challenge," he said. "Considering all the work we did north of there, we no longer have enough money to complete that. So at this time, we can't commit to a schedule in Missouri to do that."

The shortfall in funding amounts to about $25 million, though he said Missouri transportation officials were working to find a funding source to complete the state's portion of the project.

2.  Then there's this potential "lulu":

Quote
Gard Wayt, the Shreveport, La.-based executive director of the I-49 International Coalition, said having officials like Whitaker and others from the city and county level on up to the federal level participate in today's meeting was designed to get all sides thinking and working together to figure out how to finish I-49 at an accelerated rate, a rate at which the interstate could be done in less than a decade.

"If I were going to be safe, I'd say (the Arkansas portion would be complete in) 10 years," ( :wow: ) Wayt said. "But what we're trying to do is cut that in half." (  :wow:   :wow: )

Which "Arkansas portion" does he mean?  The WHOLE one?!?!  I know if he's the director of the I-49 coalition he'd be an optimist, but wow...  (Then again, Texas' Highway and Transportation Department, per the graphic from KTBS-TV/Shreveport earlier, is like the old singer/guitarist Billy Squier when talking about I-49...."Everybody wants you!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhOZL21g2aE)  Instead of being a pipe dream, this is rapidly becoming something that the focus and the impetus will get narrower and stronger on, IMO.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 02, 2013, 06:07:30 PM
This article (http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/02/3793979/us-71-south-to-become-i-49.html)  .... MoDOT also makes it clear that they are waiting on Arkansas before they build Missouri's section of the Bella Vista Bypass:
Quote
“We do not want to build a four-lane freeway that dead-ends at the state line,” said Sean Matlock, MoDOT’s manager for the I-49 project.
(above quote from I-49 Coming to Missouri (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg171905#msg171905) thread)
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29319) reports that MoDOT is currently approximately $25 million short of having its section of the Bella Vista Bypass fully funded:
Quote
Dan Salisbury, the assistant director of the southwest district of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDoT) ... said ... funding to complete the state's I-49 corridor in a section known as the Bella Vista Bypass was not currently in place .... "we no longer have enough money to complete that. So at this time, we can't commit to a schedule in Missouri to do that."
The shortfall in funding amounts to about $25 million.
(above quote from I-49 Coming to Missouri (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.msg243628#msg243628) thread)

This August 30 article (behind paywall) (http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2013/aug/30/missouri-says-no-cash-bella-vista-bypass-20130830/) reports that Missouri's lack of a schedule for the Bella Vista Bypass has resulted in AHTD delaying the letting for the County Road 34 to Missouri state line section of the Arkansas BVB:

Quote
Randy Ort, public information officer for the Arkansas Highway Department, said ....
the original timeline for Arkansas and Missouri to complete the project was 2017. He said officials with the Arkansas Highway Department first learned that Missouri was unable to complete its section in that time frame in recent weeks.
A new schedule for completion of the bypass has been developed, Ort said.
The portion of the bypass from Benton County Road 34 to the Missouri state line was to be bid in January, Ort said. But now, a document from the department listing dates of future projects does not list a time frame for that project.
“We have the money, but it does not make sense to continue that portion,” Ort said. “Do we want to continue a road if it is not usable?”
The stretch of road will be completed when Missouri is ready
, Ort said.
He said the section of the bypass from U.S. 71 in Bentonville to Arkansas 72 west of Hiwasse will have a bid released in January. The department will delay construction of a full interchange at that location so the road can open sooner, Ort said.
A stretch of the bypass from Arkansas 72 west of Hiwasse to Benton County Road 34 is already underway, Ort said. An estimated completion date for that portion was not provided.

Nothing like communication between neighboring state DOTs that are theoretically coordinating a state-line project; in the past year, AHTD and MoDOT have literally switched positions in regard to one waiting on the other at the state line.



This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29319) reports that ... there is a "realistic possibility" that the entire four lanes of the BVB might be completed within the current time frame for two lane construction, even in the absence of tolling:
Quote
AHTD Public Information Officer Randy Ort said ... "we think there is a possibility, and a realistic possibility, whether it's a toll road or not a toll road that we will be able to complete this as a four lane facility in the time frame that we committed to only committed to build the two lanes."

The article reporting on the delay for the section from County Road 34 to the Missouri state line also discusses the possibility that Arkansas will go ahead and build a four-lane highway, and that Missouri wants the Arkansas section to be four lanes:

Quote
The Arkansas Highway Department is building the Bella Vista bypass as a two lane road but has plans to expand it later to four lanes, said Ort.
He said officials believe it will cost another $50 million to expand the road to four lanes. He said there is a possibility that the road will be expanded to four lanes sooner than previously thought. He said that is very preliminary, and no official information is available regarding it.
Dan Salisbury, Missouri assistant district engineer for the southwest district said ... Missouri Department of Transportation plans to complete the road as four lanes when funding becomes available. He added that officials also want the Arkansas section to be four lanes.
“That is because we save very little by doing two lanes,” Salisbury said.
It will cost Missouri $40 million to complete its portion of the bypass, Salisbury said. He said at this time “roughly” $15 million is available for the project.

Well, Missouri needs another $25 million and Arkansas needs another $50 million to finish a four-lane BVB.  Maybe MoDOT is putting behind-the-scenes heat on AHTD to identify a source for the $50 million and go ahead and build the four lanes; it at least appears that AHTD is actively exploring that possibility.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on September 03, 2013, 02:09:17 AM
Is it certain that the Bella Vista Bypass will not be tolled?  I tried to weed through the past replies on this thread.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 03, 2013, 08:18:33 AM
Is it certain that the Bella Vista Bypass will not be tolled?

This August 29 post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg243633#msg243633) discusses a newspaper article which reports AHTD is currently conducting a feasibility study of tolls on the Bella Vista Bypass:

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29319) reports that AHTD is investigating the possibility of tolling not only the Bella Vista Bypass, but also "other sections of the interstate":
Quote
One way to possibly pay for the Arkansas portion of not only the Bella Vista Bypass, but other sections of the interstate, would be the creation of Arkansas' first ever toll road, which Ort said was being studied for feasibility



I tried to weed through the past replies on this thread.

Next time, try using the "Search" function on the upper right hand corner of the page while you are in the thread. For example, the following search would have led you to the post I mentioned above:

toll bella vista bypass

[do not put the search phrase in parentheses because "toll" will not necessarily be next to "Bella Vista Bypass"]
Also, compare that search to what happens if you start your search on the "AARoads Forum Index" page. I think in that case the search will give you the most recent post in every thread that contains the search terms, and would not have listed the post I provided above (I presume you would have to next go to the individual threads for more exhaustive searches).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 10, 2013, 08:56:14 AM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29466) reports on a consultant making a presentation to the Fort Smith Board of Directors and quotes one of the Directors as saying that the connection to I-40 will be "first" (apparently after the Chaffee Crossing, BVB, and LA state line sections):

Quote
Members of the Fort Smith Board of Directors met for nearly three hours on Monday night (Sept. 9) to discuss and try to narrow the focus of priorities identified during a strategic planning retreat on July 19 and 20 at Mt. Magazine State Park ....
Director Mike Lorenz .... said annexation of land surrounding what will become Interstate 49 would be essential as the city looks not only five or 10 years down the road, but decades or even 100 years into the future.
"That's something Ron said at the end looking 50 or 200 years in the future. While we're talking 20 plus years to get I-49 finished, it won't be that long before it's connected to Interstate 40 … That's going to happen first. That's going to happen before down south happens. But that gives you connection from that intersection to Joplin, basically, and I think that defines the entire area right there. And I think that has to be a major priority."
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 10, 2013, 02:33:03 PM
Grzrd, I'm still shaking my head (though I can still admire a genuine optimist) about the I-49 proponent from Shreveport who said that he's working to find ways to make this happen in 10, and maybe FIVE years.

That being said, I agree...with the BV bypass scheduled for completion in 2016, any spot along I-49 south of Joplin is immediately opened up to the entire northern U.S. and Canada by our existing interstate system.  With the man in the Arkansas Business article predicting that Fort Smith will be "unrecognizeable"* in five years (and he has to mean that part of it where I-49 goes) there certainly are people who think at least part of this FSM to Texarkana route is going to happen sooner rather than later.  (BTW, today it was announced that Thermold Industries, a firearms manufacturer, is moving their HQ from North Carolina to Fort Smith.  I think, though, they'll be in "old" Fort Smith along Wheeler Avenue, on the southwest side of town near the Oklahoma border.  At least, for now.  ;-)

*My hometown of Springfield Missouri hasn't changed much in parts of the north side.  On the SOUTH side, where the James River Freeway was built connecting Interstate 44 with U.S. 65 to Branson and U.S. 60 to West Plains, Jonesboro and Memphis, it looks like a different city.  That's what will happen in east Fort Smith.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on September 10, 2013, 02:48:32 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29466) reports on a consultant making a presentation to the Fort Smith Board of Directors and quotes one of the Directors as saying that the connection to I-40 will be "first" (apparently after the Chaffee Crossing, BVB, and LA state line sections):

Quote
Members of the Fort Smith Board of Directors met for nearly three hours on Monday night (Sept. 9) to discuss and try to narrow the focus of priorities identified during a strategic planning retreat on July 19 and 20 at Mt. Magazine State Park ....
Director Mike Lorenz .... said annexation of land surrounding what will become Interstate 49 would be essential as the city looks not only five or 10 years down the road, but decades or even 100 years into the future.
"That's something Ron said at the end looking 50 or 200 years in the future. While we're talking 20 plus years to get I-49 finished, it won't be that long before it's connected to Interstate 40 … That's going to happen first. That's going to happen before down south happens. But that gives you connection from that intersection to Joplin, basically, and I think that defines the entire area right there. And I think that has to be a major priority."

Wrong.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 11, 2013, 03:40:09 PM
Is it certain that the Bella Vista Bypass will not be tolled?

AHTD has posted its presentation for the September 11 Arkansas Highway Commission Meeting (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/091113_Commission%20Meeting%20Powerpoint.pdf). Pages 19-32/39 of the pdf pertain to the Bella Vista Bypass.  One item that caught my eye is AHTD apparently believing that tolling the Bella Vista Bypass would preclude an interstate designation (page 31/39 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/5ZSRNor.png)

I thought MAP-21 allows new interstate sections to be tolled (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/MAP21/summaryinfo.cfm):

Quote
Other changes include the mainstreaming of tolling new Interstates and added lanes on existing Interstates, which was previously allowed only under the Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program and the Express Lanes Demonstration Program

At any rate, on page 32/39, making a decision on “Free” Road vs. Tolling is listed as one of the "Next Steps".  I am curious as to what constitutes the "free" road option, i.e. where would they find the $50 million needed to complete a four-lane facility?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 11, 2013, 07:39:44 PM
Is it certain that the Bella Vista Bypass will not be tolled? 

Based upon what I have read, it will not. Part of the reason being that ARRA money is being used to build part of the highway.  If I-49 was tolled, I believe they would have to refund any monies received by the government.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on September 11, 2013, 09:59:19 PM
This is another reason I think our AHTD is out of control. The people of Arkansas passed the 1/2 cent sales tax for 4 lane roads to be built. It did not have what roads to do, so if they use 100 million on the Bypass for 2 lanes and then toll the road then they better think that will be the last tax hike they will get from the citizens of Arkansas. I think they need to build all 4 lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass and cut back somewhere else.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on September 12, 2013, 05:59:54 PM
There are 2 good articles in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette today about highway funding and the sale of bonds for the 1/2 cent sales tax and the Interstate rehabilitation project. One good thing is about making the Bella Vista Bypass a toll road. The study said it would take 40 yrs. to pay off. Here is a remark by mr. Trammel who also said they were committed to doing the next 2 jobs but will put on hold the last segment until Missouri is ready to meet them. The money coming in for the 1/2 cent sales tax is lower than expected so they will have to scale back some of the projects. The state’s top highway official said Wednesday that it doesn’t “make a lick of sense” to use tolls to finance widening of the proposed Bella Vista Bypass to four lanes.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 12, 2013, 09:55:15 PM
http://arkansasnews.com/sections/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project.html

Highway Commission postpones part of Bella Vista Bypass project

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Highway Commission endorsed a proposal Wednesday to postpone construction of a section of the Bella Vista Bypass in Northwest Arkansas at the Missouri border until that state can find funding for its six-mile portion of the project.

The commission also selected a firm to handle the sale of the first round of bonds — $469 million — that will fund construction of a system of a four-lane highways connecting all parts of the state. Voters last November approved a 10-year half-cent state sales tax increase to pay for the $1.8 billion project.

---
So Arkansas is waiting on Missouri who is waiting on Arkansas.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on September 13, 2013, 01:02:42 AM
Not a Mexican standoff, but a hillbilly standoff.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on September 14, 2013, 12:22:45 AM
http://arkansasnews.com/sections/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project.html

Highway Commission postpones part of Bella Vista Bypass project

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Highway Commission endorsed a proposal Wednesday to postpone construction of a section of the Bella Vista Bypass in Northwest Arkansas at the Missouri border until that state can find funding for its six-mile portion of the project.

The commission also selected a firm to handle the sale of the first round of bonds — $469 million — that will fund construction of a system of a four-lane highways connecting all parts of the state. Voters last November approved a 10-year half-cent state sales tax increase to pay for the $1.8 billion project.

---
So Arkansas is waiting on Missouri who is waiting on Arkansas.

I hate this state.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 14, 2013, 08:37:01 AM
http://arkansasnews.com/sections/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project.html

Highway Commission postpones part of Bella Vista Bypass project

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Highway Commission endorsed a proposal Wednesday to postpone construction of a section of the Bella Vista Bypass in Northwest Arkansas at the Missouri border until that state can find funding for its six-mile portion of the project.

The commission also selected a firm to handle the sale of the first round of bonds — $469 million — that will fund construction of a system of a four-lane highways connecting all parts of the state. Voters last November approved a 10-year half-cent state sales tax increase to pay for the $1.8 billion project.

---
So Arkansas is waiting on Missouri who is waiting on Arkansas.

I hate this state.

Better than Texas or Mississippi :/
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on September 15, 2013, 04:22:48 AM
http://arkansasnews.com/sections/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project.html

Highway Commission postpones part of Bella Vista Bypass project

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Highway Commission endorsed a proposal Wednesday to postpone construction of a section of the Bella Vista Bypass in Northwest Arkansas at the Missouri border until that state can find funding for its six-mile portion of the project.

The commission also selected a firm to handle the sale of the first round of bonds — $469 million — that will fund construction of a system of a four-lane highways connecting all parts of the state. Voters last November approved a 10-year half-cent state sales tax increase to pay for the $1.8 billion project.

---
So Arkansas is waiting on Missouri who is waiting on Arkansas.

I hate this state.

Better than Texas or Mississippi :/

When it comes to roads, Texas and Mississippi are miles ahead of Arkansas.  Take the roads out of the equation?  Ehhh, it's the south.  Enough said.  :)  Kidding, of course.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 26, 2013, 02:07:19 PM
Any updates on the Arkansas River bridge and the connection to I-40/current I-540?

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR0HL7D-M8), primarily an update about the (non-Future I-49) I-540 construction work in Fort Smith, notes that the I-540 Arkansas River bridge is not being upgraded, primarily because funding for the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge is a higher priority:

Quote
It has been a little less than nine months since Interstate 540 through Fort Smith and Van Buren was reduced to one lane in both directions, causing traffic nightmares not normally seen in the area.
For commuters looking for a status update on the construction project, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department District 4 Engineer Chad Adams has good news.
"We're still looking at them being on schedule," he said. "We still have an estimated completion of late spring 2014."
The nearly $79 million project, the largest single-project contract awarded in AHTD history, has seen the demolition of six bridges, with more to come as the months go on ....
While many bridges along the interstate are being replaced, or in some cases raised to allow for higher clearances, one bridge that will not have much if any work done to it is the Arkansas River Bridge.
According to Adams, widening the bridge to conform with current federal highway standards, which is what the contractors are doing with many of the bridges along I-540, is not financially feasible, especially considering that the AHTD is attempting to secure funding for a river bridge along the I-49 route.
He said rehab work on the Arkansas River Bridge on I-540 could total more than $100 million, which would then make it the largest single highway construction contract awarded in state history ....

At least AHTD seems to be giving some serious thought to the I-49 Arkansas River bridge.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 26, 2013, 02:25:27 PM

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR0HL7D-M8), primarily an update about the (non-Future I-49) I-540 construction work in Fort Smith, notes that the I-540 Arkansas River bridge is not being upgraded, primarily because funding for the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge is a higher priority:

I was beginning to wonder about that. The construction crews have signs all around saying "DO NOT DAMAGE BRIDGE".

Still, it's disappointing the roadway is being rebuilt with asphalt instead of concrete. :(
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on September 26, 2013, 02:42:09 PM

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR0HL7D-M8), primarily an update about the (non-Future I-49) I-540 construction work in Fort Smith, notes that the I-540 Arkansas River bridge is not being upgraded, primarily because funding for the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge is a higher priority:

I was beginning to wonder about that. The construction crews have signs all around saying "DO NOT DAMAGE BRIDGE".

Still, it's disappointing the roadway is being rebuilt with asphalt instead of concrete. :(
Really? Is this the first time that such signs have been used? (I've never seen them anywhere in all my 43 years of traveling.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on September 26, 2013, 02:53:01 PM

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR0HL7D-M8), primarily an update about the (non-Future I-49) I-540 construction work in Fort Smith, notes that the I-540 Arkansas River bridge is not being upgraded, primarily because funding for the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge is a higher priority:

I was beginning to wonder about that. The construction crews have signs all around saying "DO NOT DAMAGE BRIDGE".

Still, it's disappointing the roadway is being rebuilt with asphalt instead of concrete. :(
Really? Is this the first time that such signs have been used? (I've never seen them anywhere in all my 43 years of traveling.)

They're not on the highway, per se, but in the construction areas. There's usually too much traffic to try to get a pic.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 27, 2013, 11:29:48 AM
I recently received an email update from AHTD regarding the designation of I-49 in Arkansas:

Quote
As you can see from the attached map, we have recently requested route designation changes for several sections of the Highway 71/State Highway 549/I-540 corridor in western Arkansas.

From the attached map (SW Arkansas image posted in Texarkana thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg249676#msg249676)):
(http://i.imgur.com/1mvAXCO.png)

It looks like they have asked for the I-49 designation along I-540 from Alma to Bentonville. October 17 should be a big I-49 day!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 27, 2013, 01:29:50 PM
GREAT WORK, GRZRD!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 27, 2013, 03:38:19 PM
Forgot to ask (sorry if you posted) why October 17th? Will the results of the petitioning be released then from the Feds?  Forgive my ignorance on this process.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on September 27, 2013, 04:14:16 PM
why October 17th?

http://route.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx

Quote
Next Meeting of the Special Committee on US Route Number will meet in Denver, CO, October 17, 2013 - Applications due no later than September 9, 2013
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on September 27, 2013, 04:29:01 PM
why October 17th?

http://route.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx

Quote
Next Meeting of the Special Committee on US Route Number will meet in Denver, CO, October 17, 2013 - Applications due no later than September 9, 2013

Thank you, Grzrd...the wait begins.

What's fascinating is that just this past week voters approved a millage for a new high school for Bentonville, AR (enrollment by 2016, the year the new school would ostensibly be built, is projected to be around 5,400 kids at the existing Bentonville High, amazing for a school that had around 900 kids 20 years ago).  Already on local news there are reports of a new Walmart plus multiple building permits for the city of Centerton, AR (immediately west of Bentonville, south of the Bella Vista bypass) merely because of the new high school being built.  With the developer of Chaffee Crossing promising Fort Smith will be "unrecognizable" in 5 years (at least his corner, the east side of it) plus a third high school possibly being built in Fort Smith at CC (a sign is up for it already) it's going to be fascinating to see how this plays out, and what a future I-49 will bring throughout northwest and west Arkansas.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 04, 2013, 09:06:43 PM
It looks like they have asked for the I-49 designation along I-540 from Alma to Bentonville. October 17 should be a big I-49 day!

AHTD has posted its September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf) and it has numerous slides about costs and timetables for individual segments of the Bella Vista Bypass and I-540 (I-49 in less than two weeks?) improvements under the Connecting Arkansas Program and the Interstate Rehabilitation Program.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on October 05, 2013, 01:36:45 AM
It looks like they have asked for the I-49 designation along I-540 from Alma to Bentonville. October 17 should be a big I-49 day!

AHTD has posted its September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf) and it has numerous slides about costs and timetables for individual segments of the Bella Vista Bypass and I-540 (I-49 in less than two weeks?) improvements under the Connecting Arkansas Program and the Interstate Rehabilitation Program.

The first few slides paint the picture... Arkansas needs to decommission a bunch of state highways. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: english si on October 05, 2013, 06:01:53 AM
I thought more "gee, California's network is rather sparse". The other states are all smaller in area than AR.

What you didn't spot was how efficient their admin process is - their admin costs are the 49% lowest, and haven't hockey sticked in the last few years.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on October 05, 2013, 08:06:47 AM
Arkansas would be well-served to go to a two-tiered state system like adjacent states Tennessee, Missouri and Texas. But the problem is the state would still have to maintain the secondary system. Maybe at a slightly lesser priority, but a wholesale turnover to counties would never fly.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on October 05, 2013, 11:40:53 PM
Arkansas would be well-served to go to a two-tiered state system like adjacent states Tennessee, Missouri and Texas. But the problem is the state would still have to maintain the secondary system. Maybe at a slightly lesser priority, but a wholesale turnover to counties would never fly.
The problem is the amount/mileage of state highways in Arkansas.  I drove on one recently, AR 127, between Clifty and AR 12.  I passed 2 cars (the stretch was 8 miles).  They really need to cut the fat, so to speak.

I love Missouri's system... Arkansas isn't intelligent enough to adopt something like that though.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on October 05, 2013, 11:59:52 PM
Who says Arkansas doesn't have something like Missouri's system, where minor state highways get less maintenance (despite having numbers rather than letters)?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: english si on October 06, 2013, 04:49:06 AM
They really need to cut the fat, so to speak.
Why? Especially as admin costs per mile are so low.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 06, 2013, 07:00:14 PM
They really need to cut the fat, so to speak.
Why? Especially as admin costs per mile are so low.

AHTD likes to take over county roads, like AR 74 (WC 43) east of US 71 near Winslow and AR 400 (Shepherd Springs Rd). They also have lots of short routes (AR 116 south of Booneville)

Conversely, AR 72 has been discontinued between US 71 and Bus 71 in Bentonville, as has AR 16 from I-540 to AR 112. Also AR 245 north of I-30 in Texarkana (south of 30 being replaced by AR 549)

I'm not sure AHTD has a definitive policy.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on October 08, 2013, 02:49:38 AM
Who says Arkansas doesn't have something like Missouri's system, where minor state highways get less maintenance (despite having numbers rather than letters)?
To my knowledge, they don't, and quite frankly, AHTD is miles behind MoDOT.  But that was my point, minor state highways could have letters.  I really like MO's system. 

I thought more "gee, California's network is rather sparse". The other states are all smaller in area than AR.

What you didn't spot was how efficient their admin process is - their admin costs are the 49% lowest, and haven't hockey sticked in the last few years.

Can you provide any sources or links?  AHTD is very poorly run, in my opinion.  They may have low admin costs, but their output is subpar.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: HandsomeRob on October 08, 2013, 11:41:56 AM
AHTD has posted its September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf) and it has numerous slides about costs and timetables for individual segments of the Bella Vista Bypass and I-540 (I-49 in less than two weeks?) improvements under the Connecting Arkansas Program and the Interstate Rehabilitation Program.
The map on page 17 of that PDF seems to show a proposed eastern bypass of Rogers. Do we know anything about this proposal?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 08, 2013, 12:20:49 PM
September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf)
The map on page 17 of that PDF seems to show a proposed eastern bypass of Rogers. Do we know anything about this proposal?

Environmental Assessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/090373/090373%20Final%20EA%20with%20Approval%20Signature%20and%20Appendices_new.pdf) and a map (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/090373/090373_2012.08.27_APLM_Cou_new.pdf).

One major purpose for the project is to provide some relief for the I-540 (Future I-49) corridor (p. 9/175 of EA pdf; p. 1 of EA document):

Quote
Purpose of the Proposed Project
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve north-south connectivity in the eastern portions of Springdale, Lowell, Bethel Heights and Rogers and to continue the eastern north-south corridor route of Highway 265 from Highway 264 north to Highway 94. The proposed connectivity improvements would provide another avenue for motorists to travel north and south without having to access Highway 71B and Interstate 540 in the Northwest Arkansas metro area.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on October 09, 2013, 03:16:10 AM
September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf)
The map on page 17 of that PDF seems to show a proposed eastern bypass of Rogers. Do we know anything about this proposal?
Quote
Purpose of the Proposed Project
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve north-south connectivity in the eastern portions of Springdale, Lowell, Bethel Heights and Rogers and to continue the eastern north-south corridor route of Highway 265 from Highway 264 north to Highway 94. The proposed connectivity improvements would provide another avenue for motorists to travel north and south without having to access Highway 71B and Interstate 540 in the Northwest Arkansas metro area.

This won't be a bypass by any means.  It's just a widening project, really... but could be considered a bypass, if they do it right.  I just hope that AHTD will not make it 2 lanes in each direction, with the dreaded center left turn lane.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Henry on October 09, 2013, 09:52:20 AM
September 30 presentation to the Springdale Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/093013_Trammel_SpringdaleRotary.pdf)
The map on page 17 of that PDF seems to show a proposed eastern bypass of Rogers. Do we know anything about this proposal?
Quote
Purpose of the Proposed Project
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve north-south connectivity in the eastern portions of Springdale, Lowell, Bethel Heights and Rogers and to continue the eastern north-south corridor route of Highway 265 from Highway 264 north to Highway 94. The proposed connectivity improvements would provide another avenue for motorists to travel north and south without having to access Highway 71B and Interstate 540 in the Northwest Arkansas metro area.

This won't be a bypass by any means.  It's just a widening project, really... but could be considered a bypass, if they do it right.  I just hope that AHTD will not make it 2 lanes in each direction, with the dreaded center left turn lane.
Don't get your hopes up! This being AR, they most likely will.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on October 09, 2013, 02:15:22 PM
So related to the whole issue of conflict with US 49: how the hell did I-41 get approved?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 09, 2013, 02:31:32 PM
So related to the whole issue of conflict with US 49: how the hell did I-41 get approved?

Since it is a US 41 to I-41 "Conversion" (http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/neregion/41/), the same number will remain on the same corridor. The number 41 will be upgraded from US highway to Interstate. My guess is that, if anything, it may have been concluded to be the least confusing interstate number to the public.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 09, 2013, 02:59:25 PM
So related to the whole issue of conflict with US 49: how the hell did I-41 get approved?

what you should be asking is "how the hell did I-74 get approved in North Carolina".  there, we have a 74/74 junction.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on October 09, 2013, 03:12:33 PM
what you should be asking is "how the hell did I-74 get approved in North Carolina".  there, we have a 74/74 junction.
Congress set that number (as they did with I-49 and I-69).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 21, 2013, 11:03:02 AM
why October 17th?

http://route.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx

Quote
Next Meeting of the Special Committee on US Route Number will meet in Denver, CO, October 17, 2013 - Applications due no later than September 9, 2013

Grzrd, forgive me if I missed this, but any word on Arkansas I-49?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 21, 2013, 11:10:55 AM
any word on Arkansas I-49?

The final step of the AASHTO approval process is Board approval of the Committee recommendations.  The Board is pretty much meeting all day today, and should take action on the route applications today.

When will the results be posted? I'm guessing that it could be as early as tomorrow, but past experience indicates that it may be several days past that time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 21, 2013, 01:10:54 PM
any word on Arkansas I-49?

The final step of the AASHTO approval process is Board approval of the Committee recommendations.  The Board is pretty much meeting all day today, and should take action on the route applications today.

When will the results be posted? I'm guessing that it could be as early as tomorrow, but past experience indicates that it may be several days past that time.

Thanks, Grzrd.  I know you'll post it as soon as you hear the word.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 22, 2013, 03:42:05 PM
I recently received an email update from AHTD regarding the designation of I-49 in Arkansas:
Quote
As you can see from the attached map, we have recently requested route designation changes for several sections of the Highway 71/State Highway 549/I-540 corridor in western Arkansas.
From the attached map (SW Arkansas image posted in Texarkana thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg249676#msg249676)):
(http://i.imgur.com/1mvAXCO.png)

I just got a verbal confirmation from AHTD that they were "surprised", but they got "everything they asked for" regarding I-49.

No word on when the first shield will go up.  :bigass:

edit

Dig the man with the I-49 necktie toward the report's end!

Maybe it's time for some folks on the Forum to get a new tie!:

(http://i.imgur.com/fXrKFLo.png)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on October 22, 2013, 03:51:03 PM
I assume at some point they will renumber the exits? That will show how serious AHTD is about the middle section (Texarkana to Alma).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 22, 2013, 08:41:10 PM
Well done, Grzrd!  Thank you.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on October 24, 2013, 12:23:35 PM
So, there are no Missouri-style upgrades/changes they have to do, or any timeframe (you-can't-do-this-until) issues (except, of course, the future construction/completion of the unbuilt parts) listed in the approval breakdown...are there any, or is it solely an "I-49 as soon as we can make the signs" situation?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 24, 2013, 12:48:53 PM
So, there are no Missouri-style upgrades/changes they have to do, or any timeframe (you-can't-do-this-until) issues (except, of course, the future construction/completion of the unbuilt parts) listed in the approval breakdown...are there any, or is it solely an "I-49 as soon as we can make the signs" situation?

I have an email in to AHTD asking about their understanding and their short-term plans.  FWIW I think that, if FHWA has already identified a segment as being interstate-grade construction, then a request to put up the shields is a formality that FHWA cannot refuse because the interstate number has been Congressionally designated. Still, AHTD has to ask ...

The map several posts up suggests that AHTD has short-term plans to put shields up on I-540 and AR 549 neat Texarkana.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 24, 2013, 03:14:04 PM
So, there are no Missouri-style upgrades/changes they have to do, or any timeframe (you-can't-do-this-until) issues (except, of course, the future construction/completion of the unbuilt parts) listed in the approval breakdown...are there any, or is it solely an "I-49 as soon as we can make the signs" situation?

I just took a look at what AHTD asked for in their application (page 3/36 of pdf) (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/Arkansas%20AM2013.pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/idAhBES.png)

* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.
* Designation of AR 549 from the Louisiana state line to US 71 at the Texas state line as "Interstate 49".  Does this suggest a concurrency?  Although, I suppose that, since it is a state route, they can axe AR 549 on their own and not have to ask AASHTO.

At any rate, I think that they want to put shields up at appropriate places sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 25, 2013, 11:19:28 AM
Grzrd, if I recall correctly, you said it might be several days before the AHTD formally announces this?  (And it's reported by Arkansas media outlets?)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 25, 2013, 11:25:33 AM
^ I mentioned that it might take several days for AASHTO to post their decision. As for AHTD, they may wait until they clear up any remaining formalities, if any, with FHWA before they issue a news release. I currently have an email in to AHTD and I will post if the reply provides good information.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 25, 2013, 11:26:30 AM
^ I mentioned that it might take several days for AASHTO to post their decision. As for AHTD, they may wait until they clear up any remaining formalities, if any, with FHWA before they issue a news release. I currently have an email in to AHTD and I will post if the reply provides good information.

Thank you, Grzrd.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on October 27, 2013, 09:23:56 AM
it might be several days before the AHTD formally announces this?  (And it's reported by Arkansas media outlets?)

AHTD has gotten word out to the media and this article (behind paywall) (http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/oct/27/i-49-designation-clears-roadblock-20131027/) reports that AHTD has already submitted its application to FHWA, FHWA has signaled that approval should be effective by Christmas, and that, after approval, "it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down":

Quote
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has gotten initial approval to designate two sections of highway as Interstate 49 ....
The approved sections include 73 miles of Interstate 540 from Alma north to Bella Vista and 42 miles of Arkansas 549 from Texarkana south to the Louisiana state line, said Randy Ort, a spokesmanfor the Highway Department.
The approval came from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials at an Oct. 18 meeting in Denver ....
But final approval must come from the Federal Highway Administration, which received the state’s application last month.
“They have the information,” said Ort. “We’re just waiting to hear back from them. We don’t foresee any problems.”
Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway Department, said he’d like to have final approval by Christmas, but that may be too optimistic.
Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, said Christmas is possible.
“I think that sounds like a very reasonable goal,” he said.

“The proposal from the state is still being reviewed, so we don’t have any way to ballpark how long it’ll take.”
After the I-49 designation is approved on the federal level, it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down, Ort said. The process requires educating the public, making new signs and installing them, he said.
Besides the I-49 signs, the application the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved included “future I-49 signs” for two sections that are still under construction.
Those segments are the 14-mile Bella Vista bypass and a 6-mile section of U.S. 71 on the south side of Fort Smith to Arkansas 22 at Barling.

The section near Fort Smith is scheduled to be completed in June.
A 5-mile section from Doddridge to the Louisiana state line is to be done in May. Ort said it would likely be completed before the Highway Department is ready to put I-49 signs up along the route, so it has been approved for the I-49 signs.
“It just doesn’t make sense to have to keep renumbering things when it’s clear it’s part of the interstate system,” said Bennett, referring to Arkansas 549 south of Texarkana.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 27, 2013, 10:27:44 AM
 :nod:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on October 27, 2013, 02:23:05 PM
I find it interesting that the US 71 freeway north of US 62/AR 102 is not a part of I-540, but will be a part of I-49 before the BVB is opened.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 27, 2013, 03:43:48 PM
BTW, I've been out of state the past three weeks, but another key part of the Bella Vista bypass is now in place - they've opened the new west 102 bridge between Gravette and the community formerly known as "Hiwasse".  The new east bridge east/southeast of "Hiwasse" has been open for months.

This new bridge will allow the two current "under construction" segments of the BV bypass on the Arkansas side to be connected to one another.  A berm had been plowed north of the old highway right next to where this bridge was built.  They're now removing the pavement of the old highway section, and will later push down the berm and start connecting the segment of I-49 that's being plowed north from the bridge to the road (forget its name) just west of Bella Vista near where the B.V. gun range has been.

(EDIT: BTW, the article in the paper that Grzrd cited was very nice.  They also had a map, though on the map they only designated where the "(current)I-49" segments are going to be along (I-540, the route from Texarkana to the Louisiana line).)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on October 28, 2013, 08:52:32 AM
BTW, I've been out of state the past three weeks, but another key part of the Bella Vista bypass is now in place - they've opened the new west 102 bridge between Gravette and the community formerly known as "Hiwasse".  The new east bridge east/southeast of "Hiwasse" has been open for months.

This new bridge will allow the two current "under construction" segments of the BV bypass on the Arkansas side to be connected to one another.  A berm had been plowed north of the old highway right next to where this bridge was built.  They're now removing the pavement of the old highway section, and will later push down the berm and start connecting the segment of I-49 that's being plowed north from the bridge to the road (forget its name) just west of Bella Vista near where the B.V. gun range has been.

102?? "formerly Hiwassee"  :confused:  I thought the road to Gravette was AR72. If the name is no longer Hiwassee, then what is it?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 28, 2013, 09:39:40 AM
rte66man, Hiwasse agreed to be annexed by Gravette because they didn't want to be annexed by Bella Vista.

Sorry, I meant to say that the east and west new bridges over future I-49 are over Hwy. 72...I get it and 102 mixed up in name sometimes.  Apologies.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 28, 2013, 01:24:19 PM
The bridge on Howard Hill Rd south of Fort Smith is now open, as well.  Paving looks to be at least started to just past Rye Hill Rd. Past that, construction crews are still lowering the grade for 49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on October 29, 2013, 09:45:14 AM
In their quest to be intuitive, google does some odd things.  Today when looking to see what other media outlets are reporting on Grzrd's news, I typed in "Arkansas I-49".  Atop the results was this, which is a map that shows exactly where construction has taken place so far on the Bella Vista bypass.  Where the green arrow is denotes where the new bridge I wrote about has just been opened on west Hwy. 72 toward Gravette.  The area below the bridge is significantly more built than the area above:

(https://www.google.com/maps/vt/data=VLHX1wd2Cgu8wR6jwyh-km8JBWAkEzU4,p8P4pzJTzOp5UvTEgX5yAW1c3nBPwkTRBDteZ4oWzLjOoa-CrQZSra_AcwGRmSsSPlcWL6UQtgUIIcc2Fknt4xaXxZ_60nxzGBIFbXL56gzedBO51Uyj71MXTt4LlOXY7jHxDxJAA2-kZXa9tfwY-KPpm3n2uOBGGsWS9Kro0Wim2ZCPQE3Io1lp7PpcV-D02XZEZVui3PmW4eH-eeBYAK5Y)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 29, 2013, 10:42:40 AM
* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v645/rickmastfan67/Interstates/PA/I-376/P1050410s.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on October 29, 2013, 11:02:35 AM
* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.


There is precedence: when AR 68 became US 412, there was a transition period. Also when AR 471 became US 71B.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on October 29, 2013, 07:14:55 PM
* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.


There is precedence: when AR 68 became US 412, there was a transition period. Also when AR 471 became US 71B.

Arkansas likes to remove the old highway sign, replace it with a sign with the new number on it, and haphazardly put the old sign underneath the new sign, sometimes with one bolt:

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3047/2874003675_987d46fdeb_z.jpg?zz=1)

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3257/2874004433_d60aa5e7fe.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on November 05, 2013, 10:05:27 AM
In their quest to be intuitive, google does some odd things.  Today when looking to see what other media outlets are reporting on Grzrd's news, I typed in "Arkansas I-49".  Atop the results was this, which is a map that shows exactly where construction has taken place so far on the Bella Vista bypass.  Where the green arrow is denotes where the new bridge I wrote about has just been opened on west Hwy. 72 toward Gravette.  The area below the bridge is significantly more built than the area above:

(https://www.google.com/maps/vt/data=VLHX1wd2Cgu8wR6jwyh-km8JBWAkEzU4,p8P4pzJTzOp5UvTEgX5yAW1c3nBPwkTRBDteZ4oWzLjOoa-CrQZSra_AcwGRmSsSPlcWL6UQtgUIIcc2Fknt4xaXxZ_60nxzGBIFbXL56gzedBO51Uyj71MXTt4LlOXY7jHxDxJAA2-kZXa9tfwY-KPpm3n2uOBGGsWS9Kro0Wim2ZCPQE3Io1lp7PpcV-D02XZEZVui3PmW4eH-eeBYAK5Y)

This is what it looked like in March. Wonder what took them so long to finish.....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8594356450/in/set-72157633097063219
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on November 25, 2013, 03:31:58 PM
As previously discussed in a post in the Texarkana thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg261159#new), the President of the I-49 International Coalition, Curt Green, recently justified the construction of I-49 through Arkansas as being a logical corridor for goods coming from Louisiana and Texas ports and as being a much safer road than the current US 71.

This article is inked in the other post: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Head-of-I-49-coalition-says-road-needed-soon-5009881.php

Quote
The head of a coalition that supports the construction of a controlled access highway through western Arkansas says the roadway should be built soon so travelers can be safer and the region can enjoy greater economic development.
Curt Green ....
said that current work on Interstate 69 and U.S. 59 in Texas will turn Texarkana into more of an economic hub and that I-49 is needed to move goods farther north.
"Having 69 ending right here in Texarkana will mean cargo coming in from Harlingen and Corpus Christi," he said. "This will mean that we are going to be dumping a tremendous amount of traffic and cargo to Texarkana."
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on November 29, 2013, 10:39:55 AM
Who says Arkansas doesn't have something like Missouri's system, where minor state highways get less maintenance (despite having numbers rather than letters)?
To my knowledge, they don't, and quite frankly, AHTD is miles behind MoDOT.  But that was my point, minor state highways could have letters.  I really like MO's system. 

I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally. Re-signing a ton of state highways with letters when people don't really care just for roadgeek purposes doesn't really sounds like a cost-effective project.

I'm not sure why you say AHTD is miles behind MoDOT, because currently it is MoDOT that is holding up the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass since they lost their funding they promised to Arkansas. Missouri needs to get their house in order, Arkansas is moving forward (despite your comments about Arkansas's "intelligence"...)

Completed as promised!! Not so much, MoDOT...

http://swtimes.com/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2013, 10:47:40 AM
I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally.
Probably a rough continuation of the old federal aid primary/secondary systems.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on November 29, 2013, 11:01:40 AM
I asked him about the size of the network; he knows that much of the system is glorified driveways and roads that connect ghost towns. However, he said that taking people's state highways would be such a bad move politically that they wouldn't be able to get anything else done

He said the secondary roads basically are at minimum maintenance, which is the same they would be if they were officially in a secondary network (Missouri) or administrated by a county organization (Iowa). Low volume rural routes are a problem in almost every state, not just Arkansas.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 29, 2013, 11:17:16 AM

I'm not sure why you say AHTD is miles behind MoDOT, because currently it is MoDOT that is holding up the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass since they lost their funding they promised to Arkansas. Missouri needs to get their house in order, Arkansas is moving forward (despite your comments about Arkansas's "intelligence"...)


MoDOT had the money when Arkansas didn't, so moved on to other projects instead of sitting around wanking until Arkansas was ready.

This is just so much finger pointing, though. Just get the furshlugginer road done and quit playing the "blame game".
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2013, 11:22:17 AM
What does he think about 159? http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 29, 2013, 11:25:36 AM
What does he think about 159? http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635

Don't forget AR 74 ;)

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2013, 11:33:41 AM
Don't forget AR 74 ;)
Eh, that one could be a continuous route if the gaps were filled: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1715519
Not the case for 159 at McGehee.

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
I see 3 likely old alignments (Lake Village, McGehee, Dumas) and 5 that are probably not.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 29, 2013, 11:53:00 AM
Don't forget AR 74 ;)
Eh, that one could be a continuous route if the gaps were filled: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1715519
Not the case for 159 at McGehee.

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
I see 3 likely old alignments (Lake Village, McGehee, Dumas) and 5 that are probably not.

They may also be old AR 59 (there was a 59 in southern Arkansas before US 59 was formed).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2013, 12:48:17 PM
They cocked it up in 1973:
Quote
73-226 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of State Highway 4 west of McGehee, thence running south and east to the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Masonville, a length of approximately 3.2 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 5.
73-227 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of State Highway 4 west of McGehee, thence running north through Sections 29 and 20, T12S, R3W, to a county road junction on the north line of Section 20, T12S, R3W, a length of approximately 1.5 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 6.
73-228 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of U. S. 65 north of McGehee, thence westerly across the Missouri Pacific Railroad to old U. S. 65, thence southerly along old U. S. 65 to the north corporate limits of McGehee, a length of approximately 0.8 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No.159, Section 7.
73-229 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road known as the Griff Leek Road beginning at the junction of State Highway 138 in Section 31, T10S, R3W, thence running northerly to the west side of Canal No. 19 in Section 19, T10S, R3W, a length of approximately 2.4 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 8.
73-230 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of U.S. 65 at the northwest corner of Mitchellville, thence running south along the west corporate limits of Mitchellville to old U. S. 65, thence running southeasterly along old U. S. 65 to the north corporate limits of Dumas at East Dante Street, a length of approximately 1.2 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 9.

Only the one south of Eudora is old 59 (and was the first segment of 159, renumbered in 1935). Anyway, looks like the one from McGehee to Halley is also old US 65 (and, along with the one at Lake Village, was around before 1973). That still leaves two segments west of McGehee (226 and 227) and one east of Winchester (229) that are not old anything (except east of Masonville was US 165) - and the ones at McGehee don't form any sort of logical route when combined with the others.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on November 30, 2013, 03:59:58 AM
I'm not sure why you say AHTD is miles behind MoDOT, because currently it is MoDOT that is holding up the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass since they lost their funding they promised to Arkansas. Missouri needs to get their house in order, Arkansas is moving forward (despite your comments about Arkansas's "intelligence"...)

Completed as promised!! Not so much, MoDOT...
Seriously?  MoDOT got tired of Arkansas's ridiculous ignorance to the Bella Vista Bypass, whether it be by funding or AHTDs too much focus on the Little Rock region. 
MoDOT sat on the money for the longest time... I don't blame them one bit for transferring the money to the section of US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City.

And AHTD is many miles behind MoDOT, in many ways... Here's a list:

- MoDOTs website... AHTDs is just sad.  Even smaller, less populated states have better DOT websites.
- MoDOTs variable message signs... AHTD has none on I-540 in NWA.  I love MoDOTs messages on them.  It's simple reminders to stay safe, and they'll use them for other issues as well.
- MoDOT completed I-49 between Joplin and KC
- MoDOT highways have wide shoulders (where it needs to be) and roadway lighting (where it should be, for the most part).  AHTD has been improving on the shoulders; I haven't noticed any improvement on the roadway lighting... I will never understand why AHTD is so against providing roadway lighting.
- AHTD loves to lay down a sea of pavement for a 5 lane roadway (Just look at the "Eastern Parkway" in NWA plans).  MoDOT actually uses raised medians and gives a crap about access points.

Did I miss anything?  I'm not even going to go into the funding stuff.  And Dick Trammel needs to go.

I live in Northwest Arkansas.  I have never lived in Missouri.  Just wanted to get that out of the way.


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 04:25:39 AM
I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally.
Probably a rough continuation of the old federal aid primary/secondary systems.

Probably not.  AR 8 east of Mena was FAP while AR 8 west of town was FAS, for one example.  Some state highways had FAP and FAS segments and some segments that were neither.  Most US highways were FAP except for where they paralleled an interstate.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 04:28:39 AM
They may also be old AR 59 (there was a 59 in southern Arkansas before US 59 was formed).

Where?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 04:31:48 AM
AHTD's website has a LOT of useful material.  From historic bridge listings to historical maps to meeting minutes to old copies of Arkansas Highways magazine, the AHTD website is a great resource.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on November 30, 2013, 04:48:31 AM
AHTD's website has a LOT of useful material.  From historic bridge listings to historical maps to meeting minutes to old copies of Arkansas Highways magazine, the AHTD website is a great resource.
It may be great for a roadgeek interested in historic value... And I am, but it needs more.  I work in IT and AHTDs website needs a huge overhaul, along with ODOTs.  And, now that I look at it, ODOTs website is worse than AHTDs.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 04:54:00 AM
I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally.
Probably a rough continuation of the old federal aid primary/secondary systems.

Probably not.  AR 8 east of Mena was FAP while AR 8 west of town was FAS, for one example.  Some state highways had FAP and FAS segments and some segments that were neither.  Most US highways were FAP except for where they paralleled an interstate.

What does this have to do with anything? 159 has segments that are relatively major (such as to Louisiana) and chickenshit segments. The former should be maintained to a higher standard than the latter. This may or may not correspond to the FAP/FAS divide (or the FA/non-FA divide).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 06:59:12 AM
AHTD's website has a LOT of useful material.  From historic bridge listings to historical maps to meeting minutes to old copies of Arkansas Highways magazine, the AHTD website is a great resource.
It may be great for a roadgeek interested in historic value... And I am, but it needs more.  I work in IT and AHTDs website needs a huge overhaul, along with ODOTs.  And, now that I look at it, ODOTs website is worse than AHTDs.

ODOT's site has plenty of good information as well.  OTA's website kinda sucks though.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 07:03:12 AM
I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally.
Probably a rough continuation of the old federal aid primary/secondary systems.

Probably not.  AR 8 east of Mena was FAP while AR 8 west of town was FAS, for one example.  Some state highways had FAP and FAS segments and some segments that were neither.  Most US highways were FAP except for where they paralleled an interstate.

What does this have to do with anything? 159 has segments that are relatively major (such as to Louisiana) and chickenshit segments. The former should be maintained to a higher standard than the latter. This may or may not correspond to the FAP/FAS divide (or the FA/non-FA divide).

You said the primary/secondary system coorelated with the old FAP/FAS designation and I said that I didn't think it did.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 08:13:16 AM
And then you gave some reasons that don't make sense. 8 west of Mena could be part of the secondary system while east of Mena could be primary. U.S. Highways could be primary except where they parallel an Interstate.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 09:58:32 AM
You implied that the secondary system was made up of individual routes, not parts of routes that are partially on the primary system.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 10:41:09 AM
I did no such thing.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 10:48:38 AM
Indeed you did.  I said "implied" not "stated".
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 30, 2013, 10:54:18 AM
They may also be old AR 59 (there was a 59 in southern Arkansas before US 59 was formed).

Where?

I'll have to go back and verify, but I believe in the Eudora area
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 10:58:09 AM
Indeed you did.  I said "implied" not "stated".
You're putting implications in my poo.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 30, 2013, 10:58:54 AM
I will never understand why AHTD is so against providing roadway lighting.


What's their usual excuse? Money!

They waste it on pet projects, then don't have it for important stuff.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 11:00:09 AM
They may also be old AR 59 (there was a 59 in southern Arkansas before US 59 was formed).

Where?

I'll have to go back and verify, but I believe in the Eudora area
Eudora to Louisiana was 59, renumbered 159 when the deliberately confusing 59 was created in northwest Arkansas. Thanks, AHTD! (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/mapping_graphics/archived_tourist_maps/archived_tourist_maps.aspx)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 11:10:54 AM
Indeed you did.  I said "implied" not "stated".
You're putting implications in my poo.

Yes you did, Brad, yes you did.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on November 30, 2013, 11:12:14 AM
Why was AR 99 renumbered as AR 43?  (Possibly to match MO 43.)

Why was AR 13 renumbered as AR 81 (and later US 425)?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 30, 2013, 11:18:15 AM
Why was AR 99 renumbered as AR 43?  (Possibly to match MO 43.)

Why was AR 13 renumbered as AR 81 (and later US 425)?

Why was AR 47 renumbered as AR 37?  (Possibly to match MO 37?)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2013, 11:40:19 AM
Why was AR 13 renumbered as AR 81 (and later US 425)?
I don't know. That one's fuckin weird, since a new 13 was created north from Carlisle at about the same time (1942-1945).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on November 30, 2013, 12:06:31 PM
Getting back to Bella Vista Bypass, I think AHTD should fund 4 lanes from Missouri line to County Rd. 34 interchange so Missouri will have a better incentive to get voters to pass a bill to finish their part. Missouri has said they want build all 4 lanes to save money. AHTD probably has not thought of it.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on November 30, 2013, 03:22:56 PM
If you promise to meet at the state line and fail to follow through on the promise, that indicates a lack of planning and awareness of the situation across the border. For a state that loves to pimp its follow through (completed as promised!!), MoDOT sure broke a big promise to Arkansas in this instance. I would be embarrassed if I was responsible for dropping the ball in such a manner.

As for the rest of your comments, I have found everything I have ever wanted on AHTD's website. Sure it isn't the world's most user friendly website, but pretty much all the information is there.

I'm glad you like the little reminders to drive safe, but that is a pretty expensive reminder, and I don't blame AHTD one bit for not putting up a sign that says "Look twice for motorcycles" during 90% of its usage. Especially if they funded real safety projects, like cable median barrier, with the savings.

MoDOT's completion of Interstate 49 is not comparable to Arkansas's inability to fund I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana, and everyone knows it. Have you ever driven US 71 through the Ouachitas? Its going to be a little more expensive than MoDOT's lay-two-more-lanes-on-flat-prairie.

Also AHTD is implementing access management in Northwest Arkansas, including on Highway 265 and Highway 112 improvement projects. Highway 12 will also likely contain access management.

And so you know, I don't care for much of AHTD's approach, but the avenues you seem to be attacking just simply aren't true.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Bill C on November 30, 2013, 07:05:43 PM


MoDOT's completion of Interstate 49 is not comparable to Arkansas's inability to fund I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana, and everyone knows it. Have you ever driven US 71 through the Ouachitas? Its going to be a little more expensive than MoDOT's lay-two-more-lanes-on-flat-prairie.





If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

I also think I-69 should be taken from Houston to Texarkana.  Scrap the I-369 name and remove plans to put the road across southern Arkansas or into Mississippi.  From Little Rock route I-49 over US 67 to Poplar Bluff, joining I-57 at Sikeston.  Once a road is built connecting Marion to Evansville, I-69 outside of Texas would be complete with far fewer bridges, far sooner, and at a huge savings. We already have routes from Mexico to Canada, we just haven't linked them by name and the gaps in them are much easier to close than what the bureaucrats have handed us.  Ease the burden on the citizens of both Mississippi and Arkansas by making a routing change now to save money and use resources more wisely.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on November 30, 2013, 07:16:52 PM
112 improvements? You mean shifting the road near AR 12? I figured most of that was City of Bentonville.

265? How many years did AHTD talk about extending it to Rogers? At least 20, IIRC.

Now we can sit here and play the "blame game" or we can look at creative solutions, such as Louisiana did with unclaimed property.

Both AHTD and MoDOT share some of the blame. Quit pointing fingers and DO something!

---
FWIW, I find MoDOT's "Nag" signs to be a nuisance. I suppose they are good when there's a major traffic slow down or a detour, but I get weary of "Watch for Motorcycles. MODOT Cares" or "Don't Drink and Drive. MODOT Cares" or "Don't Pick Your A$$ While Driving. MODOT cares". :whip:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on December 01, 2013, 12:31:10 AM
My post was an Idea to help Missouri get enough votes in 2014 to pass a tax bill to complete their part of the bella Vista Bypass. I have seen 2 articles, that is what they are looking into. Remember the 2009 Stimulus grant from the federal gov. was the give 5 million to each state for that project. Missouri gave up their part so Arkansas could start. I am from Arkansas and believe it should be working together with Missouri to finish the project. If there belief is to save money by building 4 lanes then Arkansas needs to offer to build 4 lanes to the first interchange so we can support their citizens to vote for money to finish their part. The 1/2 cent Arkansas sales tax was passed and it did not state where the money should be spent. I think that should be a priority road to get finished.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 01, 2013, 03:29:22 AM
I have found everything I have ever wanted on AHTD's website. Sure it isn't the world's most user friendly website, but pretty much all the information is there.

I'm glad you like the little reminders to drive safe, but that is a pretty expensive reminder, and I don't blame AHTD one bit for not putting up a sign that says "Look twice for motorcycles" during 90% of its usage. Especially if they funded real safety projects, like cable median barrier, with the savings.

MoDOT's completion of Interstate 49 is not comparable to Arkansas's inability to fund I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana, and everyone knows it. Have you ever driven US 71 through the Ouachitas? Its going to be a little more expensive than MoDOT's lay-two-more-lanes-on-flat-prairie.

Also AHTD is implementing access management in Northwest Arkansas, including on Highway 265 and Highway 112 improvement projects. Highway 12 will also likely contain access management.

And so you know, I don't care for much of AHTD's approach, but the avenues you seem to be attacking just simply aren't true.

I want to see actual plans on AHTD's website.  For instance, the SPUI that will be constructed at Exit 85 on I-540 in NWA.  I just want to view the documents online.  I had to email a district engineer to view them.  More can be done with AHTD's website, but it's not horrible.  That's the least of the problems.

Those signs that you are referring to will also broadcast Amber Alerts, weather alerts, road closures, and civil emergencies... Every other state has them along Interstates.  If they are not included in the reconstruction of 540 in NWA, then we have a big problem.

I have driven US 71 between Fort Smith and I-30.  And I know that will be a task and a half to complete.  I don't see that link happening in my lifetime... and I'm 27.  I'm not dissing any organization/entity/etc when it comes to that.

AR 112?  If you're referring to SW I Street in Bentonville, then yes, that is a beautiful roadway, and well thought out... It should be a standard... Sidewalks on both sides, a raised center median, and roadway lighting.  Was it Bentonville or AHTD?  I know for sure the roadway lights were not AHTD.  AHTD seems to hate anything to do with roadway lighting.

And if you happen to be affiliated with AHTD, US 62 (Hudson Road) east of I-540 in Rogers, has some raised reflective pavement markers that were installed when they resurfaced it... Sporadically... It's like they gave up after a while.
And if you are affiliated with AHTD, why will you not install roadway lighting on state roads, when it's feasible and needed?







 


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Scott5114 on December 01, 2013, 05:52:00 AM
If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

In Oklahoma, you run into money problems (ODOT is concentrating on bridges) and lack of political will to bypass towns on the US-59 corridor. There would also be little benefit to Oklahoma (you would be serving Poteau and Pocola and that's it). If this came to pass, it would have to be an OTA project.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 01, 2013, 06:49:10 AM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 01, 2013, 10:18:27 AM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.

NAFTA.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: J N Winkler on December 01, 2013, 10:46:50 AM
I want to see actual plans on AHTD's website.  For instance, the SPUI that will be constructed at Exit 85 on I-540 in NWA.  I just want to view the documents online.  I had to email a district engineer to view them.

AHTD does put construction plans on its website--the problem is that they aren't archived online after the letting.  There are some states where the state DOT does quite a good job of making construction plans available online in arrears, but Arkansas just isn't one of them (yet).  This issue is actually one reason I have written scripts to collect and archive the plans automatically.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 01, 2013, 12:14:38 PM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.

NAFTA.
How is that an answer? Mexican traffic will go via Houston, and Canadian traffic needs somewhere to go to.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 02, 2013, 04:16:26 AM
My previous post was deleted... and it probably should have been.

I'll stand by my "nag" Missouri dynamic message signs... Those signs will display Amber Alerts, Road Closures, Weather Conditions, etc.  I just said that I like MoDOT's extra messages on those signs.  And most every other state that I've visited have implemented those signs, and most don't display those extra messages.  To each their own.

And those signs are an essential part of ITS strategies.


Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 02, 2013, 09:06:46 AM
I just thought of a reason why this has come up, and it isn't an AASHTO problem, but an Arkansas problem. I think internally Arkansas only refers to the route number and makes no distinction between whether it is a Interstate, US, or State Route. With that said, I don't see why they can't just put up I-49 signs but still refer to it internally as 549 until they can come up with a different system internally for referring to state routes.
Oh please. If http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635 can have a single number (159), so can US 49 and I-49.
Worse (from the standpoint that two same-numbered routes at opposite ends of the state are supposedly a problem): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkansas_Highway_37

And 980 :bigass:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Anthony_JK on December 02, 2013, 09:08:41 AM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.

New Orleans is still a major city....and Louisiana has four of the busiest seaports in the nation.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 02, 2013, 09:46:01 AM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.

New Orleans is still a major city....and Louisiana has four of the busiest seaports in the nation.

Bold added.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 02, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
My previous post was deleted... and it probably should have been.

I'll stand by my "nag" Missouri dynamic message signs... Those signs will display Amber Alerts, Road Closures, Weather Conditions, etc.  I just said that I like MoDOT's extra messages on those signs.  And most every other state that I've visited have implemented those signs, and most don't display those extra messages.  To each their own.

And those signs are an essential part of ITS strategies.



I can understand the signs if there's an accident, I just don't like the "nag" messages .
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: ShawnP on December 02, 2013, 11:16:12 AM
First I believe both Arkansas are to blame for the BVB fiasco. First it was Arkansas going, then Missouri and then both states pointing at each other. Missouri missed a golden opportunity to save some major bucks if they had built their portion in 09 when construction rates were at historic lows. Sure MODOT would have taken some nanny hits from folks over a ghost road but us Road Geeks would know the major bucks they saved and would have saluted them. Knowing had badly BVB is needed by both states I wouldn't have seen the Missouri portion as a ghost road for long.

As far Nanny messages. They drive me utterly crazy to have my tax dollars go to lecture me. I see the Amber Alerts, road warnings for construction and accidents. I do not see the endless seatbelt lecturing messages.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Anthony_JK on December 02, 2013, 11:50:52 AM
Can someone tell me what major city-to-city corridor I-49 is supposed to serve? Houston-KC traffic is better off going via Dallas and US 75-69, picking up I-49 at Joplin, and New Orleans-KC traffic can save distance and stick to mostly four-lanes by going to Memphis and then up US 63-60-13.

New Orleans is still a major city....and Louisiana has four of the busiest seaports in the nation.

Bold added.

Acknowledged...for now. Until I-49 is actually finished. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 02, 2013, 01:12:55 PM
I-49 isn't going to magically cut the distance...
New Orleans to Kansas City via Memphis: 844 miles (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=new+orleans+to+kansas+city&saddr=new+orleans&daddr=kansas+city&num=100&t=m&z=6&geocode=FVoEyQEdFJ6h-illghGyVKQghjG00yJe6FsG2w%3BFU6dVAIdedhc-imXmemvXvfAhzGiUapq5iWFVQ)
New Orleans to Kansas City via I-10 to Lafayette and I-49: 883 miles (http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=new+orleans&daddr=30.3666641,-91.6333879+to:kansas+city&hl=en&sll=34.525592,-92.171112&sspn=14.658597,29.025879&geocode=FVoEyQEdFJ6h-illghGyVKQghjG00yJe6FsG2w%3BFchbzwEdFcmJ-imDQkDmTW4khjFvZVyhlbvvxw%3BFU6dVAIdedhc-imXmemvXvfAhzGiUapq5iWFVQ&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=6&via=1&t=m&z=6)
New Orleans to Kansas City via I-49 all the way: 905 miles (http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=new+orleans&daddr=29.7006127,-91.1996663+to:kansas+city&hl=en&sll=34.525592,-92.171112&sspn=14.658597,29.025879&geocode=FVoEyQEdFJ6h-illghGyVKQghjG00yJe6FsG2w%3BFQQyxQEdTmeQ-inPePBj8mEhhjHobiudX3yj4A%3BFU6dVAIdedhc-imXmemvXvfAhzGiUapq5iWFVQ&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=6&via=1&t=m&z=6)

And the terrain's flatter via Memphis, another benefit for trucks. The money would be better spent completing the four-laning of US 63, something AHTD probably plans anyway.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 02, 2013, 02:51:32 PM

And the terrain's flatter via Memphis, another benefit for trucks. The money would be better spent completing the four-laning of US 63, something AHTD probably plans anyway.

Not to worry: I'm sure AHTD will blow up half the mountainside to have a (reasonably) level roadway. </s>
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 02, 2013, 05:09:24 PM
Why was AR 13 renumbered as AR 81 (and later US 425)?
I don't know. That one's fuckin weird, since a new 13 was created north from Carlisle at about the same time (1942-1945).

Never mind, sort of. Turns out the "1942" map is not actually from 1942. The 1941 map shows 13 existing both south from Pine Bluff and north from Carlisle. I guess they planned to connect them, but decided not to and so renumbered one. But why renumber the older one?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on December 02, 2013, 06:40:10 PM
Why was AR 47 renumbered as AR 37?  (Possibly to match MO 37?)

Duh.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on December 03, 2013, 12:11:27 AM

I want to see actual plans on AHTD's website.  For instance, the SPUI that will be constructed at Exit 85 on I-540 in NWA.  I just want to view the documents online.  I had to email a district engineer to view them.  More can be done with AHTD's website, but it's not horrible.  That's the least of the problems.

Those signs that you are referring to will also broadcast Amber Alerts, weather alerts, road closures, and civil emergencies... Every other state has them along Interstates.  If they are not included in the reconstruction of 540 in NWA, then we have a big problem.


AHTD doesn't even anticipate funding the SPUI project you referenced until 2015. I recently did some work related to the project and am somewhat familiar with it.

So you want to view plans of projects in the works in addition to bid projects, essentially? I suppose I wasn't aware that lots of DOTs upload plans during intermediate review submittals even prior to the finalized construction set.

I am not affiliated with AHTD, so I cannot speak to their hatred of street lights
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 03, 2013, 09:33:49 AM
Why was AR 47 renumbered as AR 37?  (Possibly to match MO 37?)

Duh.

Should have been done in 1930.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 03, 2013, 10:52:18 AM
Why was AR 47 renumbered as AR 37?  (Possibly to match MO 37?)

Duh.

Should have been done in 1930.
Why 1930? Missouri had 37 there back in 1922, and Arkansas designated 47 (from Rogers, replacing the non-US 71 part of A-4) in 1926. Arkansas numbered 25 to match Missouri, and could have easily done the same with 37.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 03, 2013, 11:11:15 AM
Why was AR 47 renumbered as AR 37?  (Possibly to match MO 37?)

Duh.

Should have been done in 1930.
Why 1930? Missouri had 37 there back in 1922, and Arkansas designated 47 (from Rogers, replacing the non-US 71 part of A-4) in 1926. Arkansas numbered 25 to match Missouri, and could have easily done the same with 37.

47 ran from Rogers to the MO Line at Gateway. Most of it was replaced by US 62 in 1930, so that's when it should have been renumbered, IMO.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on December 03, 2013, 11:28:45 AM
I suppose. Or it could have been an extension of 72 in Arkansas multi-segment style.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on December 03, 2013, 11:36:57 AM
Why was AR 13 renumbered as AR 81 (and later US 425)?
I don't know. That one's fuckin weird, since a new 13 was created north from Carlisle at about the same time (1942-1945).

The initial guess would be because "13" is an "unlucky number."  But, as you said, it was reused in the Carlyle area.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on December 03, 2013, 11:50:51 AM
If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

Have you ever taken US 259 over Kiamichi Mountain?  I didn't think so.  A tunnel would be necessary if one were to build an interstate through here.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 03, 2013, 12:19:21 PM

If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

Once upon a time, there was a proposal to extend I-540 into Oklahoma, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

There is already a section of I-49 set to open next year between Barling and south of Ft Smith.  There is also a proposal to reroute I-540 near exit 12 to connect to I-49, so having having 49 connect to 540 near the OK/AR Line seems a moot point.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on December 03, 2013, 12:59:16 PM

If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

Once upon a time, there was a proposal to extend I-540 into Oklahoma, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

There is already a section of I-49 set to open next year between Barling and south of Ft Smith.  There is also a proposal to reroute I-540 near exit 12 to connect to I-49, so having having 49 connect to 540 near the OK/AR Line seems a moot point.

Hoo, boy...I thought the same thing too, until I drove up and down the Oklahoma 59 stretch between the Talimena Scenic Drive access, the JFK memorial (interesting story behind that, and timely for this past month, too) and the "three sticks".  I can't imagine them building an interstate along that roadway unless it was like that one (I-24? don't have time to look it up) between Manchester and Chattanooga, TN that has the tunnel.  SHEESH, that makes building the Arkansas FSM-Texarkana stretch look easy contemplating that.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on December 03, 2013, 01:06:49 PM

If I may be bold enough to offer a suggestion to the geographic difficulties of building through western Arkansas, why not simply build I-49 from Texarkana to Fort Smith  through eastern Oklahoma and link the new roadway at the southern current end of I-540?  It seems to me to be a way to save money and to build the road quicker (if Oklahoma is amenable to the prospect of the new interstate in their territory).  Oklahoma's hills are smaller and their terrain easier to surmount.  Go west young man...

Once upon a time, there was a proposal to extend I-540 into Oklahoma, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

There is already a section of I-49 set to open next year between Barling and south of Ft Smith.  There is also a proposal to reroute I-540 near exit 12 to connect to I-49, so having having 49 connect to 540 near the OK/AR Line seems a moot point.

Hoo, boy...I thought the same thing too, until I drove up and down the Oklahoma 59 stretch between the Talimena Scenic Drive access, the JFK memorial (interesting story behind that, and timely for this past month, too) and the "three sticks".  I can't imagine them building an interstate along that roadway unless it was like that one (I-24? don't have time to look it up) between Manchester and Chattanooga, TN that has the tunnel.  SHEESH, that makes building the Arkansas FSM-Texarkana stretch look easy contemplating that.

I-24 doesn't have a tunnel. Are you referring to Monteagle where each carriageway goes up each side of the mountain?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on December 03, 2013, 04:15:32 PM
Indeed, thanks...the Monteagle split is what I was thinking of.  It's been so long since I've traveled on that I really thought I remembered a tunnel.  (Must have been thinking of the Norfolk Southern, which DOES have a tunnel parallel to the Interstate north of Chattanooga.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 04, 2013, 04:44:39 AM

I want to see actual plans on AHTD's website.  For instance, the SPUI that will be constructed at Exit 85 on I-540 in NWA.  I just want to view the documents online.  I had to email a district engineer to view them.  More can be done with AHTD's website, but it's not horrible.  That's the least of the problems.

Those signs that you are referring to will also broadcast Amber Alerts, weather alerts, road closures, and civil emergencies... Every other state has them along Interstates.  If they are not included in the reconstruction of 540 in NWA, then we have a big problem.


AHTD doesn't even anticipate funding the SPUI project you referenced until 2015. I recently did some work related to the project and am somewhat familiar with it.

So you want to view plans of projects in the works in addition to bid projects, essentially? I suppose I wasn't aware that lots of DOTs upload plans during intermediate review submittals even prior to the finalized construction set.

I am not affiliated with AHTD, so I cannot speak to their hatred of street lights

It's in the STIP, and will be funded, and I've received documents pertaining to it... And I already know that it's going to be at least 2015.

And yes, I want the basic information, and any plans should be on AHTD's website... Public meetings, etc.  If I-540 is being widened, or a certain interchange is going to be upgraded, I expect to see it on the state transportation site, with info... Where else would I go for info?

Yeah, well, I will forever drive in the dark here! :)

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 04, 2013, 05:16:48 AM

And yes, I want the basic information, and any plans should be on AHTD's website... Public meetings, etc.  If I-540 is being widened, or a certain interchange is going to be upgraded, I expect to see it on the state transportation site, with info... Where else would I go for info?

Yeah, well, I will forever drive in the dark here! :)


540 in Ft Smith is getting new exit signs, I can tell you that much ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 04, 2013, 05:44:53 AM
540 in Ft Smith is getting new exit signs, I can tell you that much ;)

So, Fort Smith will get their first taste of Clearview?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 04, 2013, 09:52:26 AM
540 in Ft Smith is getting new exit signs, I can tell you that much ;)

So, Fort Smith will get their first taste of Clearview?

Quite possibly, yes.

Right now, AHTD is just putting in the footings. I doubt we'll see anything until the rubbish reconstruction job is finished.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on December 04, 2013, 10:46:09 AM
If this was posted earlier on this thread, my apologies.  The Kansas City Southern is building a new concrete bridge over the Red River above Texarkana to replace one of those "Jimi Hendrix bridges" (named by me as when I see an old iron bridge with metal code wire poles atop it I think of this scene (0:58 mark of the video, sorry you have to wade through a stupid song to get to it) from "Easy Rider" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C3EPTOuBJ4) with Hendrix singing "If six was nine") on the railroad.  The person on the Facebook group who posted the new/old KCS bridge pictures said that a group is wanting to put a lock and dam on the Red right above or near Texarkana to make that river navigable for barges to that point, largely as a result of future I-49.  (I've seen how dry and small the Red can get in west Bowie County, TX so it seems to me that is pushing it, but given that the Little River flows into the Red a few miles downriver in Arkansas I can see where it could happen.)

Don't know if that will happen but if so, another feather in the cap potentially for TXK and I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Road Hog on December 06, 2013, 03:55:02 AM
If this was posted earlier on this thread, my apologies.  The Kansas City Southern is building a new concrete bridge over the Red River above Texarkana to replace one of those "Jimi Hendrix bridges" (named by me as when I see an old iron bridge with metal code wire poles atop it I think of this scene (0:58 mark of the video, sorry you have to wade through a stupid song to get to it) from "Easy Rider" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C3EPTOuBJ4) with Hendrix singing "If six was nine") on the railroad.  The person on the Facebook group who posted the new/old KCS bridge pictures said that a group is wanting to put a lock and dam on the Red right above or near Texarkana to make that river navigable for barges to that point, largely as a result of future I-49.  (I've seen how dry and small the Red can get in west Bowie County, TX so it seems to me that is pushing it, but given that the Little River flows into the Red a few miles downriver in Arkansas I can see where it could happen.)

Don't know if that will happen but if so, another feather in the cap potentially for TXK and I-49.

They'd need at least two additional locks and dams to get the Red navigable to that point. It's only navigable to Shreveport now. Maybe Landrieu and Pryor can hook up to get something done like Kerr and McClellan did on the Arkansas.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 19, 2013, 12:24:54 AM
I received this reply back from AHTD, concerning the I-540 widening in Northwest Arkansas:

The study you reference recommends I-540 to be widened to four lanes in each direction in select areas only. At this time we are not proceeding with that and will widen to three lanes. The study will probably be revisited once the current improvements are in place.

You would think that AHTD would have learned their lesson with current I-540, and the Bella Vista Bypass.  Do it right the first time, and you'll save money in the long run.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on December 19, 2013, 10:05:05 AM
I received this reply back from AHTD, concerning the I-540 widening in Northwest Arkansas:

The study you reference recommends I-540 to be widened to four lanes in each direction in select areas only. At this time we are not proceeding with that and will widen to three lanes. The study will probably be revisited once the current improvements are in place.

You would think that AHTD would have learned their lesson with current I-540, and the Bella Vista Bypass.  Do it right the first time, and you'll save money in the long run.

I just saw on the news last night that AHTD is about so start work on extra lanes from Wagon Wheel Road to AR 264 in Lowell.
http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/northwest/highway-department-to-expand-i540-to-six-lanes/-/8897460/23558078/-/isva70z/-/index.html
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on December 25, 2013, 07:34:00 PM
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said it could be years before the Intestate 49 project is completed through the River Valley. As construction continues, the department is seeking funds to complete a bridge over the Arkansas River and to connect I-49 to Interstate 40. “I know there are several leaders here in Fort Smith pushing for funding to be identified,” said Chad Adams, district engineer for the state highway department. Adams said  six jobs have been added to complete construction of  the section of I-49 between U.S. 71 and Arkansas 22. That section should be opened by mid-2014, he said. Adams said project cost estimates for Arkansas’ portion of I-49 come in at about $96 million. Adams said once the project is completed, motorists will see big improvements.
 Also AHTD is looking for funding to complete the Bella Vista Bypass. They said about 50 million is needed with the 1/2 cent tax money they are to spend on it. Doesn't look good for quick progress.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 28, 2013, 05:31:38 AM
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said it could be years before the Intestate 49 project is completed through the River Valley. As construction continues, the department is seeking funds to complete a bridge over the Arkansas River and to connect I-49 to Interstate 40. “I know there are several leaders here in Fort Smith pushing for funding to be identified,” said Chad Adams, district engineer for the state highway department. Adams said  six jobs have been added to complete construction of  the section of I-49 between U.S. 71 and Arkansas 22. That section should be opened by mid-2014, he said. Adams said project cost estimates for Arkansas’ portion of I-49 come in at about $96 million. Adams said once the project is completed, motorists will see big improvements.
 Also AHTD is looking for funding to complete the Bella Vista Bypass. They said about 50 million is needed with the 1/2 cent tax money they are to spend on it. Doesn't look good for quick progress.


I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana won't be completed in my lifetime, and I'm 27.  I guarantee it.  Who wants to place bets? :)

AHTD needs to focus on the population areas (outside of Little Rock), like the Bella Vista Bypass.  This bypass should have been done years ago.

Also, *cough* Clean house *cough* comes to mind.  I've always sensed a "good ol' boy network" within AHTD.  I know that Dick Trammel needs to go.  He has done NOTHING for this area.

http://www.arkansashighways.com/commission.aspx (http://www.arkansashighways.com/commission.aspx) Why is it 10 year terms?  No wonder our highway system is the way it is.

Sorry.  It was good to vent.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on December 30, 2013, 03:02:49 PM
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said it could be years before the Intestate 49 project is completed through the River Valley. As construction continues, the department is seeking funds to complete a bridge over the Arkansas River and to connect I-49 to Interstate 40. “I know there are several leaders here in Fort Smith pushing for funding to be identified,” said Chad Adams, district engineer for the state highway department. Adams said  six jobs have been added to complete construction of  the section of I-49 between U.S. 71 and Arkansas 22. That section should be opened by mid-2014, he said. Adams said project cost estimates for Arkansas’ portion of I-49 come in at about $96 million. Adams said once the project is completed, motorists will see big improvements.
 Also AHTD is looking for funding to complete the Bella Vista Bypass. They said about 50 million is needed with the 1/2 cent tax money they are to spend on it. Doesn't look good for quick progress.


I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana won't be completed in my lifetime, and I'm 27.  I guarantee it.  Who wants to place bets? :)

AHTD needs to focus on the population areas (outside of Little Rock), like the Bella Vista Bypass.  This bypass should have been done years ago.

Also, *cough* Clean house *cough* comes to mind.  I've always sensed a "good ol' boy network" within AHTD.  I know that Dick Trammel needs to go.  He has done NOTHING for this area.

http://www.arkansashighways.com/commission.aspx (http://www.arkansashighways.com/commission.aspx) Why is it 10 year terms?  No wonder our highway system is the way it is.

Sorry.  It was good to vent.

Indeed, I saw a census estimate that the four county Northwest Arkansas metro area now has 500,000 people (not counting the 300,000 in the adjacent Fort Smith metro area, tied in so many ways to "NWA").  How many other half-million people metro areas don't have a through interstate?  (Which could have been completed years ago when Missouri was ready, had not Arkansas played Keystone Kop.)

A sad note for an area that has so many other things going for it.  And possibly could have a LOT more going right now were I-49 fully linking it between Joplin and metro Fort Smith.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on December 31, 2013, 06:27:32 AM
Agreed.  Northwest Arkansas is unique in that there is no solid city with suburbs.  It's just a mess of cities, competing against each other.



Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Bobby5280 on December 31, 2013, 12:14:00 PM
If the cities in NW AR keep growing the way they're growing the highway infrastructure will be forced to improve to keep up with it. The big question is which highways in the region will be built or improved first? If AHTD can't find a way to build their portion of I-49 anytime in the foreseeable future improvements in some other corridors may pick up some of the slack. For instance, growth in both Dallas-Fort Worth and NW Arkansas could eventually force US-69 and US-412 in Oklahoma to be improved to Interstate standards.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on December 31, 2013, 08:05:56 PM
The Bella Vista Bypass construction project from Hwy. 72 South to the future Hwy 71, I 540 Interchange is scheduled for 2/26/2014. It will be only 2 lanes of future I 49. Hopefully they will keep their commitment.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 08, 2014, 05:52:25 PM
this article (behind paywall) (http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/oct/27/i-49-designation-clears-roadblock-20131027/) reports that AHTD has already submitted its application to FHWA, FHWA has signaled that approval should be effective by Christmas, and that, after approval, "it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down":
Quote
Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, said Christmas is possible.
“I think that sounds like a very reasonable goal,” he said.
“The proposal from the state is still being reviewed, so we don’t have any way to ballpark how long it’ll take.”

A recent email Q & A with FHWA's Washington office indicates that the above information may be incorrect and that AHTD has not even submitted an application to FHWA:

Quote
As you are probably aware, the redesignations of I-540 and AR 549 as I-49 were conditionally approved by AASHTO this Fall (2013), however the Federal Highway Administrator has not formally received a redesignation request.  Once an official request is submitted for the Administrator’s determination through our Arkansas Federal-Aid Division Office it will be reviewed and processed accordingly.

I wonder if AHTD even realizes that it has not properly submitted an application to FHWA?

edit

Or, maybe FHWA's Arkansas Federal-Aid Division Office is still reviewing it. Glacial progress.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Alps on January 08, 2014, 06:54:05 PM
this article (behind paywall) (http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/oct/27/i-49-designation-clears-roadblock-20131027/) reports that AHTD has already submitted its application to FHWA, FHWA has signaled that approval should be effective by Christmas, and that, after approval, "it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down":
Quote
Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, said Christmas is possible.
“I think that sounds like a very reasonable goal,” he said.
“The proposal from the state is still being reviewed, so we don’t have any way to ballpark how long it’ll take.”

A recent email Q & A with FHWA's Washington office indicates that the above information may be incorrect and that AHTD has not even submitted an application to FHWA:

Quote
As you are probably aware, the redesignations of I-540 and AR 549 as I-49 were conditionally approved by AASHTO this Fall (2013), however the Federal Highway Administrator has not formally received a redesignation request.  Once an official request is submitted for the Administrator’s determination through our Arkansas Federal-Aid Division Office it will be reviewed and processed accordingly.

I wonder if AHTD even realizes that it has not properly submitted an application to FHWA?

edit

Or, maybe FHWA's Arkansas Federal-Aid Division Office is still reviewing it. Glacial progress.
We can now ask AHTD! They're on the forum!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 13, 2014, 05:27:54 PM
 Currently we are working with the FHWA local division office to formally submit the application to that agency. We submitted an initial application to the local division office late last year and continue to work with this office to finalize the document. Essentially, the local division office is helping to guide AHTD through the application process.
 
 
In the fall of 2013, AHTD applied for I-49 designation in multiple locations during the annual meeting of the AASHTO U.S. Route Numbering Committee (see link to PDF map below). AASHTO is an organization of peers and as such, the peers on the U.S. Route Numbering Committee review requests made by member organizations. The peer review of AHTD's request was favorable and resulted in a committee recommendation that will be included as part of the application to FHWA.
 
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49_Route_Request.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49_Route_Request.pdf)
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on January 13, 2014, 05:33:42 PM
I would like to say that its awesome AHTD is on this forum

 :cheers:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 14, 2014, 12:31:34 AM
I would like to say that its awesome AHTD is on this forum

 :cheers:

Will they answer the hard questions from us on the forum?  We'll see.  They didn't respond to mine.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 14, 2014, 10:52:27 AM
I would like to say that its awesome AHTD is on this forum

 :cheers:

Will they answer the hard questions from us on the forum?  We'll see.  They didn't respond to mine.

I usually just e-mail them directly and get a response in 1-2 days.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 14, 2014, 12:03:48 PM
You have questions?
 
Please feel free to ask anything, we are here to provide the answers.
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on January 14, 2014, 12:22:14 PM
OK, *if* the $$ was there right now for AR to finish I-49, how soon could what's left to do (Fort Smith-Texarkana, Ark. River bridge, Red River bridge, full 4-laning of the Bella Vista bypass) be built and opened?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 14, 2014, 12:22:53 PM
You have questions?
 
Please feel free to ask anything, we are here to provide the answers.
 
 

I've noticed new exit signs going up on I-540 in Ft Smith. but no exit numbers yet. Is the rumor true that the exit numbers are being shifted to match the Alma-Bentonville segment (ie Exit 1 will now be Hwy 271 instead of I-40 West? I am guessing that won't officially happen until the 540 rebuild is finished this Spring?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 14, 2014, 03:07:37 PM
You have questions?
 
Please feel free to ask anything, we are here to provide the answers.
 
 

I've noticed new exit signs going up on I-540 in Ft Smith. but no exit numbers yet. Is the rumor true that the exit numbers are being shifted to match the Alma-Bentonville segment (ie Exit 1 will now be Hwy 271 instead of I-40 West? I am guessing that won't officially happen until the 540 rebuild is finished this Spring?

The project in question involves reconstruction of I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties from State Highway 22 to I-40 (AHTD Job No. BB0407) and is part of our Interstate Rehabilitation Program (http://www.idrivearkansas.com/construction-programs/interstate-rehabilitation-program/). Replacement of signage is part of the contract. Our intent is to wait until the work is completed and then post exit numbers all at once. The current estimated completion for this project is mid-2014.
 
At one time there was discussion of renumbering these exits to complement the northern section of I-540 (I-40 to Bentonville), however that will not happen now that we are actively seeking re-designation of the northern section as I-49.
 
Both I-540 to the north and to the south are Interstate spurs (so too is I-530 in Southeast Arkansas). Numbering of exits for Interstate spurs begin at the parent Interstate – in this case I-40 – and proceed the distance. In the case of I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties, the current exit numbers (the way they were prior to construction) are correct and will likely stay the way they have been. It is too early to say what will happen to exit numbers on the northern section once it is re-designated I-49.
 
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.
 
Currently we have a request before FHWA to re-log this southern section of I-540 to match the progression of exit numbers – which is the standard practice.
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 14, 2014, 03:51:55 PM

Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.
 

Very interesting!  I've seen some old maps that designated it AR 540 in the 1960's but was unaware of US 271, though I've been able to trace 271's other alignments in & around Ft Smith.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 14, 2014, 04:06:39 PM
AHTD, when the 'Northern' segment of I-540 is re-designated as I-49, will it get new exit numbers at the same time?  If it does, it is possible to post the list here?

Also, will you be submitting an application to the AASHTO for removal of I-540 north of I-40 (and also along I-40) in the Spring '14 meeting since you now have I-49 approval from the AASHTO, and hopefully soon the FHWA?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 14, 2014, 05:39:31 PM
OK, *if* the $$ was there right now for AR to finish I-49, how soon could what's left to do (Fort Smith-Texarkana, Ark. River bridge, Red River bridge, full 4-laning of the Bella Vista bypass) be built and opened?

 
Among other things, this map (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49_Route_Request.pdf) illustrates the remaining sections of I-49 that are not under construction (red lines). The current gross estimate for completing everything is $2.8 Billion. This includes the river crossings (Arkansas River estimated around $500 million) and the remaining two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass (estimated at $50 million). It does not include the first two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass that are under construction; nor does it include those sections of the first two lanes that will be under construction as a result of the half-cent sales tax program.
 
It is important to note here the Bella Vista Bypass will not be completed as a two lane or a four lane facility until Missouri DOT is able to meet us at the state line. Through the years and during the course of this project’s development, there have been times when Arkansas was not ready to meet Missouri at the state line. Currently the bypass will be completed up to Benton County Road 34.
 
If the money were all of a sudden magically available as described in the original question quoted above, the planning estimates for the remaining sections would have to be updated. While the route (new alignment) is approved and environmental impact statements have been completed, design work has not been started.
 
Among the items to consider here include whether or not to divide the design into several projects that multiple consultants could tackle at the same time. Public meetings would be required. Purchase of right-of-way would be required. Not until all utilities are relocated would these projects be let to construction.
 
The amount of time it will take for a contractor to complete any of these projects will vary as it does on any other construction project. Depending upon how the job is set-up, a contractor’s bid may include the number of working days in which to complete the project. And then there are the river crossings…
 
Currently we are estimating 24 months for the U.S. Highway 70 (Broadway) bridge over the Arkansas River at Little Rock to be out of service while the old structure is demolished and the new one constructed. That is an estimate based on a fast-track schedule. A bridge over the Arkansas and Red Rivers on new location is not likely to be fast-tracked.
 
So how would this all play out if the money were available? While nothing is written in stone, it’s reasonable to assume that as money does come available, we would start by constructing bypasses around several of the communities along the route – Mena, DeQueen, Waldron, etc. Then as more money becomes available, we would begin to link those bypasses. Eventually we would have a highway.
 
As a comparison, consider the construction of I-540 between I-40 and the State Highway 265 interchange (Exit 60):
 
      · 42 miles in length
      · $459 million to construct (including $37.1 million for the twin tunnels)
      · Let as 24 separate contracts
      · Construction began in January 1987
      · Construction completed in January 1999
 
 
 
All of the above was after design was finalized, after public meetings were held, after right of way was purchased, and after utilities were relocated.
 
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 14, 2014, 05:45:23 PM
AHTD, when the 'Northern' segment of I-540 is re-designated as I-49, will it get new exit numbers at the same time?  If it does, it is possible to post the list here?

Also, will you be submitting an application to the AASHTO for removal of I-540 north of I-40 (and also along I-40) in the Spring '14 meeting since you now have I-49 approval from the AASHTO, and hopefully soon the FHWA?

Too early to tell if re-designation of I-49 will yield new exit numbers, and yes we can post those here when they are available. There will be a public information campaign necessary to ensure everyone knows about the change. Businesses will need to change letterhead, etc.
 
See our earlier post regarding application for re-designation: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962)
 
Does this answer your question? Please advise otherwise.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on January 14, 2014, 06:07:57 PM
This is awesome, thanks AHTD

I think posting on a road-lover's message board is going above and beyond the call of duty

 :clap:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 14, 2014, 06:20:14 PM
Currently we are working with the FHWA local division office to formally submit the application to that agency. We submitted an initial application to the local division office late last year and continue to work with this office to finalize the document. Essentially, the local division office is helping to guide AHTD through the application process.

AHTD, welcome to the Forum!

Does the application include a request for FHWA to make a determination as to whether I-540 north of I-40 and AR 549 meet current interstate standards?  Or, is it simply a numbering redesignation request?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 15, 2014, 03:31:10 AM
Also, will you be submitting an application to the AASHTO for removal of I-540 north of I-40 (and also along I-40) in the Spring '14 meeting since you now have I-49 approval from the AASHTO, and hopefully soon the FHWA?

See our earlier post regarding application for re-designation: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962)
 
Does this answer your question? Please advise otherwise.

For the 1st question, yes, it does.  However, for the second question it doesn't.

The PDF link you provided in the post you linked to is just the same map that you submitted to the AASHTO for the Fall '13 meeting for the creation of I-49 in the state.  What I was trying to get at, is that I think you still need to submit another application to the AASHTO to eliminate I-540 along and above I-40.  The reason I'm saying this is because of what Indiana did in the Fall '13 meeting to redesignate I-164 as I-69.  They submitted two separate applications to do that, one to eliminate I-164, and then another to establish I-69 along the same route.

All you've done right now is just ask to add I-49 along I-540, but not eliminate I-540 along that section of highway (including the I-40 co-sign) since no application was submitted for that segment of I-540 to be removed.  So, in the eyes of the AASHTO at least, they might think you're going to keep I-540 signed with I-49.  Thus, I think you need to get an application ready for the Spring '14 meeting asking for the elimination of I-540 along and above I-40.  I know that the FHWA has control of the Interstate #'s, but it's still good to have all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed when it comes to the logs and everything else.

I hope you understand what I was trying to get at in my previous post now. :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 02:06:28 PM
Also, will you be submitting an application to the AASHTO for removal of I-540 north of I-40 (and also along I-40) in the Spring '14 meeting since you now have I-49 approval from the AASHTO, and hopefully soon the FHWA?

See our earlier post regarding application for re-designation: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg270962#msg270962)
 
Does this answer your question? Please advise otherwise.

For the 1st question, yes, it does.  However, for the second question it doesn't.

The PDF link you provided in the post you linked to is just the same map that you submitted to the AASHTO for the Fall '13 meeting for the creation of I-49 in the state.  What I was trying to get at, is that I think you still need to submit another application to the AASHTO to eliminate I-540 along and above I-40.  The reason I'm saying this is because of what Indiana did in the Fall '13 meeting to redesignate I-164 as I-69.  They submitted two separate applications to do that, one to eliminate I-164, and then another to establish I-69 along the same route.

All you've done right now is just ask to add I-49 along I-540, but not eliminate I-540 along that section of highway (including the I-40 co-sign) since no application was submitted for that segment of I-540 to be removed.  So, in the eyes of the AASHTO at least, they might think you're going to keep I-540 signed with I-49.  Thus, I think you need to get an application ready for the Spring '14 meeting asking for the elimination of I-540 along and above I-40.  I know that the FHWA has control of the Interstate #'s, but it's still good to have all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed when it comes to the logs and everything else.

I hope you understand what I was trying to get at in my previous post now. :)

Thank you for the clarification!
 
Like the application reviewed by the AASHTO U.S. Route Numbering Committee, the application we are currently assembling for submission to FHWA is a re-designation request. It is our understanding the entire action of removing 540 and replacing with 49 is a single action handled with a single application. As we continue to work with the local FHWA division office to assemble the application, if we are told otherwise, the appropriate action will be taken and we'll let you know. Understand we are taking very deliberate steps to ensure there aren't any snags along the way. Perhaps there was some other determining factor that required Indiana to submit two applications? Perhaps because I-540 is a spur makes a difference?
 
Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment. As we have stated previously in this forum, Google Maps contains several errors concerning the highway system in Arkansas. We are working with them to become a preferred ground truth provider to help make their product more accurate.
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2014, 02:45:06 PM
Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment.
Sigh. There is a shared alignment, since Interstate numbers cannot be repeated within a state. And it is signed as such:
(http://www.interstate-guide.com/images540/i-540_ar_hst_01.jpg)

AASHTO even approved the overlap. Peep and weep:
(http://imgur.com/tZkuAUX.png)

But go ahead, make the Goog suck more than it already does.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 03:34:11 PM
Currently we are working with the FHWA local division office to formally submit the application to that agency. We submitted an initial application to the local division office late last year and continue to work with this office to finalize the document. Essentially, the local division office is helping to guide AHTD through the application process.

AHTD, welcome to the Forum!

Does the application include a request for FHWA to make a determination as to whether I-540 north of I-40 and AR 549 meet current interstate standards?  Or, is it simply a numbering redesignation request?

 
This is an excellent question!
 
When I-540 was constructed from I-40 to the State Highway 265 interchange and tied-in with the existing bypass of Fayetteville, Springdale and points north, this question was raised during the application process for signing the new route as 540. Apparently a few areas in the older section of the route request were not in compliance with current standards at the time of application.
 
These areas were reviewed by FHWA and certain design exceptions were made as part of the application approval process. Now as we are moving forward with our application to re-designate the route as I-49, part of our due diligence includes making sure documentation of these exceptions are included in the application so we don’t have to go through another round of design exception requests – which would delay the route re-designation process.
 
The oldest parts of State Highway 549 were constructed recently enough to be in compliance with current standards, so it’s good to go. We are in the process of paving the remaining 4.5 miles of this route from Doddridge to the Louisiana State Line and current estimates are that it will be completed in mid-2014.
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 15, 2014, 04:24:30 PM
Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment.
Sigh. There is a shared alignment, since Interstate numbers cannot be repeated within a state. And it is signed as such:
(http://www.interstate-guide.com/images540/i-540_ar_hst_01.jpg)


South I-540 is co-signed with West I-40 just past Exit 12. Is that a contractor error?

NB I-540 is also co-signed on overheads along EB  I-40
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2566/4073936764_369c78b817_z_d.jpg)
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2634/4073936870_95a7bca751_z_d.jpg)

If it's not duplexed, shouldn't the signs say TO I-540
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 15, 2014, 04:51:26 PM
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.

Whaaaaa?  What years were I-540 signed as US 71.  I'm having a hard time buying this because I have maps that show I-540 ending at AR 22 and continuing to US 71 as AR 540.  The connection between US 71 and US 271 was the last portion completed, and at that time the entire road was signed as I-540 (I assume). 

What was the number of 271 north of 540?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 15, 2014, 05:04:11 PM
Too early to tell if re-designation of I-49 will yield new exit numbers, and yes we can post those here when they are available. There will be a public information campaign necessary to ensure everyone knows about the change. Businesses will need to change letterhead, etc.

Well, of course they will have to be renumbered.  There is no question of this.  Milepost 0 will be at the Arkansas/Louisiana line.    It would be confusing to have two Exit 62s off of I-49.

What initial number will the Bella Vista Bypass have?  It obviously won't be I-49 if it is 2 lanes.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 05:33:33 PM
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.

Whaaaaa?  What years were I-540 signed as US 71.  I'm having a hard time buying this because I have maps that show I-540 ending at AR 22 and continuing to US 71 as AR 540.  The connection between US 71 and US 271 was the last portion completed, and at that time the entire road was signed as I-540 (I assume). 

What was the number of 271 north of 540?

Yeah we had to go back and look at that one too.
 
The route wasn't signed U.S. Highway 271, it originated FROM U.S. Highway 271. First section was constructed from U.S. 271 to State Highway 22. Minute order 4469 on January 31, 1962 approves the naming of this first section as State Highway 540. Since it progresses west to east (or actually south to north?), the log mile numbering began where it does.
 
Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 15, 2014, 05:51:30 PM

Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

You can't post it directly, but use

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 06:00:58 PM
Too early to tell if re-designation of I-49 will yield new exit numbers, and yes we can post those here when they are available. There will be a public information campaign necessary to ensure everyone knows about the change. Businesses will need to change letterhead, etc.

Well, of course they will have to be renumbered.  There is no question of this.  Milepost 0 will be at the Arkansas/Louisiana line.    It would be confusing to have two Exit 62s off of I-49.

What initial number will the Bella Vista Bypass have?  It obviously won't be I-49 if it is 2 lanes.

Not sure at this time because of the way the modified connector will be constructed. Since the bypass cannot be fully completed until Missouri meets us at the state line, we cannot directly connect the bypass to I-540 and feed it through traffic. Until the bypass is completed to the state line, U.S. 71 will continue to be the main through traffic feed to I-540. The modified connector will function like a roundabout, so depending upon how they number exits in the modified connector, it could be any of a number of options.
 
We'll definitely keep everyone posted!
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 15, 2014, 06:09:21 PM
Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment. As we have stated previously in this forum, Google Maps contains several errors concerning the highway system in Arkansas. We are working with them to become a preferred ground truth provider to help make their product more accurate.

Might want to tell your signage department then.  As the posts above mine clearly show I-540 shields on the overhead signs.  And I found a pair of ground mounted signage showing both I-40 & I-540 being signed together. http://goo.gl/maps/KZpVu

So, Google Maps is correct in showing it as co-signed as of right now.

Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment.
Sigh. There is a shared alignment, since Interstate numbers cannot be repeated within a state. And it is signed as such:
(http://www.interstate-guide.com/images540/i-540_ar_hst_01.jpg)

AASHTO even approved the overlap. Peep and weep:
(http://imgur.com/tZkuAUX.png)

This also proves my point that there needs to be another application submitted for the I-540 removal.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 15, 2014, 06:11:10 PM
Speaking of spurs.... I-540 does not share alignment with I-40 and thus is not co-signed as such. Both stretches of I-540 are spurs that originate from I-40 separately. There is no continuity. Google Maps show this stretch of I-40 to be co-signed - implying there is a shared alignment. As we have stated previously in this forum, Google Maps contains several errors concerning the highway system in Arkansas. We are working with them to become a preferred ground truth provider to help make their product more accurate.

This is incorrect.  According to both AASHTO and the FHWA, I-540 shares pavement with I-40.  Also, the last time I was through there there was an I-540 sign westbound just west of the 40/Future 49 interchange.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2014, 06:20:58 PM

Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

You can't post it directly, but use



No need to use


because it's already OCRed at http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/minute_orders.aspx. (Any plans to put up actual images? There is the occasional OCR error.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 15, 2014, 06:34:01 PM
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.

Whaaaaa?  What years were I-540 signed as US 71.  I'm having a hard time buying this because I have maps that show I-540 ending at AR 22 and continuing to US 71 as AR 540.  The connection between US 71 and US 271 was the last portion completed, and at that time the entire road was signed as I-540 (I assume). 

What was the number of 271 north of 540?

Yeah we had to go back and look at that one too.
 
The route wasn't signed U.S. Highway 271, it originated FROM U.S. Highway 271. First section was constructed from U.S. 271 to State Highway 22. Minute order 4469 on January 31, 1962 approves the naming of this first section as State Highway 540. Since it progresses west to east (or actually south to north?), the log mile numbering began where it does.
 
Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

Here is the minute order in question:

Quote
4469 In SEBASTIAN COUNTY, a proposed highway route is hereby established between State Highway No. US 271 south of Fort Smith and the proposed State Highway No. 22 Interchange of Interstate Route No. 540 in Fort Smith, a distance of approximately 6.0 miles, generally along the location shown on the attached sketch, and said route is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads as part of the Federal-Aid Primary System.

This says nothing about US 271 following I-540.  It just gave a number for the proposed highway. 

There was, however, a plan to extend US 271 north along AR 59 into Missouri but it was denied by AASHTO (or AASHO).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 06:48:56 PM

Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

You can't post it directly, but use



No need to use


because it's already OCRed at http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/minute_orders.aspx (http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/minute_orders.aspx). (Any plans to put up actual images? There is the occasional OCR error.)
Not at this time but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 16, 2014, 10:46:40 AM
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.

Whaaaaa?  What years were I-540 signed as US 71.  I'm having a hard time buying this because I have maps that show I-540 ending at AR 22 and continuing to US 71 as AR 540.  The connection between US 71 and US 271 was the last portion completed, and at that time the entire road was signed as I-540 (I assume). 

What was the number of 271 north of 540?

Yeah we had to go back and look at that one too.
 
The route wasn't signed U.S. Highway 271, it originated FROM U.S. Highway 271. First section was constructed from U.S. 271 to State Highway 22. Minute order 4469 on January 31, 1962 approves the naming of this first section as State Highway 540. Since it progresses west to east (or actually south to north?), the log mile numbering began where it does.
 
Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

Here is the minute order in question:

Quote
4469 In SEBASTIAN COUNTY, a proposed highway route is hereby established between State Highway No. US 271 south of Fort Smith and the proposed State Highway No. 22 Interchange of Interstate Route No. 540 in Fort Smith, a distance of approximately 6.0 miles, generally along the location shown on the attached sketch, and said route is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads as part of the Federal-Aid Primary System.

This says nothing about US 271 following I-540.  It just gave a number for the proposed highway. 

There was, however, a plan to extend US 271 north along AR 59 into Missouri but it was denied by AASHTO (or AASHO).

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 16, 2014, 01:04:21 PM

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)
 

AH! This makes more sense .
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 16, 2014, 10:27:12 PM
Now for some interesting trivia! When I-540 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties was constructed, it was originally done so and signed as U.S. Highway 271. This is a west to east route and as such, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed the distance to I-40. Eventually this section of U.S. Highway 271 was re-designated as Interstate spur 540. What resulted is exit numbers that went one direction and log miles that go another.

Whaaaaa?  What years were I-540 signed as US 71.  I'm having a hard time buying this because I have maps that show I-540 ending at AR 22 and continuing to US 71 as AR 540.  The connection between US 71 and US 271 was the last portion completed, and at that time the entire road was signed as I-540 (I assume). 

What was the number of 271 north of 540?

Yeah we had to go back and look at that one too.
 
The route wasn't signed U.S. Highway 271, it originated FROM U.S. Highway 271. First section was constructed from U.S. 271 to State Highway 22. Minute order 4469 on January 31, 1962 approves the naming of this first section as State Highway 540. Since it progresses west to east (or actually south to north?), the log mile numbering began where it does.
 
Sorry for the confusion. We can upload a copy of the minute order with a graphic illustrating the above if someone can tell us how to paste photos in the thread. Have tried it but cannot seem to make it work.
 
Thanks!

Here is the minute order in question:

Quote
4469 In SEBASTIAN COUNTY, a proposed highway route is hereby established between State Highway No. US 271 south of Fort Smith and the proposed State Highway No. 22 Interchange of Interstate Route No. 540 in Fort Smith, a distance of approximately 6.0 miles, generally along the location shown on the attached sketch, and said route is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads as part of the Federal-Aid Primary System.

This says nothing about US 271 following I-540.  It just gave a number for the proposed highway. 

There was, however, a plan to extend US 271 north along AR 59 into Missouri but it was denied by AASHTO (or AASHO).

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)

No.  This shows proposed I-540 which originally ended at AR 22.  The map shows the proposed AR 540 running from AR 22 to US 271.  The section of I-540 (then AR 540, though likely never signed as such except from US 71 to AR 22) from US 271 to US 71 was the last section to be built.  Proof?  Check out the map on the AHTD website for Sebastian County labelled 1971.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 16, 2014, 10:31:59 PM

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)
 

AH! This makes more sense .

No, it doesn't.  The map, for some reason, shows completed I-540 north of AR 22 as proposed while it shows the proposed section of AR 540 as complete.  The map is wrong.  Compare it to the 1971 Sebastian County map or the state highway maps from the '70s.

Besides, why would they build that section first?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on January 16, 2014, 10:53:57 PM

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)
 

AH! This makes more sense .

No, it doesn't.  The map, for some reason, shows completed I-540 north of AR 22 as proposed while it shows the proposed section of AR 540 as complete.  The map is wrong.  Compare it to the 1971 Sebastian County map or the state highway maps from the '70s.

Besides, why would they build that section first?

OK. I'll pull my maps in the morning and see what I can find.  I believe the 271 to 22 segment was the last section to at least be designated I-540. I've seen a couple maps showing 540 complete, but being a state route south of AR 22/ Rogers Ave.
 
I think one of the old Arkansas Highways magazines has a photo of a Ar 22/Ar 540 sign assembly at the exit.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on January 16, 2014, 11:11:13 PM
I think one of the old Arkansas Highways magazines has a photo of a Ar 22/Ar 540 sign assembly at the exit.

What date?  I'd love to see this.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 17, 2014, 10:51:23 AM

The link below will display a PDF copy of the graphic associated with MO4469. It illustrates how I-540 progressed from U.S. 271.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/minute_order_4469.pdf)
 

AH! This makes more sense .

No, it doesn't.  The map, for some reason, shows completed I-540 north of AR 22 as proposed while it shows the proposed section of AR 540 as complete.  The map is wrong.  Compare it to the 1971 Sebastian County map or the state highway maps from the '70s.

Besides, why would they build that section first?

Sorry- our post was too general in terms. Didn't mean to imply I-540 originated from U.S. 271. It was AR540 that was constructed from U.S. 271 to SH22. Thus the log miles in said direction.
 
Upon further review of historical maps, it looks as if the Arkansas Highway Commission in those days designated routes before they were constructed. The minute order clearly designates the highway, but it doesn't appear on the map until the 1970s. And maps dated after this minute order show the progression of I-540 emanating from I-40.
 
These days an "official" designation is not done by minute order until the construction is nearly complete - just before the highway opens. Prior to this the route is "designated" in planning studies, design, etc.
 
You can find all of our historical highway maps here: http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/mapping_graphics/archived_tourist_maps/archived_tourist_maps.aspx (http://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/mapping_graphics/archived_tourist_maps/archived_tourist_maps.aspx)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 18, 2014, 02:21:55 AM
AHTD,

What are the plans for Dynamic Message Signage along future I-49, but more specifically I-540 in NWA?  These signs alert motorists to Amber Alerts (Morgan Amber Alerts in AR), not to mention adverse weather conditions and road closures...

Also, US 71/I-540 between the Missouri border and the south side of Fayetteville, there is 40 miles without a mileage distance sign.  I talked with an engineer a year ago and say he would look into it, 
On US 71 southbound, right after the border and state/iDriveArkansas signs needs to be a mileage distance sign.  The same with the AR 340/Lancashire Blvd exit (both north and south bound).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 18, 2014, 03:33:20 PM
Will have to do some checking on the message boards. These along with our Highway Advisory Radio stations are evolving in a way that will allow us to be more responsive to real-time conditions.
 
The locations of all permanent message boards and all Highway Advisory Radio stations will soon be available as separate layers on IDrive Arkansas. We anticipate you will be able to see in real-time, the message being displayed by each permanent board and the recording being played by each radio station.
 
As for the mileage distance signs, do you mean mile markers or information signs that state: Fayetteville 23 miles, etc.????
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 19, 2014, 02:39:25 AM
As for the mileage distance signs, do you mean mile markers or information signs that state: Fayetteville 23 miles, etc.????
Mileage Distance Signs like right at the MO/AR state line on US 71, there should be a sign that states the distance to future points.  And again at the interchange with US 71 and AR 340.  Both north and south bound.

But it's via the MUTCD, which AHTD abides by.




Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on January 22, 2014, 12:34:21 PM
AHTD, do you work with Parks and Tourism at all on the visitor welcome centers?  Just wondering if you've heard whether a new visitor's center would be opened along I-49 (when it's eventually completed) at the Arkansas/Missouri border, given how big the combined Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith area has now become, and how small the existing on at Bella Vista on U.S. 71 is?

Sorry if this is out of your agency's scope.  Just curious on it.  Thank you in advance for anything you can post.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 22, 2014, 03:10:04 PM
the modified connector (similar to a roundabout) is designed in such a way to ALLOW traffic on U.S. 71/I-540 to flow unimpeded as it does now (except for backups during peak times). The modiifed connector simply allows access to usable parts of the Bella Vista Bypass so that folks in Hiwassee, Gravette and those that live in west Bella Vista can use it.
I can see how this would be appropriate, as ridiculous as it sounds.  Thank you, AHTD.
I would love to see the plans, as others have stated.
(above quote from Question for AHTD: SPUI / DDI (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11388.msg273068#msg273068) thread)

The January 21 AHTD Presentation to the Siloam Springs Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/012114_Trammel_SiloamSpringsRotary.pdf) has been posted and it includes this depiction of the initial connection between Highway 71 and the Bella Vista Bypass:

(http://i.imgur.com/mpx7nhe.png)

AHTD, I assume this the concept that you have mentioned?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on January 22, 2014, 03:14:56 PM
heh heh rotary club
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 22, 2014, 03:30:23 PM
the modified connector (similar to a roundabout) is designed in such a way to ALLOW traffic on U.S. 71/I-540 to flow unimpeded as it does now (except for backups during peak times). The modiifed connector simply allows access to usable parts of the Bella Vista Bypass so that folks in Hiwassee, Gravette and those that live in west Bella Vista can use it.
I can see how this would be appropriate, as ridiculous as it sounds.  Thank you, AHTD.
I would love to see the plans, as others have stated.
(above quote from Question for AHTD: SPUI / DDI (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11388.msg273068#msg273068) thread)

The January 21 AHTD Presentation to the Siloam Springs Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/012114_Trammel_SiloamSpringsRotary.pdf) has been posted and it includes this depiction of the initial connection between Highway 71 and the Bella Vista Bypass:

(http://i.imgur.com/mpx7nhe.png)

AHTD, I assume this the concept that you have mentioned?

Indeed it is. Been working to get this and other graphics together to post in this forum and will do so once the traffic simulation model is ready.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 22, 2014, 04:03:48 PM
AHTD, do you work with Parks and Tourism at all on the visitor welcome centers?  Just wondering if you've heard whether a new visitor's center would be opened along I-49 (when it's eventually completed) at the Arkansas/Missouri border, given how big the combined Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith area has now become, and how small the existing on at Bella Vista on U.S. 71 is?

Sorry if this is out of your agency's scope.  Just curious on it.  Thank you in advance for anything you can post.

AHTD maintains and operates the welcome centers and rest areas in Arkansas. The welcome centers are staffed by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. AHTD owns all of the welcome centers except the one in Little Rock and the one in Mammoth Spring. These are owned by Parks & Tourism.
 
You can display the location of these facilities at www.idrivearkansas.com (http://www.idrivearkansas.com). Click on the location icons and a dialog box opens with pertinent information. Rest areas in Arkansas are not staffed. There is a great article in the current issue of Arkansas Highways about our welcome centers. It begins on page 10 here: http://www.arkansashighways.com/Magazine/2014/January/ARHighwaysMagazine_January2014_web2.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/Magazine/2014/January/ARHighwaysMagazine_January2014_web2.pdf)
 
As for the location of a new welcome center at the Missouri state line on the Bella Vista Bypass, it has been discussed but no decision on whether a new facility would be in addition to or in place of the existing facility on U.S. 71 in Bella Vista.
 
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: english si on January 22, 2014, 04:40:58 PM
Oh that, that's no hassle at all.

I expected from the doom and gloom on here that the trumpet would be replaced by a roundabout while the SPUI was built.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on January 23, 2014, 08:02:45 PM
Oh that, that's no hassle at all.

I expected from the doom and gloom on here that the trumpet would be replaced by a roundabout while the SPUI was built.

I would disagree.  If you are northbound on 540, you would have to take the trumpet back under 540, then make a sharp right to get on the bypass.  Cars will do OK, but semis will have some trouble getting the acceleration needed to make it if they have to yield first.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on January 23, 2014, 09:15:25 PM
I would disagree.  If you are northbound on 540, you would have to take the trumpet back under 540, then make a sharp right to get on the bypass.  Cars will do OK, but semis will have some trouble getting the acceleration needed to make it if they have to yield first.
And where does the bypass go for now? Suburban nowhere.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: english si on January 24, 2014, 05:34:07 AM
I would disagree.  If you are northbound on 540, you would have to take the trumpet back under 540, then make a sharp right to get on the bypass.  Cars will do OK, but semis will have some trouble getting the acceleration needed to make it if they have to yield first.
And what would you put instead? Some sort of signalised junction where semis would need to stop, and then make a tighter turn? That roundabout doesn't look small or tight.

And what NE2 said about it going nowhere...
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on January 24, 2014, 04:00:39 PM
Well, Missouri needs another $25 million and Arkansas needs another $50 million to finish a four-lane BVB.

From a January 23 presentation to the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/012314_SEB_RogersChamber.pdf) (page 60/61 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/ZMdwaeU.png)

AHTD is about to build a $30 million temporary roundabout for the Bella Vista Bypass.  If Missouri only needs another $25 million to finish its section of the Bella Vista Vypass, why can't AHTD and MoDOT work out a deal where AHTD would somehow "advance" $25 million of the $30 million roundabout money to MoDOT for immediate construction of the Missouri section of the BVB?  It would seem like a more efficient use of the money because Missouri would complete its section more quickly and there would be no need for the roundabout.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on January 24, 2014, 04:38:40 PM
If the roundabout costs $30 million, then something is seriously wrong. I'm hoping that is the cost of the segment between Hiwassee and US 71, including the roundabout.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 24, 2014, 05:28:54 PM
Whoops!
 
That slide was supposed to have been removed from this presentation. We are making that correction and re-posting the presentation.
 
HOWEVER - codyg1985 IS CORRECT - the modified connector AND the stretch of the BVB from the connector to State Highway 72 south will be let as one contract and the ballpark estimate for this is $30 million.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Gordon on January 24, 2014, 06:21:45 PM
Thanks AHTD for the info on the interchange. I recently wrote MTOD about there part of the bypass and here is what they said. With the Federal money uncertain and not enough state money to finish there part,  they will move the money that is planned in 2014 STIP to general funds because it doesn't make sense to do part of it. But they are looking to see if an Initiative petition process moves forward with the state of Missouri to put it up to voters to finish the Bella Vista Bypass.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rte66man on January 24, 2014, 10:30:40 PM
I would disagree.  If you are northbound on 540, you would have to take the trumpet back under 540, then make a sharp right to get on the bypass.  Cars will do OK, but semis will have some trouble getting the acceleration needed to make it if they have to yield first.
And what would you put instead? Some sort of signalised junction where semis would need to stop, and then make a tighter turn? That roundabout doesn't look small or tight.

And what NE2 said about it going nowhere...

IIRC, Smithfield has a very large plant south of Gravette.  That is why I thought there would be more than a trickle of trucks.  Someone who is more familiar with the area can confirm or deny. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 25, 2014, 01:34:48 AM
I would disagree.  If you are northbound on 540, you would have to take the trumpet back under 540, then make a sharp right to get on the bypass.  Cars will do OK, but semis will have some trouble getting the acceleration needed to make it if they have to yield first.
And what would you put instead? Some sort of signalised junction where semis would need to stop, and then make a tighter turn? That roundabout doesn't look small or tight.

And what NE2 said about it going nowhere...

IIRC, Smithfield has a very large plant south of Gravette.  That is why I thought there would be more than a trickle of trucks.  Someone who is more familiar with the area can confirm or deny. 

I'm not sure about the Gravette plant, but I think you're correct.  I know we have Walmart (as much as I despise them) distribution centers and Tyson plants. I see semis all the time through "town".

I feel for the semi truck drivers... This roundabout is going to be worse than what is there now, especially at peak times, like when traffic backs up in the afternoon all the way to the hill in Bella Vista on US 71 southbound.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on January 28, 2014, 04:33:02 PM
As promised, see link below to view the animated traffic model of the Bella Vista modified connector.
 
http://vimeo.com/85181840 (http://vimeo.com/85181840)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on January 30, 2014, 02:11:16 AM
As promised, see link below to view the animated traffic model of the Bella Vista modified connector.
 
http://vimeo.com/85181840 (http://vimeo.com/85181840)

Thanks, AHTD. 
The signage and lighting need to be adequate for this to work efficiently.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 09, 2014, 09:41:59 PM
Normally this wouldn't really merit a mention on this forum alongside the genuine highway/lighting/signage etc. issues but given this is Bentonville it could be very germane...I'm hearing that it's been reported (no link yet) that Walmart has bought 125 acres next to Lowe's on the Bentonville/Bella Vista border.  That will put it right where the BV bypass meets the current north end of I-540.

If this has happened I may not be around to see what comes to fruition with this but that's said to be a very large tract for just a Supercenter or even a distribution center.  New office space?  Or something more significant?  Time will tell, but interesting that its essentially at this particular junction.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 09, 2014, 10:16:59 PM
Normally this wouldn't really merit a mention on this forum alongside the genuine highway/lighting/signage etc. issues but given this is Bentonville it could be very germane...I'm hearing that it's been reported (no link yet) that Walmart has bought 125 acres next to Lowe's on the Bentonville/Bella Vista border.  That will put it right where the BV bypass meets the current north end of I-540.

If this has happened I may not be around to see what comes to fruition with this but that's said to be a very large tract for just a Supercenter or even a distribution center.  New office space?  Or something more significant?  Time will tell, but interesting that its essentially at this particular junction.

There is already a distribution center at the State Line off 71. It's possible they could move to a better location or maybe just buy up the land so someone else doesn't move in.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on February 10, 2014, 02:33:07 AM
Normally this wouldn't really merit a mention on this forum alongside the genuine highway/lighting/signage etc. issues but given this is Bentonville it could be very germane...I'm hearing that it's been reported (no link yet) that Walmart has bought 125 acres next to Lowe's on the Bentonville/Bella Vista border.  That will put it right where the BV bypass meets the current north end of I-540.

If this has happened I may not be around to see what comes to fruition with this but that's said to be a very large tract for just a Supercenter or even a distribution center.  New office space?  Or something more significant?  Time will tell, but interesting that its essentially at this particular junction.

Even though I despise Walmart with every fiber of my being (and I live in NWA), they'd be smart to start a Walmart Truck Stop.  They've already started on a Walmart Convenience Store at 14th & Walton.  I doubt that is what they're doing.  I've always though that NWA needs a decent truck stop... I-540 is pretty much filled up.  And NWA needs a decent grocery chain! :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 10, 2014, 09:24:09 AM
Normally this wouldn't really merit a mention on this forum alongside the genuine highway/lighting/signage etc. issues but given this is Bentonville it could be very germane...I'm hearing that it's been reported (no link yet) that Walmart has bought 125 acres next to Lowe's on the Bentonville/Bella Vista border.  That will put it right where the BV bypass meets the current north end of I-540.

If this has happened I may not be around to see what comes to fruition with this but that's said to be a very large tract for just a Supercenter or even a distribution center.  New office space?  Or something more significant?  Time will tell, but interesting that its essentially at this particular junction.

Even though I despise Walmart with every fiber of my being (and I live in NWA), they'd be smart to start a Walmart Truck Stop.  They've already started on a Walmart Convenience Store at 14th & Walton.  I doubt that is what they're doing.  I've always though that NWA needs a decent truck stop... I-540 is pretty much filled up.  And NWA needs a decent grocery chain! :)

What about Harp's or Marvins?  I've not seen the Wal-Mart c-store yet: is it where the Redbud used to be?
Wal-Mart tried the c-store format years ago with the Wal-Mart Super USA stores. For whatever reason, they failed. Of course, now that the conscience of the company is gone (Sam and Bud) maybe they decided to try again.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 10, 2014, 11:18:09 AM
Normally this wouldn't really merit a mention on this forum alongside the genuine highway/lighting/signage etc. issues but given this is Bentonville it could be very germane...I'm hearing that it's been reported (no link yet) that Walmart has bought 125 acres next to Lowe's on the Bentonville/Bella Vista border.  That will put it right where the BV bypass meets the current north end of I-540.

If this has happened I may not be around to see what comes to fruition with this but that's said to be a very large tract for just a Supercenter or even a distribution center.  New office space?  Or something more significant?  Time will tell, but interesting that its essentially at this particular junction.

There is already a distribution center at the State Line off 71. It's possible they could move to a better location or maybe just buy up the land so someone else doesn't move in.

It's on what was once Spur US 71.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 10, 2014, 04:36:04 PM
(http://s3.amazonaws.com/nwabj/955/wal-mart-land-deal--2-7-14.jpg)

Link about the land purchase by Walmart off future I-49 Bentonville/Bella Vista:  http://www.nwabusinessjournal.com/13066/walmart-buys-1261-acres-for-4-million
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 10, 2014, 06:11:59 PM
(http://s3.amazonaws.com/nwabj/955/wal-mart-land-deal--2-7-14.jpg)

Link about the land purchase by Walmart off future I-49 Bentonville/Bella Vista:  http://www.nwabusinessjournal.com/13066/walmart-buys-1261-acres-for-4-million

...and I'll go ahead and say it.

I wonder if Walmart has designs on building a new corporate HQ someday there?


I know it's fairly dangerous to speculate with this company.  But anything (earthly) is pretty much possible with them as well.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 11, 2014, 12:14:34 PM
(http://s3.amazonaws.com/nwabj/955/wal-mart-land-deal--2-7-14.jpg)

Link about the land purchase by Walmart off future I-49 Bentonville/Bella Vista:  http://www.nwabusinessjournal.com/13066/walmart-buys-1261-acres-for-4-million

...and I'll go ahead and say it.

I wonder if Walmart has designs on building a new corporate HQ someday there?

  • It was said Walmart was thinking about doing so off I-540 near Northwest Arkansas Community college right before "the" 9/11 happened, but scuttled plans because they thought a big building would be a potential target.
  • Walmart's current headquarters, er, likely leave something to be desired for the crop of Ivy League MBAs who are hitting that company now.  The building also had asbestos issues at one point, according to a woman I once worked with whose husband had to help remove said mineral insulation.
  • Bentonville is developing a significant arts district nearby, and the Walmart HQ building (if it's ever fully abandoned, which I very much doubt) would be prime property.
  • Sam's Club has a big, nice HQ fairly close to the Interstate.  Walmart doesn't.
  • Though employees come from all over at HQ, most of them live in Bentonville and Bella Vista...where this property is right in the middle of.

I know it's fairly dangerous to speculate with this company.  But anything (earthly) is pretty much possible with them as well.

Wal-Mart is norotious for trying to reuse many of their old buildings.

-Optical Factory (Fayetteville)
-Truck Logistics (Bentonville)
-Bookkeeping / Health Services (Rogers)
-Wal-Mart Museum (old Walton 5 & 10)

Wal-Mart used to like their old building as part of their illusion about being a small "aw shucks" company. That illusion died with Sam. They have to do something with all that money they're hoarding.
(http://www.cool-smileys.com/images/68.gif) (http://cool-smileys.com//smiley-with-dollar-eyes)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on February 11, 2014, 04:27:08 PM
I don't know if there were any "Bud's" in NWS that the old Walmart buildings were converted to. I remember some of them in the mid 90's in Jasper, AL and Cullman, AL.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 11, 2014, 05:28:28 PM
I don't know if there were any "Bud's" in NWS that the old Walmart buildings were converted to. I remember some of them in the mid 90's in Jasper, AL and Cullman, AL.

Alma, AR had a Bud's.

I forgot Helen's Arts and Crafts too over some of the old Wal-Marts.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Scott5114 on February 11, 2014, 05:38:43 PM
Wal-Mart used to like their old building as part of their illusion about being a small "aw shucks" company. That illusion died with Sam.

I don't think anyone has actually bought into that illusion since at least the 1990s. I have never known Walmart as anything other than the canonical example of global capitalism—Walmart is the big business.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 11, 2014, 07:26:47 PM

I don't think anyone has actually bought into that illusion since at least the 1990s. I have never known Walmart as anything other than the canonical example of global capitalism—Walmart is the big business.

Sam died in 1992, so it was shortly after his passing that things changed. Bud tried to carry on, but was quickly silenced by the monied executives.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 13, 2014, 10:28:49 PM
In its January 23 Comment regarding the Draft Primary Freight Network (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FHWA-2013-0050-0139), AHTD contends that I-540/Future I-49 from I-40 to US 71B should be included in the draft network (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/infrastructure/pfn/index.htm):

(http://i.imgur.com/6NRxCkz.jpg)

Previous discussion about the Draft Primary Freight Network can be found in this thread:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11125.0
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 14, 2014, 11:27:58 PM
In its January 23 Comment regarding the Draft Primary Freight Network (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FHWA-2013-0050-0139), AHTD contends that I-540/Future I-49 from I-40 to US 71B should be included in the draft network (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/infrastructure/pfn/index.htm):

(http://i.imgur.com/6NRxCkz.jpg)

Previous discussion about the Draft Primary Freight Network can be found in this thread:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11125.0

Northwest Arkansas urbanized area (population of over 200,000)?!?!

The darn NWA metro is sitting on just over 500,000 right now, I do believe.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 15, 2014, 04:31:05 AM
I don't know if there were any "Bud's" in NWS that the old Walmart buildings were converted to. I remember some of them in the mid 90's in Jasper, AL and Cullman, AL.
Alma, AR had a Bud's

There was one in Hot Springs near the western US 70-270 split (now 70B-270B).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: codyg1985 on February 15, 2014, 04:59:10 PM
In its January 23 Comment regarding the Draft Primary Freight Network (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FHWA-2013-0050-0139), AHTD contends that I-540/Future I-49 from I-40 to US 71B should be included in the draft network (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/infrastructure/pfn/index.htm):

(http://i.imgur.com/6NRxCkz.jpg)

Previous discussion about the Draft Primary Freight Network can be found in this thread:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11125.0

The Interstate 49? Are they turning into south Louisiana?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on February 18, 2014, 06:02:25 PM
We received a request to post links to these documents in this thread.
 
FEIS: U.S. 71 - Texarkana to DeQueen and the Texarkana Northern Loop (90.4mb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_TXK-DeQueen_and_TXK_North_Loop.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_TXK-DeQueen_and_TXK_North_Loop.pdf)
 
FEIS: U.S. 71 - Texarkana to DeQueen and the Texarkana Northern Loop APPENDIX (100mb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_TXK-DeQueen_and_TXK_North_Loop_(appendix).pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_TXK-DeQueen_and_TXK_North_Loop_(appendix).pdf)
 
FEIS: U.S. 71 - DeQueen to I-40 (77.3mb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_DeQueen-I-40.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_DeQueen-I-40.pdf)
 
FEIS: U.S. 71 - DeQueen to I-40 (APPENDIX) (15.9mb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_DeQueen-I-40_(appendix).pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/FEIS_U.S.71_DeQueen-I-40_(appendix).pdf)
 
Enjoy!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on February 19, 2014, 09:29:29 AM
^ AHTD, thanks for posting the above FEIS info. Great historical info.



I asked the AHTD bridge department when do they plan to design the I 49 Arkansas River Bridge In the Fort Smith area ...

Quote
Our bridge program through 2016 does not include that structure.
 
Carl J. Fuselier, P.E.
Division Head - Bridge
Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR0HL7D-M8), primarily an update about the (non-Future I-49) I-540 construction work in Fort Smith, notes that the I-540 Arkansas River bridge is not being upgraded, primarily because funding for the Future I-49 Arkansas River bridge is a higher priority:
Quote
Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department District 4 Engineer Chad Adams ....
According to Adams, widening the bridge to conform with current federal highway standards, which is what the contractors are doing with many of the bridges along I-540, is not financially feasible, especially considering that the AHTD is attempting to secure funding for a river bridge along the I-49 route.
the river crossings (Arkansas River estimated around $500 million)

AHTD, in regard to the I-49 Arkansas River bridge, do you have any updates as to when design studies for the bridge might begin and/or funding updates?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 19, 2014, 11:08:15 AM
Let me guess: It will be a humpback concrete span with no superstructure and Jersey barriers, just like virtually every bridge AHTD has built in the last 70 years.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 19, 2014, 11:15:52 AM
Let me guess: It will be a humpback concrete span with no superstructure and Jersey barriers, just like virtually every bridge AHTD has built in the last 70 years.

UCEB: Ugley Concrete Eyesore Bridge (H/T to Bridgehunter.com)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on February 19, 2014, 01:28:46 PM
Let me guess: It will be a humpback concrete span with no superstructure and Jersey barriers, just like virtually every bridge AHTD has built in the last 70 years.

Cash-strapped agency not wasting money on unnecessary frills? Sounds like they deserve applause and a thank you from the public

They aren't opposed to it, but the money has to come from somewhere. See Broadway Bridge
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 19, 2014, 06:50:46 PM
How big a deal is it to have an Interstate that A) doesn't yet connect with its southern counterpart 150 miles away with no idea when said connection will ever happen, and; B) doesn't yet connect to its northern counterpart, either, and will require a billion dollar bridge to do so (kind of like how no one yet really knows when the Bella Vista connector will link to future I-49 right near that 125 acre land purchase Walmart has just made)?

THIS big (interstate just at the lower right of the attached image)...keep it up, AHTD...we're ALL going to be the better for this completed I-49 some day:

(http://swtimes.com/sites/swtimes.com/files/field/media/web1_News-5col-clr-Campus.jpg)

Quote

“The announcement is wonderful news for Fort Smith and Barling,” Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders said. “Not only will it provide a needed influx of physicians for this region, it will also provide a significant economic impact for all of this area.”

The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation intends to build what it calls the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine on 200 acres near Chad Colley Boulevard at Chaffee Crossing.

“We are committing $58 million to this project,” foundation board chairman Kyle Parker said during a meeting of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority’s Board of Trustees. “The proposed medical school will enrollarrow-10x10.png 150 students per year for a total of 600 students that will be attending.”

Parker added that current plans place the first crop of students in class by August 2017.

“There have been a lot of good days at Chaffee Crossing, but I think this one tops them all,” FCRA executive director Ivy Owen said. “This fits perfectly in our land reuse plan.”

The acreage, located in both Fort Smith and Barling, was donated by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday.

“For us to give away $4 million worth of land doesn’t come easy,” FCRA Board of Trustees chairman Dean Gibson said.

The foundation estimates an annual economic impact on the community of $75 million to $100 million.
“The impact of this besides the $75 million a year is just immeasurable in my opinion,” Owen said.

Mercy System, Sparks, Cooper Clinic, the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority and Community Health Centers of Arkansas have indicated their desire to play integral roles in the clinical rotations and residency education of the proposed college, according to Parker.

“What we fully anticipate doing is continuing to build a medical university,” he said. “We will look at a dental school, a physician’s assistant school, physical therapy schools.”

Parker said the college will employ 65 teachers with annual salaries of at least $103,000. Owen said 60 percent of the graduating doctors will become family practice physicians, “but they can go specialized.”

“I think they’ve come up with the right idea,” Barling Mayor Jerry Barling said. “Everybody is going to be a winner on this one.”

http://swtimes.com/news/plans-unveiled-regional-medical-school

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on February 20, 2014, 12:03:36 AM
Indeed this is very good news!


Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)

Planning is currently working on revised estimates for the Arkansas River crossing, once that is available we will post in this forum.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on February 20, 2014, 02:35:20 AM
Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)

Any chance you can rework Districts 4 and 9?  District 9 has their headquarters in Harrison.  The NWA metro is nearing half of a million people.  Why would Benton County's district headquarters be almost 2 hours away?  It's makes no sense, and is clearly creating issues here.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on February 20, 2014, 07:58:39 AM
Good question. What is the process for redistricting, I assume it goes through the Commission?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 20, 2014, 09:29:27 AM
Indeed this is very good news!


Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)

Planning is currently working on revised estimates for the Arkansas River crossing, once that is available we will post in this forum.

I've seen your new area HQ.  Very nice.  :thumbsup:    The sentence you wrote that I bolded above is key...just yesterday it was officially announced that Northwest Arkansas is growing by 23 people per day and that the metro area is (officially) just about to cross the 500,000 threshold (http://www.nwahomepage.com/fulltext-news/d/story/nwa-population-grows-to-nearly-500000/20663/av7U-f44E0-YzLrBP-PxGg).  Between Fort Smith and "NWA" that's about 800,000 people.  I'm sure there are going to be NWA commuters (patients AND workers) to this new school if it becomes as big as they say, as Fort Smith seems to be the area where the specialized medical care really seems to be settling in.  I know it won't happen overnight, but I sure hope the crossing can happen reasonably soon.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 20, 2014, 09:58:07 AM

Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)


I've driven by a couple times on my way to the nature center or to check on 49 ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 20, 2014, 10:27:34 AM

Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)


I've driven by a couple times on my way to the nature center or to check on 49 ;)

US 71, I know AHTD (the poster and the entity) are working as hard as they can to make a completed I-49 a reality, likely starting from east Fort Smith to the Missouri border for obvious necessary reasons.

But, MAN, I hope that somewhere along future I-49 in Arkansas some restaurateur who "makes the perfect pizza" comes along and successfully sets up shop, and that I'm alive and able to eat pizza when you make the announcement of your discovery of the same.  :D
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 20, 2014, 10:47:32 AM

Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)


I've driven by a couple times on my way to the nature center or to check on 49 ;)

US 71, I know AHTD (the poster and the entity) are working as hard as they can to make a completed I-49 a reality, likely starting from east Fort Smith to the Missouri border for obvious necessary reasons.


Well, since I live fairly close, I like to track the progress (like when the Howard Hill Rd bridge was built last year ;) )

Gosh, that reminds me: I need to get some more photos soon ;)

Quote
But, MAN, I hope that somewhere along future I-49 in Arkansas some restaurateur who "makes the perfect pizza" comes along and successfully sets up shop, and that I'm alive and able to eat pizza when you make the announcement of your discovery of the same.  :D

Well, nobody's perfect though I have had several that come close.  Sadly, there is a dearth of even halfway decent places here :(
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 20, 2014, 11:49:13 AM
(http://swtimes.com/sites/swtimes.com/files/field/media/web1_News-5col-clr-Campus.jpg)

Again, noteworthy comparison that the proposed construction above in Fort Smith off future (very soon for this stretch) I-49 is 200 acres, and that the tract Walmart bought at the future I-49/Bella Vista bypass south interchange is 5/8 this size at 125 acres, whatever that project is going to be (or if it's just an investment, which I would doubt).
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bugo on February 20, 2014, 07:13:30 PM
But, MAN, I hope that somewhere along future I-49 in Arkansas some restaurateur who "makes the perfect pizza" comes along and successfully sets up shop, and that I'm alive and able to eat pizza when you make the announcement of your discovery of the same.  :D

Next time you're in Mena try Il Primo Pizza.  It's on hwy 71 on the "north" (really east) side of town in the strip mall that has Atwoods and a gas station in it.  When I was last there they didn't even have the sign up yet, but it's 2 or 3 doors down from Atwoods on the right hand side.  Best pizza I've ever had.  The owner is a real Italian guy from Chicago, and the nicest guy you'll ever meet.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on February 20, 2014, 10:48:18 PM
But, MAN, I hope that somewhere along future I-49 in Arkansas some restaurateur who "makes the perfect pizza" comes along and successfully sets up shop, and that I'm alive and able to eat pizza when you make the announcement of your discovery of the same.  :D

Next time you're in Mena try Il Primo Pizza.  It's on hwy 71 on the "north" (really east) side of town in the strip mall that has Atwoods and a gas station in it.  When I was last there they didn't even have the sign up yet, but it's 2 or 3 doors down from Atwoods on the right hand side.  Best pizza I've ever had.  The owner is a real Italian guy from Chicago, and the nicest guy you'll ever meet.

Thank you, bugo.  I was going to say "A real Italian guy from Chicago to Mena?!?!", but then I thought of when I-49 is built some day and west Arkansas is opened up to a whole new world (the way only an Interstate can - bet most of America has no clue what "the Talimena Scenic Drive" is but more may find out) who knows who may be temped to settle among the Ozarks and Ouachitas...  BTW, one of the most interesting characters I've ever worked with was from Detroit but spent time with relatives in Ink, AR, also in the same county as Mena...he was in suburban Atlanta when I worked with him.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 21, 2014, 04:41:55 PM
But, MAN, I hope that somewhere along future I-49 in Arkansas some restaurateur who "makes the perfect pizza" comes along and successfully sets up shop, and that I'm alive and able to eat pizza when you make the announcement of your discovery of the same.  :D

Next time you're in Mena try Il Primo Pizza.  It's on hwy 71 on the "north" (really east) side of town in the strip mall that has Atwoods and a gas station in it.  When I was last there they didn't even have the sign up yet, but it's 2 or 3 doors down from Atwoods on the right hand side.  Best pizza I've ever had.  The owner is a real Italian guy from Chicago, and the nicest guy you'll ever meet.

Dang! You're making me want to take a day trip to Mena.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 21, 2014, 04:44:38 PM
In other news,  turn lanes and ramp tie-ins are coming for I-49 at US 71 south of Fort Smith.

http://5newsonline.com/2014/02/21/lane-closures-planned-for-highway-71/
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on February 23, 2014, 12:42:12 AM
Did you know we recently located our new District 04 HQ at Chaffee Crossing?
http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html (http://swtimes.com/sections/news/new-district-office-state-highway-department-open-barling.html)

Any chance you can rework Districts 4 and 9?  District 9 has their headquarters in Harrison.  The NWA metro is nearing half of a million people.  Why would Benton County's district headquarters be almost 2 hours away?  It's makes no sense, and is clearly creating issues here.


Over the last 100 years we have had more or less than 10 districts. Can't say at the moment why districts are as they exist (data not handy), but you are correct, a minute order would be required to make any changes. That stated, we have TWO area maintenance offices in Benton County and residents should not feel like they aren't getting the service they deserve simply because the District HQ isn't located there.


Remember- the function of these offices is maintenance - not construction. That is to say AHTD does not construct the projects and the presence of the district office would not make any project happen faster. We do have a construction engineer in each district who oversees the REs and the inspectors to ensure construction is completed as it should be.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on February 24, 2014, 03:04:04 AM
Remember- the function of these offices is maintenance - not construction. That is to say AHTD does not construct the projects and the presence of the district office would not make any project happen faster. We do have a construction engineer in each district who oversees the REs and the inspectors to ensure construction is completed as it should be.

I'm very aware of the function of the maintenance offices... My comment wasn't about construction at all.

District 9 needs to look at signage in NWA.  I think there's a thread about the AR 12 routing.

If you can pass this along to District 9:

http://goo.gl/maps/6p9H3
I pass by this sign a lot in the dark... It's not readable at all.  Same with other state road signs along Monroe.
http://goo.gl/maps/ZuaVx

I noticed that Washington County did a refresh of signs recently along US 71B.

Benton County wasn't among that.

And there are no mileage distance signs on US 71/I-540 between the very south side of Fayetteville and the MO/AR state line... 40 miles.

Example:  http://goo.gl/maps/0u48s


This needs to be on the rebuild on I-540/Future I-49 in NWA:
http://goo.gl/maps/JkLHu








Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 24, 2014, 10:57:57 AM


This needs to be on the rebuild on I-540/Future I-49 in NWA:
http://goo.gl/maps/JkLHu


Sort of looks like they may be doing that along I-540 near Zero St here in Ft Smith: the Jersey Barrier was rebuilt last year and has "prongs" for either a signpost or a lightpole.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on February 24, 2014, 03:47:30 PM
Seems like they have those prongs on the I-40 rebuild in Conway as well
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on February 24, 2014, 03:52:24 PM
Seems like they have those prongs on the I-40 rebuild in Conway as well

Or maybe they are message boards (aka "Nag signs"):

Buckle up! State Law.
Don't Drink & Drive.
Don't Talk & Text
Don't Pick Your Nose.


;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on February 24, 2014, 04:20:02 PM
I heard there are some issues on the new bridges in Fort Smith...the supports and bridge deck are 8" off where they are supposed to be.

Any delays that may come of this?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on February 24, 2014, 11:02:18 PM
Which bridge specifically and we'll run it down for you.

Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on February 24, 2014, 11:26:22 PM
I heard Highway 22 bridge

Thanks!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 08, 2014, 10:37:50 PM
The January 21 AHTD Presentation to the Siloam Springs Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/012114_Trammel_SiloamSpringsRotary.pdf) has been posted and it includes this depiction of the initial connection between Highway 71 and the Bella Vista Bypass [page 25/44 of pdf]

AHTD's March 5 ASCE Day of Training (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/030514_SEB_ASCENWA_Fayetteville3.pdf) powerpoint includes a slide that provides a good visual of the current construction schedule for the Bella Vista Bypass (page 27/64 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/blVe8cf.jpg)

Spring 2014 is not too far off .... Fall 2014 is really not too far off, either.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on March 09, 2014, 12:06:09 AM
The January 21 AHTD Presentation to the Siloam Springs Rotary Club (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/012114_Trammel_SiloamSpringsRotary.pdf) has been posted and it includes this depiction of the initial connection between Highway 71 and the Bella Vista Bypass [page 25/44 of pdf]

AHTD's March 5 ASCE Day of Training (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/030514_SEB_ASCENWA_Fayetteville3.pdf) powerpoint includes a slide that provides a good visual of the current construction schedule for the Bella Vista Bypass (page 27/64 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/blVe8cf.jpg)

Spring 2014 is not too far off .... Fall 2014 is really not too far off, either.

No, it isn't.  Also fascinating:

1.  What we see as "Gravette" on this map was once the unincorporated community of Hiwasse.  (To show how rural this area was not long ago, as recently as 1983 Jane/Caverna, MO got their mail delivery from Hiwasse!)  They've been laying new water lines along hwy. 72 east to the new bridge/interchange south of Mt. Pleasant Road on this map.  Guessing Gravette will benefit from growth along this corridor.

2. The smallest anticipated contract on the Arkansas side of the BV bypass is the County Rd. 34 - Missouri line section in green.  Tells me that when Missouri is able to see the light, this may not take that long to finish, relatively speaking.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: NE2 on March 09, 2014, 12:17:30 AM
Ah, Gravette annexed Hiwasse in 2012: http://www.eagleobserver.com/news/2012/feb/29/hiwasse-move-annex-gravette-okd-20120229/ http://www.cityofgravette-ar.gov/ord.%2012-03%20annex..pdf
Hiwasse will now go the way of Brooklyn.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on March 09, 2014, 12:29:28 AM
Ah, Gravette annexed Hiwasse in 2012: http://www.eagleobserver.com/news/2012/feb/29/hiwasse-move-annex-gravette-okd-20120229/ http://www.cityofgravette-ar.gov/ord.%2012-03%20annex..pdf
Hiwasse will now go the way of Brooklyn.

Yep.  They sure didn't want to go the way of Bella Vista, hence the annexation.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on March 09, 2014, 02:50:28 PM
AHTD's March 5 ASCE Day of Training (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/030514_SEB_ASCENWA_Fayetteville3.pdf) powerpoint includes a slide that provides a good visual of the current construction schedule for the Bella Vista Bypass (page 27/64 of pdf):

Did you attend the day of training? I was there in the morning but was unable to stay for Scott Bennett's speech
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 09, 2014, 02:53:32 PM
Did you attend the day of training?

No, I am a non-engineer hobbyist and I just skimmed through the powerpoint after it was posted online.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on March 10, 2014, 01:53:43 AM
Seems like they have those prongs on the I-40 rebuild in Conway as well

Or maybe they are message boards (aka "Nag signs"):

Buckle up! State Law.
Don't Drink & Drive.
Don't Talk & Text
Don't Pick Your Nose.


;)

US71, do we have to go over this again?!  :P

Hey, those signs provide Amber Alerts, and in some states, weather and road conditions/closures.

I believe a few will be installed along I-540 in NWA, from what I've researched.  And if NWA gets it together, a sophisticated ITS system could be implemented along I-540/Future I-49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on March 10, 2014, 09:07:57 PM
AHTD, I was looking at the Benton County construction map and it looks to me that the BVB sections being constructed are showing up as frontage roads for I-49, not as the main lanes. Is this the case? Hopefully the map is in error.

http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf)

I looked at the construction set for Hwy 72 north-Co. Rd. 34 (job 090293) and there is a (F) at the end of the job title. Does this indicate "frontage road"?

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf)
(warning y'all, huge file)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on March 12, 2014, 12:57:40 AM
AHTD, I was looking at the Benton County construction map and it looks to me that the BVB sections being constructed are showing up as frontage roads for I-49, not as the main lanes. Is this the case? Hopefully the map is in error.

http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf)

I looked at the construction set for Hwy 72 north-Co. Rd. 34 (job 090293) and there is a (F) at the end of the job title. Does this indicate "frontage road"?

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf)
(warning y'all, huge file)

I believe the (F) is for Federal.

Also, the district maps and their system of updating it, is ridiculous.  I'm definitely looking forward to an updated AHTD website!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on March 13, 2014, 03:47:02 PM
AHTD, I was looking at the Benton County construction map and it looks to me that the BVB sections being constructed are showing up as frontage roads for I-49, not as the main lanes. Is this the case? Hopefully the map is in error.

http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_benton.pdf)

I looked at the construction set for Hwy 72 north-Co. Rd. 34 (job 090293) and there is a (F) at the end of the job title. Does this indicate "frontage road"?

http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/PREVIOUS%20LETTING%20PLANS/2012/May%202012/090293.pdf)
(warning y'all, huge file)

No frontage road depicted on that map. We just placed the construction job next to the planning job instead of laying one on top of another. The (F) you see after the job number is to indicate federal funding. These projects currently under construction are part of our STIP. The one we just let that includes the modified connector interchange is funded by the half-cent sales tax.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on March 28, 2014, 10:41:11 AM
And speaking of I-49....
The local FHWA Division Office approved our application for submittal to the FHWA in Washington, D.C.
This is not an approval of our request, only an authorization to proceed with official submittal to FHWA. This happened in the last week or so.
(above quote from Arkansas State Highway 245 Removed from System (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11956.msg288805#msg288805) thread)

AHTD, this is great news! Has the local FHWA Division Office indicated whether, assuming no unforeseen problems/issues, FHWA Washington should approve the application before Arkansas and Louisiana meet at the state line?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on April 08, 2014, 09:20:12 PM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 08, 2014, 10:05:16 PM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Ooh! Ooh! I'll have to go look :)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on April 08, 2014, 10:26:52 PM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Ooh! Ooh! I'll have to go look :)

Hiwasse needs a pizza parlor.

(And seriously, seems a little early to put the "bagged up" signs out for that highway, but the highway department has the plans, not I.)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 09, 2014, 01:29:34 AM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

That's only about 15 miles from me... Road trip tomorrow for me, maybe.  I haven't been out that way for a while!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 09, 2014, 10:54:54 AM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Ooh! Ooh! I'll have to go look :)

Hiwasse needs a pizza parlor.


Actually, Hiwasse is about to go the way of Baldwin, Arkansas (ie cease to exist as an independent entity).  BUT there's a c-store at 59/72 in Gravette that has Hunt Brothers (blarg!)   Once 49 (or 549) becomes some semblance of reality, I'm sure Kum & Go or Casey's will set up shop... not that their pizza is much better. 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on April 09, 2014, 10:58:26 AM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Ooh! Ooh! I'll have to go look :)

Hiwasse needs a pizza parlor.


Actually, Hiwasse is about to go the way of Baldwin, Arkansas (ie cease to exist as an independent entity).  BUT there's a c-store at 59/72 in Gravette that has Hunt Brothers (blarg!)   Once 49 (or 549) becomes some semblance of reality, I'm sure Kum & Go or Casey's will set up shop... not that their pizza is much better.

Heard from the horse's mouth...Domino's will likely go out there, too.  (The city of Bella Vista owns land "for future development" all along future I-49 straight west of B.V. - Domino's Bella Vista, with few exceptions, does not deliver to the Highlands area (only about 1/2 of the city...)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 09, 2014, 11:42:35 AM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Shouldn't be long. The same contractor constructing the segment between State Highway 72 north of (the city formerly known as) Hiwasse to Benton County Road 34, will construct the part to I-540. We are working on putting together a "dirt turning" ceremony for this project in May to signify its importance as the first project under construction funded by the half-cent sales tax program.
 
More on this later.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: O Tamandua on April 09, 2014, 02:34:58 PM
Interesting.  There are now "bagged up" (I don't know what the technical term the highway departments use for that  :spin: ) "Arkansas 549" signs installed on the new west Highway 72 bridge between Gravette and Hiwasse, even though no pavement whatsoever has yet been laid from just south of the bridge to (as far as I can tell) the dirt work's current northern terminus at Rocky Dell Hollow Road.

AHTD, I'm keeping an eye out for the fleet of equipment surely to descend around the new east Highway 72 bridge in Hiwasse in preparation for the Hiwasse-to-I-540 segment.  :nod:

Shouldn't be long. The same contractor constructing the segment between State Highway 72 north of (the city formerly known as) Hiwasse to Benton County Road 34, will construct the part to I-540. We are working on putting together a "dirt turning" ceremony for this project in May to signify its importance as the first project under construction funded by the half-cent sales tax program.
 
More on this later.

Excellent, AHTD.  And, thanks.
 
Fixed quote. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4000.0) - rmf67
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 10, 2014, 05:07:18 PM
The request for I-49 designation in Arkansas has been submitted to the FHWA. We will post relevant documents in this thread as well as the thread for the Texarkana area.
 
Application Submitted to AASHTO (09-09-13)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Northwest Arkansas (02-03-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Southwest Arkansas (03-31-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf)

 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 11, 2014, 01:57:52 AM
The request for I-49 designation in Arkansas has been submitted to the FHWA. We will post relevant documents in this thread as well as the thread for the Texarkana area.
 
Application Submitted to AASHTO (09-09-13)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Northwest Arkansas (02-03-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Southwest Arkansas (03-31-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf)

 

I love how Scott Bennett crosses out the formal name of the recipient in the letter and writes their first name.  Props for that! 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on April 11, 2014, 05:24:38 AM
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Northwest Arkansas (02-03-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf)

Quote from: PDF
Removal of the Interstate 540 designation from Interstate 40
(currently dual signed) between Van Buren and Alma

Thank you for listening to all of us about I-540 being officially approved along I-40 and needing to be eliminated as well when converting I-540 North of I-40 into I-49. :)

Still think you'll need to send a request into the AASHTO about it as well so it's removed from their logs too. ;)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 11, 2014, 06:58:47 AM
And thank you for being vigilant about it. We have so much going on it was almost overlooked because we just always considered both stretches of I-540 internally as spurs.


Once we obtain approval for I-49, I-540 in Ft. Smith area WILL revert to a spur. Exit numbers start at I -40. We are in the process of re-logging this stretch because the log miles begin at the state line. To be consistent, log miles will begin at I-40 too.


Anyone catch that our request (to FHWA) didn't include the new location at Barling? It will be a separate request. This road should be almost complete and we are discussing a "ride before you drive" public event before it opens. Will be working with the good folks over at Chaffee Crossing to put this on.


Stay tuned for details!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 11, 2014, 07:02:06 AM
The request for I-49 designation in Arkansas has been submitted to the FHWA. We will post relevant documents in this thread as well as the thread for the Texarkana area.
 
Application Submitted to AASHTO (09-09-13)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-AASHTO.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Northwest Arkansas (02-03-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-north.pdf)
 
Application Submitted to FHWA for I-49 in Southwest Arkansas (03-31-14)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-Request-south.pdf)

 

I love how Scott Bennett crosses out the formal name of the recipient in the letter and writes their first name.  Props for that!


We have a GREAT working relationship with her and her staff. You will be pleased to know she represents Arkansas well at the Federal level.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 16, 2014, 12:16:08 PM
 ARKANSAS RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR I-49 ROUTE DESIGNATION
 
It’s official!
 
We received approval from FHWA for a new Interstate in Arkansas. Here are a few facts:
 
The approval is for renaming I-540 from I-40 to U.S. 62/State Highway 102 (Exit 86) as I-49; and removal of the co-designation of I-540 from I-40 between Van Buren and Alma.
 
U.S. Highway 71 from U.S. Highway 62/State Highway 102 (Exit 86) to U.S. 71-B (Exit 93) has been ADDED to the Interstate system and is approved for designation as I-49. This increases Arkansas’ Interstate mileage by 5.72 miles for a total of 661.23 miles.
 
The completed portion of the Bella Vista Bypass (from State Highway 72 south of Hiwasse to State Highway 72 north of Hiwasse) is approved for designation as Future I-49. This stretch of road will actually open to traffic next week and will be co-signed as State Highway 549/Future I-49.
 
We will begin swapping route markers on I-540 next week. The first will be in the southbound direction at the northern most end of the route. There are approximately 697 new signs to erect. The I-540 signs will come down as the I-49 signs go up. We estimate one month to get this done.
 
New exit numbers for the ENTIRE I-49 corridor in Arkansas have already been logged, however these will not be signed until after the I-49 route has been approved and opened to traffic from U.S. Highway 71 North of Texarkana to the Louisiana state line.
 
 
Here is the approval letter from FHWA:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-approval-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-approval-north.pdf)
 
 
Here is our news release about it:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/news/2014/NR%2014-098.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/news/2014/NR%2014-098.pdf)


 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 16, 2014, 12:23:00 PM
ARKANSAS RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR I-49 ROUTE DESIGNATION
 
It’s official!
 
We received approval from FHWA for a new Interstate in Arkansas. Here are a few facts:
 
The approval is for renaming I-540 from I-40 to U.S. 62/State Highway 102 (Exit 86) as I-49; and removal of the co-designation of I-540 from I-40 between Van Buren and Alma.
 
U.S. Highway 71 from U.S. Highway 62/State Highway 102 (Exit 86) to U.S. 71-B (Exit 93) has been ADDED to the Interstate system and is approved for designation as I-49. This increases Arkansas’ Interstate mileage by 5.72 miles for a total of 661.23 miles.
 
The completed portion of the Bella Vista Bypass (from State Highway 72 south of Hiwasse to State Highway 72 north of Hiwasse) is approved for designation as Future I-49. This stretch of road will actually open to traffic next week and will be co-signed as State Highway 549/Future I-49.
 
We will begin swapping route markers on I-540 next week. The first will be in the southbound direction at the northern most end of the route. There are approximately 697 new signs to erect. The I-540 signs will come down as the I-49 signs go up. We estimate one month to get this done.
 
New exit numbers for the ENTIRE I-49 corridor in Arkansas have already been logged, however these will not be signed until after the I-49 route has been approved and opened to traffic from U.S. Highway 71 North of Texarkana to the Louisiana state line.
 
 
Here is the approval letter from FHWA:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-approval-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-approval-north.pdf)
 
 
Here is our news release about it:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-announcement-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-announcement-north.pdf)
 

You just posted new signs on the Ft Smith-Van Buren leg for I-40/I-540. Will those have to be replaced?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 16, 2014, 01:08:51 PM
Anyone catch that our request (to FHWA) didn't include the new location at Barling? It will be a separate request.
ARKANSAS RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR I-49 ROUTE DESIGNATION
 
It’s official! ....
Here is our news release about it:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-announcement-north.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/I-49-announcement-north.pdf)

Great news, AHTD! Thanks for posting it.

The news release discusses the new location at Barling:

Quote
... the new route across Fort Chaffee near Fort Smith that [is] currently under construction will have dual designation as Highway 549 and Future Interstate 49,” Bennett added.

Although I appreciate the confidence that FHWA will approve the Future I-49 request, aren't you jumping the gun a little bit?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 16, 2014, 01:19:09 PM
You are correct. We edited that out at the last minute and there is another "final" version we will put in its place.
 
Sorry, busy day here!!!!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Scott5114 on April 16, 2014, 01:34:04 PM
Congrats on the redesignation. Hopefully this will make the political situation for the remaining segments easier since it will be more obvious that they represent a gap in a long Interstate route. I'm sure David will have some photos when the new signs go up; I'm looking forward to seeing those.

Suppose you guys already have plans of what to do with the old I-540 signs? :P I'm sure there's a few people on here who would like to have one!
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on April 16, 2014, 02:08:51 PM
So, AHTD: are the mileposts and exit numbers along redesignated I-49 going to be changed now, or will those remain the same until a final alignment for the entire I-49 corridor south of Fort Smith is selected?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 16, 2014, 02:29:47 PM
They will be changed when the southern part is approved (to the LA state line). Although we don't have a final alignment yet for the section between Ft. Smith and Texarkana, we made our best guess at what those mileposts and exits will be north of I-40. There may have to be adjustments in the future, but considering the time between now and when we would actually have to go back and make those adjustments, it will work for now.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 16, 2014, 06:20:44 PM
Congrats on the redesignation. Hopefully this will make the political situation for the remaining segments easier since it will be more obvious that they represent a gap in a long Interstate route. I'm sure David will have some photos when the new signs go up; I'm looking forward to seeing those.

Suppose you guys already have plans of what to do with the old I-540 signs? :P I'm sure there's a few people on here who would like to have one!
Most often, the ones in good condition are reused: they have a machine that will scrape off the old markings before applying new ones. (I read that in an Arkansas Highways once) . Years ago, I ran into the sign crew replacing AR 471 with US 71B and no amount of begging would persuade them to let me have a souvenir.   :thumbdown:
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: roadman65 on April 16, 2014, 07:52:19 PM
Newsflash from the owner of this site on his FB page!  I-540 in NW Arkansas is now officially I-49 and will officially be signed later this month.  Only south of I-40 will it remain I-540 as that is not going to be part of the KC to NO interstate, and the Bella Vista Bypass will become AR 549 for the time being.

http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/highway-officials-announce-naming-part-i-49-statewide-construction-program
Here is a news article that I found to support this info.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on April 16, 2014, 08:21:57 PM
The completed portion of the Bella Vista Bypass (from State Highway 72 south of Hiwasse to State Highway 72 north of Hiwasse) is approved for designation as Future I-49. This stretch of road will actually open to traffic next week and will be co-signed as State Highway 549/Future I-49.

I hope you'll do the 'Future I-49' shields in the same style as NCDOT has in the past. ;)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v645/rickmastfan67/Interstates/NC/I-74/P1030940s.jpg)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 16, 2014, 08:24:38 PM

I hope you'll do the 'Future I-49' shields in the same style as NCDOT has in the past. ;)


I hope you don't.  Arkansas still uses '57 spec for its two-digit interstates, so I'm hoping 49 shows up that way.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: rickmastfan67 on April 16, 2014, 08:35:08 PM

I hope you'll do the 'Future I-49' shields in the same style as NCDOT has in the past. ;)


I hope you don't.  Arkansas still uses '57 spec for its two-digit interstates, so I'm hoping 49 shows up that way.

What I meant was how NC added the 'Future' text to the shield, just to be clear.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 16, 2014, 08:59:06 PM

I hope you'll do the 'Future I-49' shields in the same style as NCDOT has in the past. ;)


I hope you don't.  Arkansas still uses '57 spec for its two-digit interstates, so I'm hoping 49 shows up that way.

What I meant was how NC added the 'Future' text to the shield, just to be clear.

Like this?
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6b/I-49_%28Future%29.svg/200px-I-49_%28Future%29.svg.png)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 16, 2014, 09:17:59 PM
(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/future_arkansas_49.png)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: M86 on April 17, 2014, 01:36:09 AM
Locally, people are freaking out via social media.  But they're just not informed... And I blame the local media somewhat.

"$70,000 for the changing of signs?!  This should have gone to fixing roads!"

Bah... I wish the exit numbers would be changed with the conversion.  That's just going to create more madness.



Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 17, 2014, 09:27:49 AM
Locally, people are freaking out via social media.  But they're just not informed... And I blame the local media somewhat.

"$70,000 for the changing of signs?!  This should have gone to fixing roads!"

Bah... I wish the exit numbers would be changed with the conversion.  That's just going to create more madness.



The Build I-49 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Build-I-49/288089113623) page on Facebook has experienced similar feedback.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: Grzrd on April 17, 2014, 12:29:14 PM
This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2014/04/16/some-road-projects-still-up-in-the-air-after-i-540-name-change/) provides a preliminary indication from the announcement ceremony that "Arkansas" will be missing from the I-49 shields that will be installed in the near future:

(http://i.imgur.com/yi9Vgs4.png)
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 17, 2014, 12:34:19 PM
ugh.  when has Arkansas ever used large-number 70 spec, so why start now?  49 is an especially tough number to fit if you're trying to use large numbers (12" on a 24" blank; in this case it looks like a 36" blank with 18" numbers).

that shield looks completely stupid.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 17, 2014, 04:58:19 PM
The sign unveiled at yesterday's event was indeed a 36-inch model. This is what we will use for route confirmation markers. The Future I-49 signs will be located at the project termini of the soon-to-be-opened completed portion of the Bella Vista Bypass and installed on green destination and distance boards. The Future I-49 signs will have the word "Future" where the word "Interstate" normally appears. The BVB route markers will be State Highway 549.
 
We will actually - and you read it here on AAROADS first - start changing out the I-540 signs Monday. Two crews will depart Little Rock Monday morning. One will head directly to the BVB and start installing signs. The other crew will start changing route markers on the northbound lanes just north of I-40. The overhead sign structures will be modified sometime in the next 30 days because we have to schedule crews and lane closures to make that happen.
 
BVB will officially open to traffic Tuesday morning before noon.
 
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 17, 2014, 06:19:57 PM
This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2014/04/16/some-road-projects-still-up-in-the-air-after-i-540-name-change/) provides a preliminary indication from the announcement ceremony that "Arkansas" will be missing from the I-49 shields that will be installed in the near future:

(http://i.imgur.com/yi9Vgs4.png)

5News flubbed: they said Bella Vista would be I-549 not AR 549   :pan:

You'll also have to change some of the mileage signs along I-40 that show the distance to I-540 North.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on April 17, 2014, 07:31:13 PM
My gosh Arkansas's Interstate signage seems inconsistent

With this announcement reinforcing that feeling. Will all future Interstate signs be huge-number variety going forward?
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: US71 on April 17, 2014, 08:01:02 PM
My gosh Arkansas's Interstate signage seems inconsistent

Honestly? It has been for a long time.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: bjrush on April 17, 2014, 09:36:09 PM
Quote
Honestly? It has been for a long time.

Too true

AHTD needs to get on the same page, preferably not the massive-number page revealed at that ceremony. This $70k seems like a great opportunity. I'm sure they are already being fabricated though. Ugh
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: AHTD on April 17, 2014, 11:03:21 PM
It's $70,000. That includes labor.


They are already printed. I-540 signs that are taken down will be recycled as I-49 signs for the southern route.


Don't forget the significance of ADDING mileage to our Interstate system. The stretch of the route above the 62/102 exit is being signed from U.S. 71 to I -49.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas
Post by: txstateends on April 17, 2014, 11:22:17 PM
This TV video report (http://5newsonline.com/2014/04/16/some-road-projects-still-up-in-the-air-after-i-540-name-change/) provides a preliminary indication from the announcement ceremony that "Arkansas" will be missing from the I-49 shields that will be installed in the near future:

(http://i.imgur.com/yi9Vgs4.png)

I was thinking this I-49 shield would be just a promotional prop and not the actual installed style.  Oh well, at least it was approved.  The style can always change later I guess.
Title: Re: I-49 in Arkansas<