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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: US71 on January 07, 2013, 10:35:41 PM

Title: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 07, 2013, 10:35:41 PM
AHTD announced today planned improvements to I-540 in Fort Smith between I-40 at Van Buren south to AR 22. Improvements include widening shoulders, replacing several bridges (including over the Arkansas River) as well as repaving (badly needed) and new signage.

AHTD says 153 working days have been allotted to this project, so it will likely last up to a year and a half.  :confused:

http://5newsonline.com/2013/01/03/road-project-to-reduce-lanes-on-i540-in-river-valley/

UPDATE
New information posted today seems to suggest many interchanges will receive new bridges and/or be completely rebuilt. Also the exits will be renumbered to match 540 north of Alma (why?).
Time to get my camera and start documenting,  I guess.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Brandon on January 08, 2013, 02:18:25 PM
AHTD announced today planned improvements to I-540 in Fort Smith between I-40 at Van Buren south to AR 22. Improvements include widening shoulders, replacing several bridges (including over the Arkansas River) as well as repaving (badly needed) and new signage.

AHTD says 153 working days have been allotted to this project, so it will likely last up to a year and a half.  :confused:

http://5newsonline.com/2013/01/03/road-project-to-reduce-lanes-on-i540-in-river-valley/

UPDATE
New information posted today seems to suggest many interchanges will receive new bridges and/or be completely rebuilt. Also the exits will be renumbered to match 540 north of Alma (why?).
Time to get my camera and start documenting,  I guess.

Isn't this section of I-540 supposed to become a part of I-49?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: NE2 on January 08, 2013, 02:22:39 PM
Isn't this section of I-540 supposed to become a part of I-49?
No.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Grzrd on January 08, 2013, 03:14:19 PM
Isn't this section of I-540 supposed to become a part of I-49?

No, 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); I had not noticed that before.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Brandon on January 08, 2013, 05:45:04 PM
Isn't this section of I-540 supposed to become a part of I-49?

No, 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); I had not noticed that before.

Interesting.  So I-49 will parallel I-540 in the Fort Smith area and go directly to the current I-540 north/I-40 interchange, unlike in Missouri where I-49 goes along I-44 for a few miles.  I agree, that's an interesting spur of I-540 back to I-49.

Since I-49 will take over I-540 north of I-40, then why does I-540 south into Fort Smith need to be renumbered to match I-540 north of I-40?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 08, 2013, 06:05:33 PM

Since I-49 will take over I-540 north of I-40, then why does I-540 south into Fort Smith need to be renumbered to match I-540 north of I-40?

I've wondered the same thing.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Grzrd on January 08, 2013, 07:46:41 PM
Since I-49 will take over I-540 north of I-40, then why does I-540 south into Fort Smith need to be renumbered to match I-540 north of I-40?
I've wondered the same thing.

I'm confused.  First, AHTD should be able to solve the I-49/US 49 issue in the near future (many other states have blazed the path) and I-540 north of I-40 should be redesignated as I-49 relatively soon.  Once that happens, the only remaining section of I-540 will be south of I-40, and according to recent discussion in the I-795 North Carolina mileage thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8425.msg195339#msg195339), it appears that the current numbering system is MUTCD-compliant, and that AHTD is making a non-compliant change.  :hmmm:

Is it possible that, once the US 71 to AR 22 section of Future I-49 is opened in about two years, that AR 22 and I-540 will receive some kind of "TEMP I-49" designation?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: bugo on January 08, 2013, 07:52:32 PM
Is it possible that, once the US 71 to AR 22 section of Future I-49 is opened in about two years, that AR 22 and I-540 will receive some kind of "TEMP I-49" designation?

No.  It will be a state highway.  It could be a section of AR 549, or it might have a new designation (749?)
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 08, 2013, 08:00:12 PM
Is it possible that, once the US 71 to AR 22 section of Future I-49 is opened in about two years, that AR 22 and I-540 will receive some kind of "TEMP I-49" designation?

No.  It will be a state highway.  It could be a section of AR 549, or it might have a new designation (749?)

Or even AR x71, though I have my doubts.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Grzrd on January 10, 2013, 05:32:16 PM
Since I-49 will take over I-540 north of I-40, then why does I-540 south into Fort Smith need to be renumbered to match I-540 north of I-40?
I've wondered the same thing.
I'm confused ... I-540 north of I-40 should be redesignated as I-49 relatively soon.  Once that happens, the only remaining section of I-540 will be south of I-40, and according to recent discussion in the I-795 North Carolina mileage thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=8425.msg195339#msg195339), it appears that the current numbering system is MUTCD-compliant, and that AHTD is making a non-compliant change.

It looks like all three of us proceeded under a mistaken assumption.  It appears that AHTD does not intend to redesignate I-540 to I-49, but intends to have a dual designation of I-540 with I-49.  From an AHTD email I received today:

Quote
From what I understand the exit numbers from I-40 south go up and so do the ones from I-40 north. So during this job they will change the exit numbers starting from south of Fort Smith at the state line to go up and then match the ones that continue north. When the I-49 designation comes it will probably be a dual I49/I540

I guess this would be a realistic move.  I-49 through Arkansas is unlikely to be completed for a long, long time.  The dual designation would minimize confusion to interstate drivers entering Arkansas from Missouri on I-49, and it would minimize disruptions to current NWA businesses by keeping both the I-540 designation and the current exit numbers.

But the more important question, would an I-49/I-540 overlap create the longest 2di/3di overlap in the interstate system?  :sombrero:
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: bugo on January 10, 2013, 06:36:17 PM
Again, AHTD shows they don't know what they're talking about.  There's no way I-540 will be retained for more than a year or two after I-49 is commissioned.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 10, 2013, 07:05:42 PM
AHTD already tried to redesignate "540 North" as I-49 and was rejected. I doubt 49 will appear until after the segment north of Bentonville is completely finished and tied into Missouri. IF 49 is co-signed with 540, I am betting it won't be for very long.  AR 471/US71B were co-signed for 2 years, but I doubt it will even be that long.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 10, 2013, 10:02:31 PM
"Breaking news":

AHTD announced today they will be adding cable barriers along I-540 in Van Buren and Fort Smith sometime next year. I'm assuming this is after the reconstruction project?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 17, 2013, 11:02:28 AM
And we're off!

AHTD expects to start setting up construction signs today with work expected to begin Jan 28th (mostly fixing the Left Shoulders and constructing crossovers.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Grzrd on September 26, 2013, 02:18:34 PM
As previously linked in another thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg249519#msg249519), here's an update with the project appearing to be on schedule with an estimated completion date of late Spring 2014:

http://www.thecitywire.com/node/29787#.UkR58b7D-M8

Quote
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."
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on December 17, 2013, 06:37:28 PM
I drove I-540 today and noticed new exit signage is starting to appear. BUT the actual exit numbers are missing, so the signs say Exit (blank)

I will attempt to get some photos later this week once I find my backup camera.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on December 23, 2013, 06:35:47 PM
I finally got out to photograph a few of the new signs. Only a few are up, so here's a sampling:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/11521950965_411b28edb6_z_d.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7321/11521948675_c1a67767f0_z_d.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5526/11522048163_853471a2e4_z_d.jpg)

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3834/11521976944_51b46731a7_z_d.jpg)
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 14, 2014, 11:19:18 PM
*UPDATE 1-13*

As the new signs are going up, the older signs are starting to come down, but not all signs have been upgraded, yet.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: M86 on January 16, 2014, 01:00:18 AM
*UPDATE 1-13*

As the new signs are going up, the older signs are starting to come down, but not all signs have been upgraded, yet.

Have they abided by the MUTCD? 

Many signs on I-540 in NWA that have been "upgraded" to Clearview violate MUTCD with the abbreviations.

Ar, Reg, Nat, Med, Wash are not acceptable.

Sorry, I had to get my NWA rant in!  :)
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on January 16, 2014, 09:09:35 AM
*UPDATE 1-13*

As the new signs are going up, the older signs are starting to come down, but not all signs have been upgraded, yet.

Have they abided by the MUTCD? 

Many signs on I-540 in NWA that have been "upgraded" to Clearview violate MUTCD with the abbreviations.

Ar, Reg, Nat, Med, Wash are not acceptable.

Sorry, I had to get my NWA rant in!  :)

Well, take a look at my  Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page and you'll see some of the new signs.  (you'll have to scroll down about halfway).  I may try for more field work today to see if there's anything new ;)


Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on March 24, 2014, 10:03:26 PM
I'm guessing work should wrap up in the next couple months. Both sides of 540 are now open to traffic, though only one lane in each direction. New signs seems to be going up quickly, but cable barriers are still going up. There appear to be acceleration/decelleration lanes at each exitthat I don't recall seeing in the past (or not as extensive). 
The ramp from NB 540 to WB 40 is still being rebuilt, so that area is a pain in the @$$.
NB 540 has more route markers, but are all the "neutered" variety.  SB 540 has more route markers and they are all "named" shields.

I'll have some photos on my Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page on the next day or so as soon as I can go through them.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: M86 on March 25, 2014, 12:16:13 AM
I'm guessing work should wrap up in the next couple months. Both sides of 540 are now open to traffic, though only one lane in each direction. New signs seems to be going up quickly, but cable barriers are still going up. There appear to be acceleration/decelleration lanes at each exitthat I don't recall seeing in the past (or not as extensive). 
The ramp from NB 540 to WB 40 is still being rebuilt, so that area is a pain in the @$$.
NB 540 has more route markers, but are all the "neutered" variety.  SB 540 has more route markers and they are all "named" shields.

I'll have some photos on my Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page on the next day or so as soon as I can go through them.


Did they put in any auxiliary lanes?  The spacing between some of those interchanges could definitely warrant them.  I suppose AHTD is putting their money on the I-49 bypass of Fort Smith.

Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on March 25, 2014, 12:41:32 AM
I'm guessing work should wrap up in the next couple months. Both sides of 540 are now open to traffic, though only one lane in each direction. New signs seems to be going up quickly, but cable barriers are still going up. There appear to be acceleration/decelleration lanes at each exitthat I don't recall seeing in the past (or not as extensive). 
The ramp from NB 540 to WB 40 is still being rebuilt, so that area is a pain in the @$$.
NB 540 has more route markers, but are all the "neutered" variety.  SB 540 has more route markers and they are all "named" shields.

I'll have some photos on my Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page on the next day or so as soon as I can go through them.


Did they put in any auxiliary lanes?  The spacing between some of those interchanges could definitely warrant them.  I suppose AHTD is putting their money on the I-49 bypass of Fort Smith.


As in a third lane? no.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: M86 on March 25, 2014, 03:01:45 AM
I'm guessing work should wrap up in the next couple months. Both sides of 540 are now open to traffic, though only one lane in each direction. New signs seems to be going up quickly, but cable barriers are still going up. There appear to be acceleration/decelleration lanes at each exitthat I don't recall seeing in the past (or not as extensive). 
The ramp from NB 540 to WB 40 is still being rebuilt, so that area is a pain in the @$$.
NB 540 has more route markers, but are all the "neutered" variety.  SB 540 has more route markers and they are all "named" shields.

I'll have some photos on my Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page on the next day or so as soon as I can go through them.


Did they put in any auxiliary lanes?  The spacing between some of those interchanges could definitely warrant them.  I suppose AHTD is putting their money on the I-49 bypass of Fort Smith.


As in a third lane? no.
Auxiliary lanes as in lane-add, lane-drop between interchanges.

Example:  http://goo.gl/maps/ZmOr9
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on March 25, 2014, 09:46:54 AM
I'm guessing work should wrap up in the next couple months. Both sides of 540 are now open to traffic, though only one lane in each direction. New signs seems to be going up quickly, but cable barriers are still going up. There appear to be acceleration/decelleration lanes at each exitthat I don't recall seeing in the past (or not as extensive). 
The ramp from NB 540 to WB 40 is still being rebuilt, so that area is a pain in the @$$.
NB 540 has more route markers, but are all the "neutered" variety.  SB 540 has more route markers and they are all "named" shields.

I'll have some photos on my Flickr  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_71/) page on the next day or so as soon as I can go through them.


Did they put in any auxiliary lanes?  The spacing between some of those interchanges could definitely warrant them.  I suppose AHTD is putting their money on the I-49 bypass of Fort Smith.


As in a third lane? no.
Auxiliary lanes as in lane-add, lane-drop between interchanges.

Example:  http://goo.gl/maps/ZmOr9

I've not seen any, but the new pavement hasn't been fully striped yet.

UPDATE:
No such thing on 540
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: yakra on May 30, 2014, 08:49:35 PM
Are there still any plans to renumber the exits?
Or was that apocryphal, and the exits will remain, north to south, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: US71 on May 30, 2014, 09:10:19 PM
Are there still any plans to renumber the exits?
Or was that apocryphal, and the exits will remain, north to south, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14?


Exits will remain the same. N-S. The Hwy Dept changed their minds when they designated I-49.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: AHTD on June 01, 2014, 11:38:18 AM
Since I-540 has returned to being a spur, the exit numbering begins at the parent Interstate (I-40). As we have discussed previously, the log miles begin at the state line and proceed north. We are in the process of re-logging I-40 to match the southern progression of the spur.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: AHTD on June 06, 2014, 10:12:55 PM
GREAT news!

We have reached substantial completion of this project. Northbound lanes fully opened today. Southbound lanes to open next week following a deck patching operation on the Arkansas River bridge we changeordered into the contract.

Still a few items remain on the punchlist, but it's safe to say I-540 in Arkansas is the SMOOTHEST ride in the state!

Congratulations to AHTD District 04 Construction Engineer Jason Hughey and his entire crew for a job well done!

News release here:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/news/2014/NR%2014-156.pdf
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: Grzrd on January 09, 2015, 10:56:28 AM
I-540 ends at the Oklahoma line but is unsigned west of US 271.
Even though there's an end sign at 271?
(above quote from I-49 in Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg2020941#msg2020941) thread)
There's an exception:
(http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u126/bugo348/i-540us271_zps43793039.jpg)
(above quote from I-49 in Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg2021489#msg2021489) thread)

I'm not sure what an "exception" means.  AHTD has posted the Plans for a US 271 and I-540 rehabilitation project (http://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/LETTING%20PLANS/BB0405.PDF) which indicates that I-540 begins east of the state line:

(http://i.imgur.com/wWAMeRQ.png)
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: NE2 on January 09, 2015, 04:42:33 PM
Exception is AHTD for overlap.
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: DJStephens on January 20, 2015, 12:32:49 PM
*UPDATE 1-13*

As the new signs are going up, the older signs are starting to come down, but not all signs have been upgraded, yet.

Have they abided by the MUTCD? 

Many signs on I-540 in NWA that have been "upgraded" to Clearview violate MUTCD with the abbreviations.

Ar, Reg, Nat, Med, Wash are not acceptable.

Sorry, I had to get my NWA rant in!  :)

What was the purpose of replacing those signs seen in the photos?  Seems like a prime example of public sector waste.   They were in near perfect shape!! 
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: dariusb on January 20, 2015, 03:27:09 PM
How is traffic flow on this section of I-540? Is it a pretty heavily traveled route?
Title: Re: Improving I-540 at Fort Smith
Post by: robbones on January 20, 2015, 08:42:16 PM
How is traffic flow on this section of I-540? Is it a pretty heavily traveled route?
As of 2013 ADT is 42000

https://www.arkansashighways.com/planning_research/technical_services/2013_traffic.aspx