AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: Tomahawkin on February 11, 2009, 11:46:39 PM

Title: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on February 11, 2009, 11:46:39 PM
Does Anyone Know When the I-555 corridor through NEA will finally be finished, Or does anyone know the status of this Interstate? It seems we only hear about the development once every 2 years or So...I know they have the 1st 40 miles from I-55 Northwest Finished. What the Hell is going on afterwards...?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on February 11, 2009, 11:54:31 PM
Does Anyone Know When the I-555 corridor through NEA will finally be finished, Or does anyone know the status of this Interstate? It seems we only hear about the development once every 2 years or So...I know they have the 1st 40 miles from I-55 Northwest Finished. What the Hell is going on afterwards...?

I can't find any info other than the wikipedia entry, so I don't know. I suppose it goes on my list of things to do  :nod:
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on February 12, 2009, 08:17:37 PM
Yea I haven't seen anyting concerning this corridor in the Jonesboro Newspaper nor the Democrat Gazette for that matter in years...
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on February 12, 2009, 08:20:50 PM
Yea I haven't seen anyting concerning this corridor in the Jonesboro Newspaper nor the Democrat Gazette for that matter in years...

It's about a 5 hour trip one way for me. If I get a free weekend, I'll try to check on it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Alex on May 14, 2009, 03:40:39 AM
The 2010 Rand McNally atlas shows all of U.S. 63 as a full freeway between Interstaet 55 and Arkansas 91 northwest of Jonesboro. Is this true? How many portions are not Interstate standard? And is there a time table for the upgrade to Interstate 555?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Sykotyk on October 04, 2009, 08:36:57 PM
I drove the future I-555 recently, it seems like part of the I-55 interchange is substandard. There was no divided highway portion and from what I could see heading north on I-55 to US 63 north, was there wasn't complete free-flowing traffic.

There are plenty of 'future I-555 signs, however.

Sykotyk
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on October 05, 2009, 04:49:37 PM
I drove the future I-555 recently, it seems like part of the I-55 interchange is substandard. There was no divided highway portion and from what I could see heading north on I-55 to US 63 north, was there wasn't complete free-flowing traffic.

There are plenty of 'future I-555 signs, however.

Sykotyk

Seems to me like one of the only things holding up I-555 from getting official shields is the stretch just west of Marked Tree where the speed limit drops to 65 mph. That area there are some dirt roads that have direct connections to the main road. That will need to be fixed with frontage roads or by closing off those roads.

I don't know if there are any plans to upgrade the interchange with I-55 any more, though.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on October 05, 2009, 05:43:18 PM

Seems to me like one of the only things holding up I-555 from getting official shields is the stretch just west of Marked Tree where the speed limit drops to 65 mph. That area there are some dirt roads that have direct connections to the main road. That will need to be fixed with frontage roads or by closing off those roads.

That's a problem: the farmers don't want to have to drive 5 miles on a frontage road to get to US 63/I-555
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on October 06, 2009, 08:27:17 AM

Seems to me like one of the only things holding up I-555 from getting official shields is the stretch just west of Marked Tree where the speed limit drops to 65 mph. That area there are some dirt roads that have direct connections to the main road. That will need to be fixed with frontage roads or by closing off those roads.

That's a problem: the farmers don't want to have to drive 5 miles on a frontage road to get to US 63/I-555



What does AHTD plan to do for this stretch? Obviously the cheaper option would be frontage roads, but it sounds like the farmers would like to have an overpass,an underpass, or even an interchange for those side roads.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: City on October 07, 2009, 09:10:44 PM
What does AHTD plan to do for this stretch? Obviously the cheaper option would be frontage roads, but it sounds like the farmers would like to have an overpass,an underpass, or even an interchange for those side roads.

Bingo.  :sombrero: (But wait, it'd cost too much! :-/)

Hmm... How about we make many onramps, and have a full exit just for access every now and then?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on October 07, 2009, 11:04:15 PM

What does AHTD plan to do for this stretch? Obviously the cheaper option would be frontage roads, but it sounds like the farmers would like to have an overpass,an underpass, or even an interchange for those side roads.

I'm not sure. Probably a frontage road or some sort of access and an overpass or two.

If this was Missouri, they'd probably have I-555 finished by now, but Arkansas seems overly concerned about upsetting Farmer Brown that it seems to take forever to get anything done. Heck, I-540 North was in the planning stages for over 20 years before they finally did something (but a lot of that was $$).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Sykotyk on October 08, 2009, 03:12:17 PM
Why not 'on/off' ramps but without any cross over? That way, if they want to go one direction, they at least get on the highway immediately, and if they want to go the opposite direction, just go down the road to an already established cross-over.

How many crossroads are there to be taken out of the system?

Sykotyk
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on October 24, 2009, 03:08:06 AM
Anyone Who has ever been to Fayetteville or live there wish that I-540 was 8 lanes...?

Eventually that Route will be I-49 which will bring along added traffic, mainly trucks...If the state was wise they'd be doing interchange inprovements from exits 62-67 and exit 72 to accomdate future traffic counts...

We did several studies of what will happen once I-540 becomes I-49 as a way of lobbying for that route to get underway so that the N. Orleans to K. City corridor can get completed

There is some talk about building a new freeway paralleling I-540 to the west and connecting to it on both ends.  Sort of a bypass of a bypass.  By the time it comes along 540 will probably be 49 so this freeway would likely be I-449 (to prevent confusion with Future I-249 in MO.)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bryant5493 on November 29, 2010, 12:18:19 AM
I saw U.S. 63/Future I-55 Future I-555 on Google Maps. Is there a lot to see, film, or photograph along the highway?


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on November 30, 2010, 09:18:47 AM
I saw U.S. 63/Future I-55 Future I-555 on Google Maps. Is there a lot to see, film, or photograph along the highway?


It's been a while since I've been that way. The area is relatively flat and I don't recall a lot worth seeing, but there are some bridges on old 63 (now AR 463) I've been wanting to look at, including a couple 1920's-30's concrete bridges. There are also some old railroad bridges paralleling 63 and 463 that may be worth investigating.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on December 16, 2010, 08:23:50 AM
Future I-555 through Jonesboro may be worth capturing on video.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 16, 2010, 08:49:23 AM
Future I-555 through Jonesboro may be worth capturing on video.

There ARE some bridges on old 63 I want to check out, so I could do it unless one of the "pros" beat me to it.  I'd just have to arrange my schedule.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Buummu on April 30, 2011, 01:38:50 AM
Isn't I-555 signed yet?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on April 30, 2011, 01:42:32 AM
Isn't I-555 signed yet?

Not to my knowledge. AHTD is still upgrading US 63
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Buummu on April 30, 2011, 04:06:30 PM
Oh i see.. Google Maps showed it as a complete freeway so I assumed it might have been signed..
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: rickmastfan67 on May 02, 2011, 10:59:02 PM
Oh i see.. Google Maps showed it as a complete freeway so I assumed it might have been signed..

Google loves to jump the gun on "Future" Interstates.  Some examples would be I-69 in TN & some segments of I-74 and I-73 in NC.

EDIT: Post #1000 for me. :)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 02, 2011, 11:46:04 PM
Oh i see.. Google Maps showed it as a complete freeway so I assumed it might have been signed..

Google loves to jump the gun on "Future" Interstates.  Some examples would be I-69 in TN & some segments of I-74 and I-73 in NC.


I am hoping to get over to that area sometime this Summer. There are some older bridges I'm trying to find plus check the status of 555

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Buummu on May 05, 2011, 11:38:07 PM
yeah when one of you do, i would like to see it..
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Henry on May 10, 2011, 03:39:53 PM
What does AHTD plan to do for this stretch? Obviously the cheaper option would be frontage roads, but it sounds like the farmers would like to have an overpass,an underpass, or even an interchange for those side roads.

Bingo.  :sombrero: (But wait, it'd cost too much! :-/)

Hmm... How about we make many onramps, and have a full exit just for access every now and then?
Or just leave them there like Texas! A violation of the rules, sure, but it has been done before.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on January 10, 2012, 02:17:25 PM
Seems to me like one of the only things holding up I-555 from getting official shields is the stretch just west of Marked Tree where the speed limit drops to 65 mph. That area there are some dirt roads that have direct connections to the main road. That will need to be fixed with frontage roads or by closing off those roads.
That's a problem: the farmers don't want to have to drive 5 miles on a frontage road to get to US 63/I-555
What does AHTD plan to do for this stretch? Obviously the cheaper option would be frontage roads, but it sounds like the farmers would like to have an overpass,an underpass, or even an interchange for those side roads.
Why not 'on/off' ramps but without any cross over? That way, if they want to go one direction, they at least get on the highway immediately, and if they want to go the opposite direction, just go down the road to an already established cross-over.
How many crossroads are there to be taken out of the system?
Sykotyk
I had recent Q & A exchange with AHTD (apparently no progress on farm equipment access issue):

Q: Are there any plans to sign I-555 and/or upgrade along the Future I-555 corridor in the near future?

A: This has been on hold until an issue with farm equipment access from one side of the Interstate to the other is resolved. Right now, they can legally use the Highway, but they would not be allowed on an interstate.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on April 13, 2012, 12:54:07 PM
I had recent Q & A exchange with AHTD (apparently no progress on farm equipment access issue):
Q: Are there any plans to sign I-555 and/or upgrade along the Future I-555 corridor in the near future?
A: This has been on hold until an issue with farm equipment access from one side of the Interstate to the other is resolved. Right now, they can legally use the Highway, but they would not be allowed on an interstate.

AHTD is holding a Location Public Hearing - Future I-555 Access Road Study (Highway 63) (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/100682.aspx) on April 19.  AHTD has not posted any of the meeting materials yet.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on April 16, 2012, 06:15:54 PM
AHTD is holding a Location Public Hearing - Future I-555 Access Road Study (Highway 63) (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/100682.aspx) on April 19.  AHTD has not posted any of the meeting materials yet.

AHTD has posted the Environmental Assessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/US%2063%20EA%20-%20Final%20signed%20with%20Appendices%20(022112)_reduced.pdf).  Corridor A/A1 (page 34 of the document; page 40/293 of pdf), which basically parallels Future I-555, is the Preferred Alternative (a map showing the route of A/A1 is on page 7 of the document; page 13/293 of the pdf).

EDIT

Here's the Information Packet and Comment Form (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/Public%20Hearing%20Handout_Final.pdf).  Comments need to be received by the engineering firm by May 17 in order to be considered.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on June 12, 2012, 11:08:22 PM
AHTD has posted the Environmental Assessment (http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/US%2063%20EA%20-%20Final%20signed%20with%20Appendices%20(022112)_reduced.pdf).

I emailed AHTD and asked what else needs to happen before a Finding of No Significant Impact can be issued.  Basically, a Design Public Hearing will need to be held:

Quote
We will not be able to obtain a FONSI for the entire I-555 frontage road project until a Design Public Hearing has been held for the entire project.  We may be able to clear a portion of the project so it can go forward, but the final decision has not been made.

I suppose things are proceeding in a steady fashion ...
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bjrush on June 14, 2012, 11:52:27 AM
I asked about what would happen to US 63 once I-555 was opened. Here is the response

Quote
I am told that it is likely that the portion of Highway 63 designation from Highway 91 to I-55 will be dropped.  Currently, Highway 63 runs north to south while I-555 will likely be from south to north. We utilize log miles for inventory, designation, and location and they typically run south to north and west to  east which would contradict one another on this route.  Ultimately, the decision has not been finalized.

and later

Quote
As far as I know, there are currently gaps in Hwy 63, so it could be that the 63 designation is simply dropped entirely.
 
When it reaches  I-55 now, I am not aware that AHTD has dual designation along I-55 or I-40 to Hazen.  Google Maps shows it this way and perhaps Rand McNally and other atlas' may do the same, but to my knowledge, the route is not signed with the 63 designation.
Title: Future I-555: To Shield or Not to Shield?
Post by: Grzrd on August 16, 2012, 10:36:33 AM
I emailed AHTD and asked what else needs to happen before a Finding of No Significant Impact can be issued.  Basically, a Design Public Hearing will need to be held:
Quote
We will not be able to obtain a FONSI for the entire I-555 frontage road project until a Design Public Hearing has been held for the entire project.  We may be able to clear a portion of the project so it can go forward, but the final decision has not been made.

This August 9 article (http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/78941ad098ca4524acc4f32f49e58011/AR--Northeast-Arkansas-Interstate-555) reports that funding for the estimated $25 million frontage road project is not in the four-year plan, which will delay conversion to I-555:

Quote
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said Thursday that funding for a service road along U.S. 63 in northeast Arkansas isn't in the agency's four-year construction plan, which will delay converting the name of the highway to Interstate 555.
The road between Crittenden County and Jonesboro has been converted to a four-lane divided highway with controlled access. But changing it over to an interstate would prevent farm equipment from being driven on the 40-mile stretch.
Highway department spokesman Randy Ort said the sticking point is building service roads between Payneway and Marked Tree. That project would cost about $25 million, and the agency has only $3 million on hand for the work.
Ort said the money has to be obligated by Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

There is a division among northeast Arkansas officials about how to approach the project. Ort said the department wants to use the money to build a short segment of the road that would be a usable segment. But some want the agency to use the money to complete the design of the full service road project.
"Right now, we're up in the air," Ort said ....

Here is a brief TV video report (http://www.kait8.com/story/19248086/i-555-in-ne-arkansas-completed-but-name-awaited) on the delay in putting up the shields.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on August 16, 2012, 11:28:43 AM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Scott5114 on August 18, 2012, 10:44:22 PM
Quote
We will not be able to obtain a FONSI

eeeeeeeey....
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on August 21, 2012, 11:12:33 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.

I have a strong hunch that AHTD is pursuing a less complete Plan B: get permission from FHWA for immediate I-555 signage on both sides of the approximate 4.7 mile stretch that needs the frontage road project.  Since that stretch already has the Future I-555 designation, it may not be out of the question to see I-555 signage sometime around the New Year.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on August 27, 2012, 06:51:09 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.

Is that not a Federal standard?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 27, 2012, 06:54:32 PM

Is that not a Federal standard?

it is a standard, but exemptions are made when there is no reasonable alternate.

I know I-5 just north of San Diego has a few places where bikes get on at one exit and get off at the next.  I believe the stretch between exits 37 and 39 is one such example: the only crossings of San Elijo Lagoon are I-5, and old US-101, a couple miles to the west.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on August 27, 2012, 08:08:58 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.

Is that not a Federal standard?

No. Some states (e.g. Wyoming) have no restrictions at all on who may use an Interstate. Others restrict them only in urban areas where there are many alternatives. The farthest east bikes are allowed on an Interstate is probably I-79 over the Ohio near Pittsburgh.

This is all covered by state laws. The only related provision in federal law is that when federal funding is used to close a road to bikes and such, an alternate route must be provided. "The Secretary shall not approve any project or take any regulatory action under this title that will result in the severance of an existing major route or have significant adverse impact on the safety for nonmotorized transportation traffic and light motorcycles, unless such project or regulatory action provides for a reasonable alternate route or such a route exists."

In a state that bans specifically bikes from Interstates (not freeways in general) by law, I suppose building a freeway and then adding Interstate shields as a separate project is a loophole, as long as no federal funds are used to post the shields. (Is adding a route to the Interstate system a 'regulatory action'?)

I can't find any law in Arkansas banning bikes from Interstates (but motorized bikes are banned, so the federal law still seems to hold).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 27, 2012, 08:25:02 PM
then I had it backwards. 

in any case, I believe CA bans bikes from freeways in most contexts.

on the I-5 example I gave, there is an "all bikes must exit" graphical sign at the end of the bikes-permitted segment. 
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on August 27, 2012, 09:14:16 PM
You can see how a number of western states handle it here: http://www.itoworld.com/map/151#fullscreen (OSM data)
For example, Wyoming allows bikes everywhere, Washington everywhere outside major metro areas, and Nevada requires exiting at all the mid-sized towns along I-80.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on September 17, 2012, 11:30:51 AM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Is that not a Federal standard?
No. Some states (e.g. Wyoming) have no restrictions at all on who may use an Interstate. Others restrict them only in urban areas where there are many alternatives. The farthest east bikes are allowed on an Interstate is probably I-79 over the Ohio near Pittsburgh.
This is all covered by state laws. The only related provision in federal law is that when federal funding is used to close a road to bikes and such, an alternate route must be provided. "The Secretary shall not approve any project or take any regulatory action under this title that will result in the severance of an existing major route or have significant adverse impact on the safety for nonmotorized transportation traffic and light motorcycles, unless such project or regulatory action provides for a reasonable alternate route or such a route exists."

This September 16 article (pay) (http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/sep/16/farmers-passage-bump-i-555-20120916/) indicates that, in addition to the federal provision regarding nonmotorized traffic and light motorcycles, there is another federal provison that expressly prohibits certain farm equipment from being operated on an interstate highway:

Quote
Federal law bans farm vehicles, such as cotton-module trucks, from interstate travel because of their size, the number of axles and the spacing between the axles, said Randy Ort, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

It looks like AHTD will have to build the frontage road for an interstate designation along the entire route.

This August 9 article (http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/78941ad098ca4524acc4f32f49e58011/AR--Northeast-Arkansas-Interstate-555) reports that funding for the estimated $25 million frontage road project is not in the four-year plan, which will delay conversion to I-555:
Quote
Highway department spokesman Randy Ort said the sticking point is building service roads between Payneway and Marked Tree. That project would cost about $25 million, and the agency has only $3 million on hand for the work.
Ort said the money has to be obligated by Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.
There is a division among northeast Arkansas officials about how to approach the project. Ort said the department wants to use the money to build a short segment of the road that would be a usable segment. But some want the agency to use the money to complete the design of the full service road project.

The September 16 article indicates that the Highway Commission did indeed overrule AHTD and opted to complete the design of the full service road project:

Quote
But the region balked at state highway officials’ decision to shift a leftover earmark of about $3 million to construction of a frontage road along U.S. 63 in Marked Tree. That would allow farm vehicles to avoid having to negotiate downtown Marked Tree.
Instead, the commission voted Tuesday to spend that money on engineering and design for the longer twolane frontage road between Payneway and Marked Tree, which local officials say helps keep the bigger project moving forward.

The September 16 article makes no mention of the possibility of signing part of I-555.  However, judging from the September 16 article, I believe partial signage would be welcomed:

Quote
“That interstate designation will put northeast Arkansas on the map,” said Ed Way, a Liberty Bank executive who is the outgoing chairman of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The first thing any [company considering locating to the region] asks is, ‘Are you located on an interstate?’ or ‘How far are you from an interstate?’”
Other local leaders said they persuaded companies to locate in the region, in part, on the promise that I-555 would be a reality in the not-so-distant future.
“It is an unfulfilled commitment we feel like we have worked very hard on for 15 years,” Mike Cameron, a local contractor, told the commission.
Big companies in the area include Nestle USA and Quad/Graphics Inc., each employing about 700 people; Frito-Lay Inc. and Hytrol Conveyor Co., both of which boast more than 500 employees; and other companies, like Riceland Foods, that employ 300 or so people each.
“Existing industries have been depending on that promise,” Cameron said of the interstate designation.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on September 21, 2012, 05:10:39 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Quote
Federal law bans farm vehicles, such as cotton-module trucks, from interstate travel because of their size, the number of axles and the spacing between the axles, said Randy Ort, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

In terms of a roadgeek question, who would you bet on having the correct answer: NE2 or AHTD?  With that notion in mind, I contacted the Federal Highway Administration:

Quote
We discussed this issue with our operations and truck size and weight staff members.   FHWA is not aware of any federal law that deals with whether farm machinery to be driven on an interstate highway.  It would be worthwhile for you to touch base with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that represent the State Department of Transportation.  They may be able to tell you about state laws.
Thanks
Ed
Edward Strocko
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Freight Management and Operations

I wonder what Randy Ort was referring to?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on September 21, 2012, 05:15:06 PM
Quote
We discussed this issue with our operations and truck size and weight staff members.   FHWA is not aware of any federal law that deals with whether farm machinery to be driven on an interstate highway.  It would be worthwhile for you to touch base with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that represent the State Department of Transportation.  They may be able to tell you about state laws.


Must be a state by state thing. I seem to recall signs specifying vehicles that are not allowed.  Usually starts out saying PROHIBITED then lists unauthorized vehicles (like motor driven cycles)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: hbelkins on September 22, 2012, 10:51:10 PM
Kentucky has the same restrictions on its parkways as it does its interstates.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on September 22, 2012, 11:15:34 PM
Kentucky has the same restrictions on its parkways as it does its interstates.

I know Illinois does, but I've never thought of photographing a sign.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Revive 755 on September 23, 2012, 12:31:14 AM
then I had it backwards. 

in any case, I believe CA bans bikes from freeways in most contexts.

Though there was a "Share the Road" sign on SB I-5 near one of the Lake Shasta bridges last June.

I know Illinois does, but I've never thought of photographing a sign.

Partial view of one sign:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=dupo,+il&hl=en&ll=38.505561,-90.204964&spn=0.028512,0.066047&sll=40.158802,-89.415147&sspn=0.003481,0.008256&hnear=Dupo,+St+Clair,+Illinois&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.505602,-90.205053&panoid=KGJzY6DA9oJIzHxcMhkjJA&cbp=12,337.6,,0,2.51 (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=dupo,+il&hl=en&ll=38.505561,-90.204964&spn=0.028512,0.066047&sll=40.158802,-89.415147&sspn=0.003481,0.008256&hnear=Dupo,+St+Clair,+Illinois&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.505602,-90.205053&panoid=KGJzY6DA9oJIzHxcMhkjJA&cbp=12,337.6,,0,2.51)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on September 25, 2012, 09:03:57 AM
Looks like AHTD is finally getting around to at least talking about access roads:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/consultant_services/advertisements/ad_fy2012/100786_RFLOI_WEB.pdf
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on August 01, 2013, 01:35:17 PM
I recently had an email Q & A with AHTD regarding the frontage road and the possibility of immediate interstate signage on other parts of the roadway:

The frontage road:

Quote
Q: I recently looked at the July 15 PowerPoint presentation presented to the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/071513_SEB_JonesboroChamber.pdf
On page 26/41 of the pdf, the slide indicates that the Future I-555 frontage road from Payneway to Marked Tree would only produce 23 cents of benefits for every dollar of expenditure.  Does that mean that the frontage road is now in the deep freeze?

A: The project is not in the deep freeze. As you probably remember, we publicized our plans to use the remaining money to build a useable portion of the frontage road in Marked Tree, but that plan was met with some resistance from groups in NE Arkansas. So we changed our plans and have used those funds to hire a consultant to design the needed frontage road. We still do not have a date for construction at this time, but having the design plans ready will be a big step towards the ultimate goal.

We have many needs in Arkansas, far more than we have money to pay for them. The cost/benefit information that was presented in Jonesboro was not an attempt to send a message that we’re not going to build the frontage road. The Director was trying to make the point that we must make some difficult decisions, and that we face those decisions in every corner of the state. Nobody thinks we are addressing their needs quickly enough. And we can’t disagree with them. Cost/benefits ratios are one tool we can use to help determine where to best spend our limited funds. The frontage road was not in the 2013-2016 improvement program, but it may be considered for inclusion in the 2016-2019 program.

The possibility of immediate interstate signage on other parts of the roadway:

Quote
Q: Related to the above, is there any chance that the remainder of Future I-555 could be signed as I-555 ... I assume AHTD could represent to FHWA that the frontage road will be built within the next 25 years.

A: As for your information about signing part of the roadway now with the Interstate shield, no one on our staff was familiar with that change.

It looks like it will continue to be a slow slog ..........
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on January 15, 2014, 05:09:13 PM
we are happy to be a part of this forum and welcome questions and comments about the Arkansas highway system.
(above quote from Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6952.msg270057#msg270057) thread)

AHTD, do you have any updates as to when I-555 shields may go up?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on January 15, 2014, 06:11:22 PM
we are happy to be a part of this forum and welcome questions and comments about the Arkansas highway system.
(above quote from Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6952.msg270057#msg270057) thread)

AHTD, do you have any updates as to when I-555 shields may go up?

It's accurate information and if memory serves, the whole frontage road issue is about farm equipment needing access. Once this route is designated an Interstate, farm equipment will not be allowed on the road. So to facilitate continued farm equipment access, this frontage road is necessary.
 
This happened when I-530 was designated. All of a sudden the farm equipment was banned from a route that had been used for years.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2014, 06:18:58 PM
It's accurate information and if memory serves, the whole frontage road issue is about farm equipment needing access. Once this route is designated an Interstate, farm equipment will not be allowed on the road. So to facilitate continued farm equipment access, this frontage road is necessary.
 
This happened when I-530 was designated. All of a sudden the farm equipment was banned from a route that had been used for years.
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted? As far as I know, there is no federal law banning it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on January 15, 2014, 06:38:40 PM
I-555 probably won't be commissioned in my lifetime.

The more serious question (which I'm sure AHTD hasn't even thought of) is will US 63 be rerouted between Jonesboro and Hazen?  It could follow either AR 1 or US 49 (former AR 39).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on January 15, 2014, 06:48:00 PM
It's accurate information and if memory serves, the whole frontage road issue is about farm equipment needing access. Once this route is designated an Interstate, farm equipment will not be allowed on the road. So to facilitate continued farm equipment access, this frontage road is necessary.
 
This happened when I-530 was designated. All of a sudden the farm equipment was banned from a route that had been used for years.
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted? As far as I know, there is no federal law banning it.
A cursory glance on the 'net seems to indicate some sort of authorization is required.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2014, 07:08:38 PM
A cursory glance on the 'net seems to indicate some sort of authorization is required.
I couldn't find anything due to businesses with Interstate in their names. The federal term seems to be "special mobile equipment".
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on January 15, 2014, 07:09:17 PM
the whole frontage road issue is about farm equipment needing access. Once this route is designated an Interstate, farm equipment will not be allowed on the road.
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted? As far as I know, there is no federal law banning it.

Earlier in this thread, an email reply from FHWA strongly suggests that a prohibition, if any, against farm machinery would be an Arkansas state law issue:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1869.msg174985#msg174985

A review of this issue by your Legal Department could save some money by following NE2's suggestion and provide Jonesboro with a direct interstate connection sooner rather than much later.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 15, 2014, 08:00:47 PM
provide Jonesboro with a direct interstate connection sooner rather than much later.

we can name it the Dan Moraseski Freeway.  beats the hell out of naming it after some idiot senator (but I repeat myself).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Road Hog on January 16, 2014, 08:43:19 AM
I'd rather see it designated as a western extension of I-22 and have it tie in with the future I-57 at Walnut Ridge.

AR 22 can then be redesignated as an eastern extension of US 266 out of Oklahoma.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on January 16, 2014, 07:40:20 PM
I'd rather see it designated as a western extension of I-22 and have it tie in with the future I-57 at Walnut Ridge.

I-57 will never enter Arkansas.  The US 67 freeway is Future I-30.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on January 16, 2014, 11:03:25 PM
I'd rather see it designated as a western extension of I-22 and have it tie in with the future I-57 at Walnut Ridge.

I-57 will never enter Arkansas.  The US 67 freeway is Future I-30.

Here we go again.   :rolleyes:
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: jpi on January 16, 2014, 11:22:05 PM
I was just on future I-555 for the first time Monday night, not a bad road overall, would not take much to bring it up to interstate standards and I also so the stub ends of the US 67 by-pass around Walnut Ridge. Would be intersting to see this get extended northeast into Mo.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on January 16, 2014, 11:55:15 PM
If it is ever extended, it will be 5 lanes with a center turning lane, aka "Arkansas Freeway".
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: M86 on January 17, 2014, 12:27:11 AM
If it is ever extended, it will be 5 lanes with a center turning lane, aka "Arkansas Freeway".
I literally laughed out loud at that!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on January 29, 2014, 10:55:34 AM
A cursory glance on the 'net seems to indicate some sort of authorization is required.
I couldn't find anything due to businesses with Interstate in their names. The federal term seems to be "special mobile equipment".

Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)
 
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on January 29, 2014, 11:06:01 AM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)

Thanks AHTD!

Language from the EA demostrates that, although the Sunken Lands section is interstate-grade, it is not fully controlled access (page 11/293 of pdf; page 5 of document):

http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/US%2063%20EA%20-%20Final%20signed%20with%20Appendices%20(022112)_reduced.pdf

Quote
Future Highway Conditions
....
To date, all upgrades to interstate standards have been completed on Highway 63 from Jonesboro to I-55. In order to be added to the Interstate System, Future I-555  must have access control implemented across the Sunken Lands. When access control is implemented the current access to the Sunken Lands and adjacent private lands from Highway 63 will be removed.

The farm equipment currently complies with the statute because the section is not fully controlled access.

It still seems like an amendment to the statute would be relatively easy and inexpensive.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Henry on January 29, 2014, 11:17:14 AM
If it is ever extended, it will be 5 lanes with a center turning lane, aka "Arkansas Freeway".
I literally laughed out loud at that!
I like that term too! :rofl:
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on January 29, 2014, 11:29:42 AM
This is about as hilarious as the I-69 extender (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3524.msg274106#msg274106) that is proposed between the southern terminus of I-530/AL 530 at I-69 and I-20 in Monroe.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on June 05, 2014, 05:58:07 PM
This August 9 article (http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/78941ad098ca4524acc4f32f49e58011/AR--Northeast-Arkansas-Interstate-555) reports that funding for the estimated $25 million frontage road project is not in the four-year plan, which will delay conversion to I-555:
Quote
changing it over to an interstate would prevent farm equipment from being driven on the 40-mile stretch.
Highway department spokesman Randy Ort said the sticking point is building service roads between Payneway and Marked Tree. That project would cost about $25 million, and the agency has only $3 million on hand for the work.
It still seems like an amendment to the statute would be relatively easy and inexpensive.
AHTD's June 4, 2014 Presentation to the Highway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/060414_Commission%20Meeting%20Powerpoint.pdf) .... (page 43/83 of pdf):
(http://i.imgur.com/oEJzLcN.png)
(bottom quote from I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3524.msg304148#msg304148) thread)

AHTD, why has the cost estimate doubled from $25 million to $50 million in a little less than two years?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on July 26, 2014, 10:43:03 AM
This July 15 AHTD PowerPoint presentation (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2013/071513_SEB_JonesboroChamber.pdf) provides an update and scheduled lettings for the completion of AR 226 from US 67 to US 49 near Jonesboro (page 21/41 of pdf):
(http://i.imgur.com/vAqt4if.jpg)
(above quote from Future I-30/US 67 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6930.msg233808#msg233808) thread)

AHTD Director Scott Bennett recently made a July 23, 2014 presentation to the Arkansas State Highway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2014/072314_Commission%20Meeting%20Powerpoint.pdf), which included this slide of Future I-555 showing the respective locations of the $50 million frontage roads (page 58/82 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/E4ZrP8y.png)

AHTD, does the Department have any plans to upgrade US 49 in Jonesboro between the AR 226 Hwy 49 Connector and US 63 as part of the "Jonesboro link" between Future I-555 and possible Future I-30?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on July 28, 2014, 11:27:51 AM
U.S. Highway 49 is already upgraded to a five lane facility. The current work on SH 226 will tie-into that section.
 
http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_craighead.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/programs_contracts_division/gis/Current_JobStatusMaps/job_status_craighead.pdf)
 
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on February 10, 2015, 04:36:20 PM
AHTD, why has the cost estimate doubled from $25 million to $50 million in a little less than two years?

I haven't checked on Future I-555 in a while, but I just noticed this Oct. 1, 2014 video (good footage of Future I-555) (http://www.kait8.com/story/26679465/update-on-the-i-555-project) providing an I-555 update which quotes AHTD spokesman Randy Ort as estimating the cost of the frontage road to be back around $25 million and reports that the frontage road will be considered for funding between 2016 and 2019:

Quote
The conversion of Hwy 63 to Interstate 555 has been in the works for over 10 years ....
"The interstate system started being discussed right after I came into office about 12 years ago," said Tyronza mayor, Marion Bearden. It has been an ongoing process."
Randy Ort with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department said the new route or frontage road could cost about $25 million.
"This area is prime area for agri-tourism and I don't know very many spots where you could take a 30 minute drive going north and see cotton, bean, corn, rice," Bearden said. She said this interstate could increase tourism in Region 8.
"I think it's a real necessity because we've got farmers now who not just in one location," she said. "They are spread so far out and the equipment, the size of it now, you can't put it on the interstate system.”
The frontage road will be considered for funding between 2016 and 2019.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on February 10, 2015, 05:56:05 PM
Seriously? They can't find the funding to build a simple frontage road and that is all that is needed to officially designate the road I-155?

This should have been finished a decade ago......... but ATHD likes to drag their feet with everything, just like the U.S 67 and I-49 corridors
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on February 10, 2015, 06:02:19 PM
Seriously? They can't find the funding to build a simple frontage road and that is all that is needed to officially designate the road I-155?

This should have been finished a decade ago......... but ATHD likes to drag their feet with everything, just like the U.S 67 and I-49 corridors

IMO it's two things: #1 Money is tight  #2 Misplaced priorities when it comes to choosing projects.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bjrush on February 10, 2015, 06:46:05 PM
I don't see this as a huge scandal. They built the road and 99% of the time it is an interstate to the traveling public. A $50M frontage road for farmer bob and farmer jon seems like misplaced priorities, not the other way around

Triage, my friends. I know people on here like official designations but with a super tight budget, $50M just to say a road is an interstate isn't exactly the biggest need in the state
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on February 10, 2015, 08:48:16 PM
I don't see this as a huge scandal. They built the road and 99% of the time it is an interstate to the traveling public. A $50M frontage road for farmer bob and farmer jon seems like misplaced priorities, not the other way around

Triage, my friends. I know people on here like official designations but with a super tight budget, $50M just to say a road is an interstate isn't exactly the biggest need in the state

It's not so much the road itself, it's the fact in general ATHD tends to drag their feet on projects and it takes a lot longer to build. Examples are I-155, U.S 67, I-49, etc.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 10, 2015, 10:09:16 PM
One thing I'm wondering is why it costs so insanely much to build a freaking road anymore. What's it up to per mile to build an Interstate highway? $20 million? $50 million? $100 million?

The rate of cost inflation is just ridiculous. The nation is already having to let big parts of its infrastructure fall into ruin. How far can this go? Are we going to let it get to the point where it costs a million dollars to put a 20' long concrete driveway in front of a $75,000 home?

A long time ago I would have thought future technological advances would have made it easier, cheaper and more efficient to build major civil engineering projects. Obviously that isn't happening. I laugh at some of the things I see in science fictions movies (oh that giant thing would only cost a trillion times a trillion dollars if it could even be built). Maybe we're going in the other direction -like Mad Max or something. Maybe in the future we'll have nothing but dirt roads since that's all we'll be able to afford to build and maintain.

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on February 10, 2015, 10:14:22 PM
It's Obama's fault for not allowing cheap Mexican labor in.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 11, 2015, 12:43:18 AM
I'm wondering if the concrete used in these roads contains gold dust and the ground up bones of unicorns.

The same questions have to be asked of sports stadiums. NFL stadium cost: now $1.2 - 1.5 billion and rising rapidly (with taxpayers expected to pick up much of the bill). NBA stadium: now upwards of $500 million (again with taxpayers expected to pick up much of the bill). That's 400% cost inflation over the past 15-20 years.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on February 11, 2015, 10:52:11 AM
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted?
we can name it the Dan Moraseski Freeway.
A $50M frontage road for farmer bob and farmer jon seems like misplaced priorities

AHTD and the Arkansas Legislature must fear history's harsh judgment if they put into effect the proposed Moraseski Compromise, even though its provision granting farmer bob and farmer jon admission to the interstate system as drivers of farm equipment appears benign.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on February 11, 2015, 11:14:55 AM
One thing I'm wondering is why it costs so insanely much to build a freaking road anymore. What's it up to per mile to build an Interstate highway? $20 million? $50 million? $100 million?

I think in this case the reason it is so expensive is because bridges will need to be built across the irrigation canals/St. Francis River basin..
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bjrush on February 11, 2015, 08:49:50 PM
Cheap gas is actually helping projects get cheaper at the moment for short-term projects
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on February 14, 2015, 09:43:54 PM
One thing I'm wondering is why it costs so insanely much to build a freaking road anymore. What's it up to per mile to build an Interstate highway? $20 million? $50 million? $100 million?

The rate of cost inflation is just ridiculous. The nation is already having to let big parts of its infrastructure fall into ruin. How far can this go? Are we going to let it get to the point where it costs a million dollars to put a 20' long concrete driveway in front of a $75,000 home?

A long time ago I would have thought future technological advances would have made it easier, cheaper and more efficient to build major civil engineering projects. Obviously that isn't happening. I laugh at some of the things I see in science fictions movies (oh that giant thing would only cost a trillion times a trillion dollars if it could even be built). Maybe we're going in the other direction -like Mad Max or something. Maybe in the future we'll have nothing but dirt roads since that's all we'll be able to afford to build and maintain.


On average it costs around $5 million or $6 million per mile for a four-lane divided highway.

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on May 26, 2015, 03:22:31 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Is that not a Federal standard?
No ...
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted?

This April 2, 2015 article (http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/crawford-eyes-new-fix-jonesboro-interstate) reports that an Arkansas U.S. Congressman wants to insert language in the next highway reauthorization that would allow farm equipment on I-555 during daylight hours (even though, as NE2 has pointed out, there is no current federal prohibition, and, as forum member AHTD has confirmed, the prohibition is contained in an Arkansas statute):

Quote
After a decade of stalled efforts, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, believes he’s come up with a new approach to speed the designation of U.S. 63 in Poinsett County as Interstate 555.
The roadblock has centered on a three-mile stretch of U.S. 63 that local farmers rely on to cross the St. Francis Floodway. At an Interstate, the farmers would no longer be able to drive their heavy equipment on the road — forcing them to take a detour that could add as much as 90 miles to the drive.
To solve the problem, state highway officials have suggested that an access road be constructed to parallel I-555, but that would cost as much as $50 million. Instead, Crawford plans to seek a legislative fix that would exempt the farm equipment from the federal restriction — at least during daylight hours.
“If we are successful in securing this language in the upcoming highway reauthorization bill, we could save up to $50 million while not materially affecting the manner in which traffic crosses the floodway today,” Crawford said. “This would be a huge win-win for all of northeast Arkansas, and I am committed to making the best case possible for this with the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”
Congress is hoping to approve a new highway bill before the current law expires May 31.
Crawford, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been working with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department on finding a way forward with I-555. Rather than build the access road at a cost of $50 million, Crawford’s proposal — if approved — would allow non-conforming agriculture equipment to use the road during daylight hours. The change would improve road safety because the farm vehicles are allowed on U.S. 63 day or night.
Alec Farmer, a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, said he appreciated Crawford’s effort.
“I appreciate Congressman Crawford’s interest in ensuring highway dollars are spent wisely while also making certain that an important economic development tool — Interstate 555 — for northeast Arkansas is realized as quickly as possible,” he said.

Why doesn't agency AHTD simply coordinate with local officials to amend the state statute and/or tell Crawford that there is no federal prohibition that needs to be rectified?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: codyg1985 on May 26, 2015, 03:50:02 PM
Slow moving farm equipment plus traffic going at least 70 mph? Not a good combination.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on May 26, 2015, 04:03:38 PM
Slow moving farm equipment plus traffic going at least 70 mph? Not a good combination.
It happens all the time in Texas. On Interstates and two-lane roads.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on May 26, 2015, 04:22:28 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Is that not a Federal standard?
No ...
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted?

This April 2, 2015 article (http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/crawford-eyes-new-fix-jonesboro-interstate) reports that an Arkansas U.S. Congressman wants to insert language in the next highway reauthorization that would allow farm equipment on I-555 during daylight hours (even though, as NE2 has pointed out, there is no current federal prohibition, and, as forum member AHTD has confirmed, the prohibition is contained in an Arkansas statute):

Quote
After a decade of stalled efforts, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, believes he’s come up with a new approach to speed the designation of U.S. 63 in Poinsett County as Interstate 555.
The roadblock has centered on a three-mile stretch of U.S. 63 that local farmers rely on to cross the St. Francis Floodway. At an Interstate, the farmers would no longer be able to drive their heavy equipment on the road — forcing them to take a detour that could add as much as 90 miles to the drive.
To solve the problem, state highway officials have suggested that an access road be constructed to parallel I-555, but that would cost as much as $50 million. Instead, Crawford plans to seek a legislative fix that would exempt the farm equipment from the federal restriction — at least during daylight hours.
“If we are successful in securing this language in the upcoming highway reauthorization bill, we could save up to $50 million while not materially affecting the manner in which traffic crosses the floodway today,” Crawford said. “This would be a huge win-win for all of northeast Arkansas, and I am committed to making the best case possible for this with the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”
Congress is hoping to approve a new highway bill before the current law expires May 31.
Crawford, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been working with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department on finding a way forward with I-555. Rather than build the access road at a cost of $50 million, Crawford’s proposal — if approved — would allow non-conforming agriculture equipment to use the road during daylight hours. The change would improve road safety because the farm vehicles are allowed on U.S. 63 day or night.
Alec Farmer, a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, said he appreciated Crawford’s effort.
“I appreciate Congressman Crawford’s interest in ensuring highway dollars are spent wisely while also making certain that an important economic development tool — Interstate 555 — for northeast Arkansas is realized as quickly as possible,” he said.

Why doesn't agency AHTD simply coordinate with local officials to amend the state statute and/or tell Crawford that there is no federal prohibition that needs to be rectified?


http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governor-asa-hutchinson-makes-official-call-for-special-legislative-session

Read the bullets CAREFULLY....
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on May 26, 2015, 04:30:53 PM
http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governor-asa-hutchinson-makes-official-call-for-special-legislative-session
Read the bullets CAREFULLY....

Thanks, AHTD!:

Quote
Governor Asa Hutchinson has made the official call to legislators for a special session of the 90th General Assembly that will convene Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Along with the official call, the Governor has announced all items on the special session agenda below ....
•To ensure that state law aligns with potential changes in federal law regarding farm-equipment traffic on a new section of interstate highway.

Finally! It is interesting that the special session began today.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Rover_0 on May 26, 2015, 04:34:26 PM
By now the legislature could have passed a law allowing farm equipment (and bikes/peds) on this piece of I-555.
Is that not a Federal standard?
No ...
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-35-210
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf (http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/ACA_27-35-210.pdf)
Have you considered asking the legislature to allow farm equipment on Interstates where posted?

This April 2, 2015 article (http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/crawford-eyes-new-fix-jonesboro-interstate) reports that an Arkansas U.S. Congressman wants to insert language in the next highway reauthorization that would allow farm equipment on I-555 during daylight hours (even though, as NE2 has pointed out, there is no current federal prohibition, and, as forum member AHTD has confirmed, the prohibition is contained in an Arkansas statute):

Quote
After a decade of stalled efforts, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, believes he’s come up with a new approach to speed the designation of U.S. 63 in Poinsett County as Interstate 555.
The roadblock has centered on a three-mile stretch of U.S. 63 that local farmers rely on to cross the St. Francis Floodway. At an Interstate, the farmers would no longer be able to drive their heavy equipment on the road — forcing them to take a detour that could add as much as 90 miles to the drive.
To solve the problem, state highway officials have suggested that an access road be constructed to parallel I-555, but that would cost as much as $50 million. Instead, Crawford plans to seek a legislative fix that would exempt the farm equipment from the federal restriction — at least during daylight hours.
“If we are successful in securing this language in the upcoming highway reauthorization bill, we could save up to $50 million while not materially affecting the manner in which traffic crosses the floodway today,” Crawford said. “This would be a huge win-win for all of northeast Arkansas, and I am committed to making the best case possible for this with the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”
Congress is hoping to approve a new highway bill before the current law expires May 31.
Crawford, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been working with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department on finding a way forward with I-555. Rather than build the access road at a cost of $50 million, Crawford’s proposal — if approved — would allow non-conforming agriculture equipment to use the road during daylight hours. The change would improve road safety because the farm vehicles are allowed on U.S. 63 day or night.
Alec Farmer, a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, said he appreciated Crawford’s effort.
“I appreciate Congressman Crawford’s interest in ensuring highway dollars are spent wisely while also making certain that an important economic development tool — Interstate 555 — for northeast Arkansas is realized as quickly as possible,” he said.

Why doesn't agency AHTD simply coordinate with local officials to amend the state statute and/or tell Crawford that there is no federal prohibition that needs to be rectified?


http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governor-asa-hutchinson-makes-official-call-for-special-legislative-session

Read the bullets CAREFULLY....

So that language sounds like I-555 has already been approved?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on May 26, 2015, 10:29:25 PM
I don't see this as a huge scandal. They built the road and 99% of the time it is an interstate to the traveling public. A $50M frontage road for farmer bob and farmer jon seems like misplaced priorities, not the other way around

Triage, my friends. I know people on here like official designations but with a super tight budget, $50M just to say a road is an interstate isn't exactly the biggest need in the state

It always seems to be "misplaced" until the day you find out your family has been wiped out by an accident involving farm equipment moving at 35 mph on a road designed for 65. Just find the money, build the frontage road, and call it an Interstate....or downgrade US 63 back to a divided highway and kill I-555 forever.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 28, 2015, 11:12:15 AM
A little sidenote, my father farmed land on each side of the floodway, once upon a time, in the floodway.

The only way to get to the land we farmed at Weona, would be to go down Ark 75 and west toward  torward Bay Village and up to Ark 14. That's a hell of a drive on a cotton picker back in the day.

The obvious solution to me would be allow the heavy machinery but to have lead and chase vehicles with flashing warning lights. It's really not something that takes place all the time.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 28, 2015, 04:52:12 PM
When will Interstate 555 ever be officially designated? It seems the process is taking forever.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: lordsutch on May 28, 2015, 07:04:27 PM
The obvious solution to me would be allow the heavy machinery but to have lead and chase vehicles with flashing warning lights. It's really not something that takes place all the time.

Indeed, drivers in rural areas are used to seeing manufactured homes being transported on interstates with outsize load protocols; the same solution would seem to apply here as long as it's an infrequent issue.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on May 30, 2015, 07:54:06 PM
I contacted the Federal Highway Administration:
Quote
We discussed this issue with our operations and truck size and weight staff members.   FHWA is not aware of any federal law that deals with whether farm machinery to be driven on an interstate highway.  It would be worthwhile for you to touch base with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that represent the State Department of Transportation.  They may be able to tell you about state laws.
Thanks
Ed
Edward Strocko
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Freight Management and Operations
http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governor-asa-hutchinson-makes-official-call-for-special-legislative-session

This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/37709#.VWpHENJViko) reports that two bills allowing farm equipment on I-555 sailed through the Arkansas legislature, but that the bills are contingent on a yet-to-be introduced bill to amend unspecified federal legislation providing that, "agricultural vehicles cannot travel on interstate highways":

Quote
Lawmakers approved two similar bills dealing with agricultural vehicle traffic on U.S. 63 in Northeast Arkansas.
The bills – House Bill 1005, sponsored by Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, and Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. John Cooper, R-Jonesboro – would make sure state law matches up with federal law on the issue. The issue involves the changing of U.S. 63 to Interstate 555 from Lake David to Jonesboro. The four-lane highway’s change to an interstate has been a key issue with residents in Northeast Arkansas. Cooper said the change would have a “big impact” for people in the region.
The change is also contingent on work being done as part of the federal highway bill. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, has said he plans to introduce an amendment to the bill to seek a waiver that would allow certain agricultural traffic to travel on the St. Francis Floodway Bridge near Payneway.
Under federal law, agricultural vehicles cannot travel on interstate highways.
There has been a plan to build an access road bridge across the floodway. However, it could cost as much as $50 million to build, officials have said.

It will be interesting to see from which federal legislation Rep. Crawford will seek a waiver.  If there is none, then he is making this process a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on June 03, 2015, 02:47:23 PM
AHTD's May 29 presentation to the Arkansas State Highway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2015/052915_Commission%20Meeting%20Powerpoint.pdf) includes a slide that provides a good visual of the section of US 63/ Future I-555 on which farm vehicles would be allowed (p. 30/41 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/FtoI67v.png)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on June 13, 2015, 12:56:24 PM
Language from the EA demostrates that, although the Sunken Lands section is interstate-grade, it is not fully controlled access (page 11/293 of pdf; page 5 of document):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/US%2063%20EA%20-%20Final%20signed%20with%20Appendices%20(022112)_reduced.pdf
Quote
Future Highway Conditions
....
To date, all upgrades to interstate standards have been completed on Highway 63 from Jonesboro to I-55. In order to be added to the Interstate System, Future I-555  must have access control implemented across the Sunken Lands. When access control is implemented the current access to the Sunken Lands and adjacent private lands from Highway 63 will be removed.
It may not be too late for them to keep the at-grades in Kenedy County. This article (http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cleveland/news/i--supporters-urge-passage-of-federal-highway-bill/article_7ae8c02f-fe9c-5bd5-9fbb-1f7bf321994d.html) reports on a recent trip to Washington by Texas representatives urging federal officials to continue and accelerate the ongoing development of Interstate 69.  Included in their wish list is "greater flexibility in interstate designations in rural area":
Quote
More than 20 representatives of Texas communities and two members of the Texas Transportation Commission are on Capitol Hill this week urging federal officials to continue and accelerate the ongoing development of Interstate 69. ,,,.
Priorities for Texas include providing greater flexibility in interstate designations in rural area
(immediate above quote from I-69 in TX (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3624.msg2059837;topicseen#msg2059837) thread)
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/37709#.VWpHENJViko) reports that two bills allowing farm equipment on I-555 sailed through the Arkansas legislature, but that the bills are contingent on a yet-to-be introduced bill to amend unspecified federal legislation providing that, "agricultural vehicles cannot travel on interstate highways"....
It will be interesting to see from which federal legislation Rep. Crawford will seek a waiver.

Pure speculation on my part, but I'm beginning to think that the linked article mischaracterized the relevant federal requirements holding up the I-555 designation and that Rep. Crawford may instead seek a Congressional waiver from the fully controlled access interstate requirements for the Sunken Lands and/or the adjacent private lands segment of Future I-555 (and trump any potential FHWA objections). In other words, the Arkansas state amendment would allow farm equipment to travel on this section of interstate, and the federal amendment would allow the farm equipment to have at-grade access to this section of interstate.

If this is indeed the case, then I wonder if Texas will seek a similar Congressional waiver from fully controlled access for the relevant section of I-69E in Kenedy County.

Something to look for in the next long-term reauthorization.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on June 13, 2015, 05:18:26 PM
They just need to build the frontage road and be done with it. AHTD doesn't seem to mind building roads in the flat part of Arkansas. What about building the new road a couple of miles north of I-555? It looks like it would be more useful than a frontage road would be.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Sykotyk on June 13, 2015, 05:43:52 PM
They just need to build the frontage road and be done with it. AHTD doesn't seem to mind building roads in the flat part of Arkansas. What about building the new road a couple of miles north of I-555? It looks like it would be more useful than a frontage road would be.

But, $50 million for a few farm vehicles is a bit overkill. Allowing or not allowing farm vehicles on I-555 doesn't make a bit of difference when they're already allowed on US63 and are basically at the same standards that I-555 will be at.

There's exemptions for crossroads in Texas, I-40 in NC, etc. Shoulders way too small through cities, I-70 in southwest PA, etc. A few miles allowing properly marked and conspicuous  on a small stretch of rural freeway is not unreasonable.

Erect proper signage along that stretch advising those of it (just like bicycles on interstates out west where there's no alternative), drop the speed limit slowing. Require farm vehicles to be properly lit with flashing yellow lights to utilize the roadway, marked with 'slow moving vehicle' signs similar to 'wide load/oversize load' on trucks. And here's one: require anyone wanting to use a farm vehicle on that road register it and to confirm it can utilize the shoulder or require a rear escort to help notify travelers of it.

It can be done, and it can be done much cheaper than $50 million. But, if you want to make a fuss, go argue for I-10, I-20, and I-40 in Texas to have interchanges built at all those ranch access roads.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on June 14, 2015, 10:07:37 AM
Well...a similar situation exists on US 90 through Wax Lake Outlet, where farm equipment regularly use the US 90 bridge there to move their farm equipment through the intersections between Ricohoc and Calumet. Obviously, converting US 90 into I-49 South will seriously disrupt that situation, so the solution was to build a standalone frontage road on the north side of US 90 ROW between the Ricohoc intersection/future interchange and Calumet that would cross Wax Lake Outlet. The overpass at Ricohoc would be elevated enough to allow farm equipment to pass under the US 90/I-49 mainline.


I'm guessing that if Louisiana can do that, so can Arkansas. Allowing breaches of controlled access merely for a few farm vehicles is not good; you might as well have kept US 63 an uncontrolled expressway, then.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on June 14, 2015, 11:00:18 AM
There's no 'breach of controlled access' if farm vehicles use the same ramps as everyone else.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on June 14, 2015, 05:42:20 PM
There's no 'breach of controlled access' if farm vehicles use the same ramps as everyone else.
IIRC, most Interstates have a minimum speed so that could be problematic. Otherwise, you might see Amish buggies on controlled access roads.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on June 14, 2015, 07:46:03 PM
There's no 'breach of controlled access' if farm vehicles use the same ramps as everyone else.

True, but I believe the intent of the Congressman's action (and some here) is to allow at-grades on that section of US 63/Future I-555 to accommodate the farm vehicles/equipment. That's a major breach.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on June 14, 2015, 10:42:36 PM
There's no 'breach of controlled access' if farm vehicles use the same ramps as everyone else.
IIRC, most Interstates have a minimum speed so that could be problematic. Otherwise, you might see Amish buggies on controlled access roads.
What does this have to do with control of access from adjacent properties?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on June 15, 2015, 01:30:58 AM
There's no 'breach of controlled access' if farm vehicles use the same ramps as everyone else.
IIRC, most Interstates have a minimum speed so that could be problematic. Otherwise, you might see Amish buggies on controlled access roads.
What does this have to do with control of access from adjacent properties?

I'm talking about minimum speeds on the interstate (usually 40-ish mph). That law would need to have an exemption too if tractors started using 555
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bugo on June 15, 2015, 04:22:52 AM
They're putting thousands of drivers at risk of being maimed or killed for the benefit of a few farmers. Let them drive the 2 hours out of the way until the frontage road is built.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: SteveG1988 on June 15, 2015, 11:02:05 AM
They're putting thousands of drivers at risk of being maimed or killed for the benefit of a few farmers. Let them drive the 2 hours out of the way until the frontage road is built.

Not really. Has there been any accidents from the status quo?

This road has been at the same standard for years, has it not?

Traffic already flows like an interstate on it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: lordsutch on June 15, 2015, 02:03:57 PM
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Sykotyk on June 20, 2015, 05:54:22 PM
They're putting thousands of drivers at risk of being maimed or killed for the benefit of a few farmers. Let them drive the 2 hours out of the way until the frontage road is built.

Not really. Has there been any accidents from the status quo?

This road has been at the same standard for years, has it not?

Traffic already flows like an interstate on it.

This is the funniest thing about this argument. This road already handles this at near interstate speeds every day and not a problem. But a blue shield instead of a white shield, and suddenly we can expect fiery death and dismemberment from people ramming the back end of farm vehicles.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Alex on June 22, 2015, 11:09:06 AM
The 2013 VPD for US 63 along that stretch is 14,000. Having recently traveled across the Upper Midwest, I observed a tractor traveling northbound while I was heading south on an Interstate highway. This was not a mower either. So the precedent has been broken already.

Factoring in mowers, I witnessed another occurrence of a tractor on a mainline, as one was roving southbound in the right lane. With flashing yellow beacons and reflective markings, this should not be that big of a deal with traffic counts in the low range. Make the legal exemption and sign it until a more permanent solution can be built (especially if traffic counts increase significantly).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on November 16, 2015, 07:46:19 PM
This MDOT Press Release (http://sp.mdot.ms.gov/Public%20Affairs/Lists/News%20Releases/Item/displayifs.aspx?List=ae1b236c-924d-498c-b14e-aafec6dc2864&ID=1376&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fspgomdot%2FPublic%2520Affairs%2FPages%2FNews-Releases%2Easpx&ContentTypeId=0x010087606675CA7A95408B80E8BFBB944273&IsDlg=2) announces that the recent omnibus bill signed by President Obama includes a provision that the allowable weight limits on U.S. 78 will not change when it is converted to I-22.  Also of interest is that the bill covers U.S. 78/ Future I-22 from mile marker 0 to mile marker 113, which means that would allow an I-22 designation all of the way to the Tennessee state line
(above quote from Interstate 22 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=724.msg2028560#msg2028560) thread)
This article (http://www.thecitywire.com/node/37709#.VWpHENJViko) reports that two bills allowing farm equipment on I-555 sailed through the Arkansas legislature, but that the bills are contingent on a yet-to-be introduced bill to amend unspecified federal legislation providing that, "agricultural vehicles cannot travel on interstate highways"

The above-linked article mischaracterized the nature of the unspecified federal legislation.  Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford has posted on his website (http://crawford.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398447) that he successfully introduced an amendment to the House transportation bill that, much like the above-mentioned Interstate 22 legislation, exempts agricultural equipment from federal interstate bridge weight limitations along the three-mile stretch of U.S. 63:

Quote
Representative Rick Crawford released the following statement:

“The short extensions which the House passed earlier this year don’t give Arkansans the type of long-term security they need in a transportation bill, so I’m very pleased that the House has finally passed a long-term bill, especially one that includes an exemption for the floodway section of US 63. For years, Arkansas has sought interstate status for U.S. 63, but has been unable to bear the $30-$50 million expense needed to build an access road for agricultural vehicles across the St. Francis floodway.  My amendment will allow for the interstate designation to move forward while at the same time allowing for traditional use of the floodway bridge ..."  ....

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has worked in the past with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to designate U.S. 63 as Future I-555. An interstate designation would be a great boon to Jonesboro and all of northeast Arkansas. However, if U.S. 63 were designated as interstate, agricultural vehicles like cotton modules, dump trucks, and logging trucks would not be allowed to use certain bridges that they have used for years. Once the highway gains interstate status, the federal bridge formula for Interstates would apply, and many agricultural vehicles are non-compliant with those rules. For example, agricultural vehicles that currently drive a few short minutes across the St. Francis Floodway bridge by Marked Tree would be forced to take a 90 mile detour around the sunken lands.
A separate access road spanning the floodway has been the leading solution for several years, although the cost of building a separate road for agricultural vehicles is estimated to be $30 million to $50 million -- for road only 3 miles long. Instead, Representative Crawford has proposed an exemption for agricultural vehicles along the 3 mile stretch, which would save tens of millions of dollars while at the same time allowing the interstate designation to move forward. Representative Crawford has worked to include the exemption language in the Highway Bill reauthorization.

This article (http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/111315congress.aspx) reports that there will likely be one more short-term extension to the Highway Trust Fund before a long-term reauthorization is passed in December.  Maybe we will see I-555 shields early in the New Year.*

edit

* assuming FHWA provides a further administrative exemption from the fully controlled access requirement for interstates applicable to the Sunken Lands section (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1869.msg274637#msg274637).  It ain't over 'til it's over.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: TravelingBethelite on November 16, 2015, 08:03:45 PM
Relevant, spotted a lil' over a month ago, but it's nothing new (my photo):

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5660/22108216970_3968570290_h.jpg)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on November 17, 2015, 04:02:08 AM
I say it again: just fund and build the damn frontage road and call it a year. If we allow Interstate freeway standards to be compromised here, we might as well start dropping Interstate shields on US 90 in Louisiana and every at-grade expressway with intermittent interchanges along with at-grade intersections.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on November 17, 2015, 08:13:54 PM
I say it again: just fund and build the damn frontage road and call it a year. If we allow Interstate freeway standards to be compromised here, we might as well start dropping Interstate shields on US 90 in Louisiana and every at-grade expressway with intermittent interchanges along with at-grade intersections.
How do you propose paying for it?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on November 18, 2015, 12:36:36 PM
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.


If Louisiana can pay for a frontage road bridge across Wax Lake Outlet to get farm equipment off US 90 as part of the I-49 South upgrade, I fail to see how Arkansas (or the Feds) can't afford a frontage road for the same purpose. At-grades do not belong on an Interstate-grade highway. Slow-moving farm equipment do not belong on a 70-mph freeway. If they give this exemption, they might as well take down the I-155 shields, for it's NOT an Interstate highway.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on November 18, 2015, 05:38:57 PM
Quote
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.

Given the way Federal funding categories have shifted in recent years (for example, no more Interstate Maintenance funds...instead, Interstate projects must pull from NHS funding or a state's regular Surface Transportation Program allocation), plus the high unlikelihood of Congress passing a transportation bill with increased funding, this will be a very hard sell.

It should also be noted that only construction and maintenance of the original system was eligible for the 90/10 split.  This sort of upgrade would fall under an 80/20 split instead.

In short, Arkansas would have to pull the funding from somewhere else...likely another project.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 19, 2015, 02:54:18 PM
If US 63 isn't going to continue past Jonesboro as an interstate highway, leave it the way it is. I'm a local and locals deal with farm equipment all the time, even on the narrow state highways. No one around Truman and Mt. Tree is sweating it. I remember commuting to ASU on all two lane past Payneway.

If getting it officially signed an Interstate,  have the Fedreal delegation propose an exception and use a flashing light message board to state that you may encounter farm equipment and/or have escorts lime wide and oversize loads. This isn't hard and we certainly don't need to pull funong elsewhere for what will be little used frontage roads over a flood basin
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on November 19, 2015, 04:28:02 PM
How long does it take to build a frontage road? Is Arkansas's DOT that strapped for cash that they can't find the money to build a measly pair of frontage roads so US 63 can become Interstate 555? I know there are projects that take priority over this one, but I think the frontage roads should have been built by now.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: wtd67 on November 19, 2015, 10:15:21 PM
This is not farmland were talking about, it is a flood plain.  The roadway is approx 3 - 4 miles long and is elevated about 15 - 20 feet above the flood plain (lots of dirt), plus the five bridges that would need to be built on each side of the existing highway.  Lot of money for a few farmers and their equipment that would use it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 20, 2015, 11:08:09 AM
This is not farmland were talking about, it is a flood plain.  The roadway is approx 3 - 4 miles long and is elevated about 15 - 20 feet above the flood plain (lots of dirt), plus the five bridges that would need to be built on each side of the existing highway.  Lot of money for a few farmers and their equipment that would use it.

Exactly, and it does flood big time from time to time.  The road is level with the tops of the east and west levees
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Road Hog on November 23, 2015, 06:43:02 PM
Access roads can be built to follow the topography at ground level. If it's flooding, nobody's farming anyway. No need for the added expense of fill.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: rte66man on November 23, 2015, 08:45:06 PM
Access roads can be built to follow the topography at ground level. If it's flooding, nobody's farming anyway. No need for the added expense of fill.

You're missing the point.  They don't farm IN the flood plain per se, it's the only feasible way for them to CROSS the flood plain.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 23, 2015, 09:01:14 PM
Access roads can be built to follow the topography at ground level. If it's flooding, nobody's farming anyway. No need for the added expense of fill.

It's the bridges at any any grade that dives up the costs. If you build them at the lower levelx you ate asking for wash outs particularly what is essentially St. Francis River on the western edge that can be very swift water when high. They would need to go at least half as high as the current road bed. I can't for the life of me remember an accident due to farm equipment over that stretch of road. This is coming from a person whose family has farmed land within the levees and we don't need access roads to get inside the levee and we had land on both sides and we did have to cross over via 63. We still have land that borders the east levee just south of US 63. For the person that suggested a different route, that ain't ever going to happen even with cheap diesel. Far too long a route down Ark 75 and crossing over at Coldwater and over Birdeye and up to Weona.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: capt.ron on November 24, 2015, 02:14:25 PM
Considering that several interstates still have at-grade crossings (I-40 in TX/NM comes to mind), I say just put up the tractor crossing sign on the road and be done with it. There used to be one on the 67-167 freeway north of Sherwood, prior to the landfill and 440 interchange and out of all of the years I have traveled that freeway, I never have seen a tractor cross. Maybe they could put a flashing wig-wag light on the sign when a tractor approaches so motorists could take caution (hopefully! ;) )
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on November 25, 2015, 01:11:33 PM
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.

I-49 is being built in Louisiana with STATE funds, and probably "creative accounting".
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Rothman on November 25, 2015, 01:49:31 PM
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.

I-49 is being built in Louisiana with STATE funds, and probably "creative accounting".


That seems really odd to me, unless Louisiana did the same thing New York did:  Put out a bond issue and use the bond money on a few major projects while putting federal on the whole variety of smaller projects.  Other than that scenario, I can't think of why state funds would be more advantageous than NHP.

Makes me wonder if the first instance funding for what will be federal funds in the end is being mistaken for pure state funding.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on November 25, 2015, 09:37:59 PM
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.

I-49 is being built in Louisiana with STATE funds, and probably "creative accounting".


No, Federal funds are being used to fund the upgrades of US 90; the state matching funds as of now are coming mostly out of bonds made from the so-called "unclaimed funds" account that was originally used for dispensing funds that were due to citizens but not claimed after a certain time. All of the projects associated with I-49 South are designated as Federal "Demo" projects, receiving "demo" funds.

The state is hoping that legislative action this year that freed up more transportation spending money to be used solely for transportation starting in 2020 will free up even more dollars for projects like I-49 South. Again, resolving a long-term federal transportation bill would do a lot of good.


Given what Wayward Memphian said about the topography of US 63 at that point (similar to what US 190 is like over the West Atchafalaya Spillway segment between Port Barre and Krotz Springs), I'm willing to compromise my opposition to breaking control of access there. An at-grade crossover as well as some escort for farm equipment would be acceptable for me, as long as it is clearly marked for farm equipment and not to be used for general through traffic. Kind of like the emergency median crossovers used on I-10 at the Atchafalaya Basin elevated section.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 25, 2015, 10:42:45 PM
The same way Interstate grade upgrades have been paid for for years: 90/10 fed/state funding.

I-49 is being built in Louisiana with STATE funds, and probably "creative accounting".


No, Federal funds are being used to fund the upgrades of US 90; the state matching funds as of now are coming mostly out of bonds made from the so-called "unclaimed funds" account that was originally used for dispensing funds that were due to citizens but not claimed after a certain time. All of the projects associated with I-49 South are designated as Federal "Demo" projects, receiving "demo" funds.

The state is hoping that legislative action this year that freed up more transportation spending money to be used solely for transportation starting in 2020 will free up even more dollars for projects like I-49 South. Again, resolving a long-term federal transportation bill would do a lot of good.


Given what Wayward Memphian said about the topography of US 63 at that point (similar to what US 190 is like over the West Atchafalaya Spillway segment between Port Barre and Krotz Springs), I'm willing to compromise my opposition to breaking control of access there. An at-grade crossover as well as some escort for farm equipment would be acceptable for me, as long as it is clearly marked for farm equipment and not to be used for general through traffic. Kind of like the emergency median crossovers used on I-10 at the Atchafalaya Basin elevated section.


No farm equipment needs to cross over the road from one side to other, it's strictly to get from the east side of the levees to the west side and vice versa.  There's exits immediately on each side.  The farm land that bordered road way went to the AG&F in the mid 90s and planted in hardwood and serves as a WM and waterfowl rest area. There's one public hunting access point on the south side from the raised four lane road.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bjrush on November 26, 2015, 10:53:53 PM
How long does it take to build a frontage road? Is Arkansas's DOT that strapped for cash that they can't find the money to build a measly pair of frontage roads so US 63 can become Interstate 555? I know there are projects that take priority over this one, but I think the frontage roads should have been built by now.

More like they have so many other more pressing issues than a road that works just fine as is but a technicality that only people on this website even consider
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: lordsutch on November 27, 2015, 01:54:06 AM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on November 27, 2015, 10:05:01 AM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.

I agree with both your posts above.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 27, 2015, 05:12:56 PM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.

I agree with both your posts above.

They don't address access to the WMA

Look it up on Google Earth, it's immediately due west of Marked Tree, AR. You'll see the accesses that run down the raised roadway.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: lordsutch on November 27, 2015, 09:46:41 PM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.

I agree with both your posts above.

They don't address access to the WMA

Look it up on Google Earth, it's immediately due west of Marked Tree, AR. You'll see the accesses that run down the raised roadway.
There are existing roadways that access the floodplain without crossing the main channel; you can see one that crosses the levee from Marked Tree to the north.

If the authorities want the public to have more access to the WMA south of I-555 for hunting and fishing, they can build a cheap access road or two that doesn't need to be built for heavy loads or above the floodplain.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on November 28, 2015, 06:21:32 PM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.

I agree with both your posts above.

They don't address access to the WMA

Look it up on Google Earth, it's immediately due west of Marked Tree, AR. You'll see the accesses that run down the raised roadway.
There are existing roadways that access the floodplain without crossing the main channel; you can see one that crosses the levee from Marked Tree to the north.

If the authorities want the public to have more access to the WMA south of I-555 for hunting and fishing, they can build a cheap access road or two that doesn't need to be built for heavy loads or above the floodplain.
They could make another "Marine Highway" like the ones around Lake Ouachita.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on November 29, 2015, 07:55:56 PM
Right. The point is to be able to get some combines and other heavy farm equipment from one interchange to another across a bridge a few times a year without a lengthy detour. We're not talking about running tractors across the road on a daily basis or entering/exiting between interchanges. Here's the area we're talking about. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marked+Tree,+AR/@35.531438,-90.4785997,4271m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87d5b84465c73643:0xb221a5d8d760a0e3!6m1!1e1)

A frontage road and separate bridge for it is simply not worth the investment.
Make 'em run in escorted convoys like oversized loads. Safety problem solved.

I agree with both your posts above.

They don't address access to the WMA

Look it up on Google Earth, it's immediately due west of Marked Tree, AR. You'll see the accesses that run down the raised roadway.
There are existing roadways that access the floodplain without crossing the main channel; you can see one that crosses the levee from Marked Tree to the north.

If the authorities want the public to have more access to the WMA south of I-555 for hunting and fishing, they can build a cheap access road or two that doesn't need to be built for heavy loads or above the floodplain.
They could make another "Marine Highway" like the ones around Lake Ouachita.
That's where the old dump used to be, I'm  aware of every road there, been on them numerous times, I used that road to go to our former land and duck blinds before everything south of the railroad turned into a waterfowl rest area., it'll take many bridges to access what's becomes islands of land depending on water conditions, sometime it all goes under. I really can't explain all nuances of that area to those that aren't familiar with it from an "on the ground" perspective.

There's no reason this should be an issue considering the exceptions made elsewhere and lime I said  it's not like the instate quality roadway is going to be extended past Jonesboro to connect to US 67. Nope, those are going to be lesser roads.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 02, 2015, 07:36:06 PM
 Arkansas Highway Commission  (http://www.thv11.com/story/news/traffic/2015/12/02/arkansas-highway-panel-oks-plan-to-create-interstate-555/76682836/) appears to have finally approved designating 555.

Further information:

It appears 555 will have an exemption for farm vehicles rather than a  frontage road  (http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/highway-commission-oks-designating-portion-us-63-i-555) .
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 03, 2015, 03:18:54 PM
Took them long enough. 15 years!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 03, 2015, 11:44:59 PM
Took them long enough. 15 years!
It was never as big a priority as I-49
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on December 04, 2015, 12:31:09 AM
Just need President Obama to sign the bill tomorrow and it'll be done :biggrin:

I wonder when they would start signing it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 04, 2015, 01:55:34 PM
Just need President Obama to sign the bill tomorrow and it'll be done :biggrin:

I wonder when they would start signing it.

Poking around the net, it's looks like signs could do up as soon as the law is signed and the highway commission officially approves the designation.  Official dedication will likely be sometime in February at Jonesboro.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on December 04, 2015, 02:00:49 PM

Poking around the net, it's looks like signs could do up as soon as the law is signed and the highway commission officially approves the designation.  Official dedication will likely be sometime in February at Jonesboro.

I was looking around the web earlier this morning and found this article (the same thing as you were saying).

http://kasu.org/post/representative-crawford-comments-highway-bill-i-555
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: AHTD on December 04, 2015, 02:59:41 PM
Signs won't be appearing for several weeks.

We only ordered the screens to print them this week. Once they're in, we can start printing these in our sign shop.

At this time we estimate ~200 signs will be necessary, considering route confirmation markers, overhead signs on I-55 and all of the intersection signs on cross streets/highways.

Weather permitting this will take up to four weeks to complete the process, so we may be finished right before the ceremony in February.

One thing everyone keeps missing - the designation still requires FHWA approval.

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on December 04, 2015, 03:09:43 PM
assuming FHWA provides a further administrative exemption from the fully controlled access requirement for interstates applicable to the Sunken Lands section (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1869.msg274637#msg274637)
One thing everyone keeps missing - the designation still requires FHWA approval.

AHTD, has the Department asked FHWA for an exception from fully controlled access requirements along the Sunken Lands and adjacent properties?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 04, 2015, 03:46:17 PM
Signs won't be appearing for several weeks.

We only ordered the screens to print them this week. Once they're in, we can start printing these in our sign shop.

At this time we estimate ~200 signs will be necessary, considering route confirmation markers, overhead signs on I-55 and all of the intersection signs on cross streets/highways.

Weather permitting this will take up to four weeks to complete the process, so we may be finished right before the ceremony in February.

One thing everyone keeps missing - the designation still requires FHWA approval.

Will US 63 be co-signed or will it disappear like 71 north of Fayetteville?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on December 07, 2015, 09:19:35 PM
AHTD, has the Department asked FHWA for an exception from fully controlled access requirements along the Sunken Lands and adjacent properties?
Why would they do that? The road is fully controlled access, i.e. the only access is at interchanges.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on December 07, 2015, 10:20:51 PM
AHTD, has the Department asked FHWA for an exception from fully controlled access requirements along the Sunken Lands and adjacent properties?
Why would they do that? The road is fully controlled access, i.e. the only access is at interchanges.

It was not fully controlled access when the EA was released (circa February 2012):

Language from the EA demostrates that, although the Sunken Lands section is interstate-grade, it is not fully controlled access (page 11/293 of pdf; page 5 of document):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2012/100682/US%2063%20EA%20-%20Final%20signed%20with%20Appendices%20(022112)_reduced.pdf
Quote
Future Highway Conditions
....
To date, all upgrades to interstate standards have been completed on Highway 63 from Jonesboro to I-55. In order to be added to the Interstate System, Future I-555  must have access control implemented across the Sunken Lands. When access control is implemented the current access to the Sunken Lands and adjacent private lands from Highway 63 will be removed.

If it has been converted to fully controlled access since that time, then I missed the announcement.  Also, I thought a possibility exists that at least some of the farm machinery accesses US 63 in the non-controlled area (particularly from the adjacent properties), which would mean that an exception from a fully controlled access requirement might be warranted. Ergo, my question to AHTD.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on December 07, 2015, 10:33:53 PM
Weird. I wasn't aware that there was any private access there.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Alex on January 28, 2016, 05:29:50 PM
Bad use of Clearview with the negative contrast, but the signs for the exemption along I-555 were installed today

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZ1ch51UcAANZ-g.jpg:large)

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on January 28, 2016, 05:51:02 PM
Bad use of Clearview with the negative contrast, but the signs for the exemption along I-555 were installed today

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZ1ch51UcAANZ-g.jpg:large)


Next week I'll have to check AHTD's progress :)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 10, 2016, 01:04:17 PM

I-555  (http://kasu.org/post/i-555-be-dedicated-friday-jonesboro#stream/0)dedication Friday 11-1 in Jonesboro.

Doesn't look like I'll make it: too short notice and weather is looking bad (flooding).

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Alex on March 10, 2016, 01:53:08 PM

I-555  (http://kasu.org/post/i-555-be-dedicated-friday-jonesboro#stream/0)dedication Friday 11-1 in Jonesboro.

Doesn't look like I'll make it: too short notice and weather is looking bad (flooding).

Shared the news story on the AARoads FB page and updated the Interstate Guide page for I-555, thanks David!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 10, 2016, 04:18:23 PM
Why will the 555 designation stop at Exit 45? Is it not Interstate Standard between there and Exit 49?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 10, 2016, 04:47:25 PM
Why will the 555 designation stop at Exit 45? Is it not Interstate Standard between there and Exit 49?
Maybe they want to end it at a US Route?

I'm going to try to get up there next week to get photos.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: SteveG1988 on March 10, 2016, 07:48:03 PM
Why will the 555 designation stop at Exit 45? Is it not Interstate Standard between there and Exit 49?
Maybe they want to end it at a US Route?

I'm going to try to get up there next week to get photos.

Have it end in town, that way people know not to continue on?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 10, 2016, 08:30:30 PM
Why will the 555 designation stop at Exit 45? Is it not Interstate Standard between there and Exit 49?
Maybe they want to end it at a US Route?

I'm going to try to get up there next week to get photos.

Have it end in town, that way people know not to continue on?


Yet, I-530 ends, but continues as US 65 and I-540 ends but continues as US 271.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on March 11, 2016, 07:39:38 AM
Federal regulations stipulate that new Interstate routes need to end at a logical termini, and they point out intersecting National Highway System routes as an example.  Exit 45 has that (US 49 South is on the NHS).  Exit 49 does not.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on March 11, 2016, 11:14:11 AM
Personally I-555 should be signed from I-55 to AR 91 (Exit 49) between Southwest Dr (Exit 45) and AR 91 Are up to interstate standards so it would make sense
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on March 11, 2016, 04:52:45 PM
I wonder if the freeway could eventually be extended up to Walnut Ridge to meet up with US-67. I-555 could then be signed all the way up to there. Of course it could make things a little strange if US-67 gets an Interstate designation, like I-30 or "I-330". Then I-555 might need to be given an even number to satisfy route numbering purists.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on March 11, 2016, 06:28:58 PM
I'm just hoping these new signs won't be Clearview.

That being said, I'm glad that 555 is finally is a reality. I'd let them keep it since it is a unique number. I don't want them changing it.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on March 12, 2016, 09:51:40 AM
I'm just hoping these new signs won't be Clearview.

That being said, I'm glad that 555 is finally is a reality. I'd let them keep it since it is a unique number. I don't want them changing it.

Just extend it by buiding a southern bypass  of Jonesboro  starting around Bay  and connecting to ARK226/US49, upgrade ARK226 and run I-555 to US67. I equate the existing part of I-555 in Jonesboro that deadends as it converts back to only US63 as a future I-540 situation you find in Ft. Smith.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on March 12, 2016, 11:56:44 AM
Quote
I wonder if the freeway could eventually be extended up to Walnut Ridge to meet up with US-67.

Not the way AHTD designed the Bono bypass and the widening between Jonesboro and Walnut Ridge.  There's already retail development with direct access on the bypass.  Just further goes to show that the South does not understand (or, more likely, care about) access management.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on March 12, 2016, 03:25:57 PM
I-555 would have to be routed on a new terrain route from the freeway's current end at the AR-91 exit. Too many properties are alongside US-63 to widen it. A new terrain route could run parallel to the West and take a minimal number of homes. The route could then dovetail into the Bono bypass after the businesses built up along the beginning of it. NW of Bono there's quite a bit of open space to upgrade US-63.

It is screwy how businesses were allowed to build up close to the South end of the Bono bypass and have driveways paved directly onto it. That's very short-sighted "planning" at work. It's the same sort of nonsense that goes in Oklahoma. The idea of an outer loop toll road for Oklahoma City is now likely a pipe dream thanks to basically no sense of planning in Yukon, Mustang and other parts of the OKC metro.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on March 12, 2016, 06:48:38 PM
I should have elaborated that AHTD's action with US 63 to the north of Jonesboro makes it apparent that they have no interest in extending I-555.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 12, 2016, 07:01:34 PM
I should have elaborated that AHTD's action with US 63 to the north of Jonesboro makes it apparent that they have no interest in extending I-555.

I have never heard anything about extending it, even when it was first discussed.  There isn't much beyond Jonesboro except Walnut Ridge and it would have the I-30 extension (if such ever came to pass).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: cjk374 on March 13, 2016, 10:04:44 AM
I should have elaborated that AHTD's action with US 63 to the north of Jonesboro makes it apparent that they have no interest in extending I-555.

I was making regular trips to Columbia, MO about 20 years ago. I would catch US 63 at Hardy after driving up US 167 to Ash Flat then 10 miles on 62/412 to Hardy. I haven't been through there in more than 15 years. Has anything changed with 63 between Hardy & the Missouri state line? It was a "crooked & steep next 16 miles" 2-lane road.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 13, 2016, 10:43:10 AM
I should have elaborated that AHTD's action with US 63 to the north of Jonesboro makes it apparent that they have no interest in extending I-555.

I was making regular trips to Columbia, MO about 20 years ago. I would catch US 63 at Hardy after driving up US 167 to Ash Flat then 10 miles on 62/412 to Hardy. I haven't been through there in more than 15 years. Has anything changed with 63 between Hardy & the Missouri state line? It was a "crooked & steep next 16 miles" 2-lane road.

Hardy has a small bypass. 63 is in the process of being widened the last few miles south of Missouri
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 13, 2016, 10:44:27 AM
I'm just hoping these new signs won't be Clearview.


At least one is :)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on March 13, 2016, 04:00:23 PM
Me too! I hate Clearview!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on March 15, 2016, 04:11:57 PM
Looks like Google maps still hasn't put the 555 shields on the road yet. The wait goes on.....
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on March 15, 2016, 04:15:16 PM
Why is it so important what the Goog does?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on March 15, 2016, 05:37:22 PM
It isn't. I just thought it was funny because they previously used to prematurely number interstates before they became official.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 15, 2016, 07:19:59 PM
It isn't. I just thought it was funny because they previously used to prematurely number interstates before they became official.
Maybe someone needs to tag the map so Google knows.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on March 15, 2016, 07:23:15 PM
It isn't. I just thought it was funny because they previously used to prematurely number interstates before they became official.
Maybe someone needs to tag the map so Google knows.

I submitted an edit to Google.


iPhone
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on March 15, 2016, 08:04:43 PM
So does the waiver for farm vehicles mean the frontage road that was previously proposed to address those vehicles won't be constructed, or is it on the far back burner now?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 24, 2016, 11:42:11 PM
I-555 ends at US49 South. US63 is partially posted along 555, but not along the side roads. I'll be doing more research tomorrow.

SGH-I337

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 27, 2016, 07:59:43 PM
NB I-555 ends at US 49/AR18 (Exit 45), but the exit numbering continues to exit 49 AR 91/ Ray Ave.

There is no end signage at either end of 555 and no "TO 555" trailblazers north of Hwy 49. 63 is mostly co-signed along 555, but only along the highway: none of the side roads are co-signed.  Between Truman and Payneway, 63 is NOT posted at all (AHTD error?)

The farm vehicle exception between AR 14 at Payneway and US 63B at Marked Tree is posted at 65 mph (instead of 70), but is co-signed 555/63. Where 555 ends at I-55 near Turrell, US 63 "disappears". There is one overhead co-sign for 555/63 where the interstate begins. 555 and 63 are also co-signed on the exit signs along I-55.

I also tried to get at least one photo of each exit sign to update the exit listings.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 28, 2016, 08:24:25 PM
Ive been asked about the farm vehicle exemption area between Marked Tree and Payneway, whether any private driveways have access to the highway. No they don't. The entire ROW is fenced &/or barricaded, including former driveways and county roads.  The only exception to that is just south of Sand Slough where is gated access to the wildlife management areas on both sides of 555/63. However, the gates don't look wide enough to allow farm vehicles through plus I'm guessing they are kept locked unless a game & fish commission officer needs access. The drives to these are paved at the highway, but turn to gravel, plus they are down a slope so most drives won't see them unless they are really looking.

The exemption has signs on both sides of the highway at either end warning motorists to watch for farm machinery. The speed limit drops from 70 mph to 65, but it is still co-signed at I-555/US 63. 63 is NOT co-signed along any of the side roads, only along the main road.

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on March 28, 2016, 08:56:31 PM
Ive been asked about the farm vehicle exemption area between Marked Tree and Payneway, whether any private driveways have access to the highway. No they don't. The entire ROW is fenced &/or barricaded, including former driveways and county roads.  The only exception to that is just south of Sand Slough where is gated access to the wildlife management areas on both sides of 555/63. However, the gates don't look wide enough to allow farm vehicles through plus I'm guessing they are kept locked unless a game & fish commission officer needs access. The drives to these are paved at the highway, but turn to gravel, plus they are down a slope so most drives won't see them unless they are really looking.

The exemption has signs on both sides of the highway at either end warning motorists to watch for farm machinery. The speed limit drops from 70 mph to 65, but it is still co-signed at I-555/US 63. 63 is NOT co-signed along any of the side roads, only along the main road.

So per my last post on here, does the farm vehicle exemption mean that the previously proposed frontage road for farm vehicles is cancelled? Or is it just on the far back burner now?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 28, 2016, 09:01:56 PM
Ive been asked about the farm vehicle exemption area between Marked Tree and Payneway, whether any private driveways have access to the highway. No they don't. The entire ROW is fenced &/or barricaded, including former driveways and county roads.  The only exception to that is just south of Sand Slough where is gated access to the wildlife management areas on both sides of 555/63. However, the gates don't look wide enough to allow farm vehicles through plus I'm guessing they are kept locked unless a game & fish commission officer needs access. The drives to these are paved at the highway, but turn to gravel, plus they are down a slope so most drives won't see them unless they are really looking.

The exemption has signs on both sides of the highway at either end warning motorists to watch for farm machinery. The speed limit drops from 70 mph to 65, but it is still co-signed at I-555/US 63. 63 is NOT co-signed along any of the side roads, only along the main road.

So per my last post on here, does the farm vehicle exemption mean that the previously proposed frontage road for farm vehicles is cancelled? Or is it just on the far back burner now?

I've heard nothing about it since the exemption was passed. My guess is the frontage road is cancelled, at least for now.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 29, 2016, 03:53:40 PM
In time, hopefully the side roads will get better signage. Also Google Maps shows 555 going all the way to AR 91 (Exit 49).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on March 29, 2016, 04:46:21 PM
In time, hopefully the side roads will get better signage. Also Google Maps shows 555 going all the way to AR 91 (Exit 49).

It doesn't though: the mileposts run to Exit 49, but it quits being I-555 at Exit 41. I've already contacted Google with a correction.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on April 20, 2016, 06:01:13 PM
So per my last post on here, does the farm vehicle exemption mean that the previously proposed frontage road for farm vehicles is cancelled? Or is it just on the far back burner now?
I've heard nothing about it since the exemption was passed. My guess is the frontage road is cancelled, at least for now.

AHTD's April 20 presentation to the Arkansas Highway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2016/042016_AHC_Meeting.pdf) indicates that AHTD intends to seek a TIGER grant for I-555 by April 29 (p. 17/46 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/O4oaRhk.png)

I have not seen an application online, but, with I-555 otherwise complete, I assume the application is in relation to frontage road construction.  On the other hand, the slide does indicate that the project area is from Jonesboro to I-55. Cable barriers?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on April 20, 2016, 06:15:06 PM
63 (555) is in bad shape in places. The bridges around Marked Tree have been patched and repatched numerous times and are in dire need of resurfacing. Having farm equipment in that area will only make things worse.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on April 21, 2016, 12:31:27 AM
Agreed the road needs to be repaired like I-530
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on April 21, 2016, 12:40:14 AM
Agreed the road needs to be repaired like I-530

530 is a clusterfluck with all that re-construction. Do 555 a section at a time if you're going to rebuild
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on April 27, 2016, 06:59:21 PM
Agreed the road needs to be repaired like I-530

530 is a clusterfluck with all that re-construction. Do 555 a section at a time if you're going to rebuild

Even so, most of the road is a lot smoother to travel on (The first 24 Miles from I-30) I do agree to 1 section at a time unlike the I-30 construction
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on April 27, 2016, 08:59:08 PM
Agreed the road needs to be repaired like I-530

530 is a clusterfluck with all that re-construction. Do 555 a section at a time if you're going to rebuild

Even so, most of the road is a lot smoother to travel on (The first 24 Miles from I-30) I do agree to 1 section at a time unlike the I-30 construction

The bridges around Marked Tree are worse than anything else on the road.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on April 28, 2016, 03:35:17 PM
Agreed the road needs to be repaired like I-530

530 is a clusterfluck with all that re-construction. Do 555 a section at a time if you're going to rebuild

Even so, most of the road is a lot smoother to travel on (The first 24 Miles from I-30) I do agree to 1 section at a time unlike the I-30 construction

The bridges around Marked Tree are worse than anything else on the road.

We call the elevated road between Marked Tree and Payneway the  Floodway and this is the part that needs redone. It has a concrete barrier median. To pull it off, they'll have to reduce to one lane and cross over on each side before the elevated approaches and work on one side at a time. It's the very same stretch the equipment waiver was for.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on May 05, 2016, 02:45:06 PM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 05, 2016, 07:56:44 PM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.

It's already Interstate-grade, so all AHTD has to do is slap out a few more signs.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on May 05, 2016, 09:26:11 PM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.

It's already Interstate-grade, so all AHTD has to do is slap out a few more signs.

Just curious, was there a reason they didn't apply for the designation of that section with the rest of I-555?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 05, 2016, 09:45:33 PM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.

It's already Interstate-grade, so all AHTD has to do is slap out a few more signs.

Just curious, was there a reason they didn't apply for the designation of that section with the rest of I-555?

My understanding is it was originally supposed to run to AR 91, but got changed to US 49/Southwest Drive. Only thing I can think of is perhaps they wanted to end 555 at a "major" highway?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: lordsutch on May 06, 2016, 12:46:08 PM
My understanding is it was originally supposed to run to AR 91, but got changed to US 49/Southwest Drive. Only thing I can think of is perhaps they wanted to end 555 at a "major" highway?

The old (ISTEA-era, I think) non-chargeable Interstate designation policy required route designations to end at a NHS route, which US 49 is but AR 91 isn't. See e.g. here (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/cfr0470a.htm) (appendix A). I believe this requirement has been relaxed since.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on May 06, 2016, 01:12:21 PM
My understanding is it was originally supposed to run to AR 91, but got changed to US 49/Southwest Drive. Only thing I can think of is perhaps they wanted to end 555 at a "major" highway?
The old (ISTEA-era, I think) non-chargeable Interstate designation policy required route designations to end at a NHS route, which US 49 is but AR 91 isn't. See e.g. here (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/cfr0470a.htm) (appendix A). I believe this requirement has been relaxed since.

Apparently, MAP-21 altered the ISTEA NHS requirements. This FHWA map of Jonesboro NHS routes (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/nhs_maps/arkansas/jonesboro_ar.pdf) includes AR 91 as a "MAP-21 NHS Principal Arterial":

(http://i.imgur.com/hDCCIOF.png)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on May 06, 2016, 09:36:40 PM
AHTD's April 20 presentation to the Arkansas Highway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2016/042016_AHC_Meeting.pdf) indicates that AHTD intends to seek a TIGER grant for I-555 by April 29 (p. 17/46 of pdf)
63 (555) is in bad shape in places. The bridges around Marked Tree have been patched and repatched numerous times and are in dire need of resurfacing. Having farm equipment in that area will only make things worse.

AHTD has posted the I-555 TIGER grant application (https://www.arkansashighways.com/TIGER/T2016/I-555/Final%20Application%20I-555.pdf) and it essentially seeks $41 million to be part of $88.8 million for repairs to I-555 (p. 2/22 of pdf); a map in the application illustrates seven stages of repairs (p. 15/22 of pdf):

(http://i.imgur.com/rNC1Aug.jpg)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on May 10, 2016, 09:57:31 AM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 10, 2016, 12:24:06 PM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol

It's an old road.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 10, 2016, 12:57:33 PM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol

It's an old road.

I remember the first Overpass at Ark 75 at Marked Tree going in like yesterday.  That was what over 20 years ago.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 10, 2016, 10:28:19 PM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.

If the I-57 thing happens, wouldn't there be some ideas about extending I-555 to I-57 at Walnut Ridge?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on May 10, 2016, 10:48:50 PM
Would require a lot of work.  AHTD didn't exactly build the Bono Bypass to be "freeway friendly".  Plus there's a lot of development and driveways along 63 between 91 and Bono.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 11, 2016, 10:50:34 AM
Grzrd posted the link (http://route.transportation.org/Documents/2016%20SM%20Des%20Moines%2c%20IA/Agenda%20and%20List%20of%20Applications%20SM-2016.pdf) to the agenda for the AASHTO meeting in the Interstate 269 thread.

They have requested to extend I-555 to the AR-91 interchange.

If the I-57 thing happens, wouldn't there be some ideas about extending I-555 to I-57 at Walnut Ridge?
Don't give anyone ideas!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on May 11, 2016, 01:55:11 PM
Quote from: wdcrft63
If the I-57 thing happens, wouldn't there be some ideas about extending I-555 to I-57 at Walnut Ridge?

Quote from: froggie
Would require a lot of work.  AHTD didn't exactly build the Bono Bypass to be "freeway friendly".  Plus there's a lot of development and driveways along 63 between 91 and Bono.

Extending I-555 would require building a new terrain route from the point where the freeway ends at the intersection of AR-91. There's too many driveways and business encroachment along US-63 to upgrade the existing road from there to the beginning of the Bono bypass. A new terrain route could skip around the businesses at the beginning of the Bono bypass and merge into it near the intersection with Craighead Road.

After that, extending I-555 the rest of the way to Walnut Ridge would be fairly painless. If AHTD has any desire to build such an extension they better start planning for it now before the corridor gets too clogged with development.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 11, 2016, 01:59:19 PM
Oh, I have that idea all the time, southern bypass of Jonesboro connecting i-555 just north of Bay to Ark 226/US 49 junction. Upgrade Ark 226 to I-57/US 67. (All as part of extending I-22 to I-35 via US 412, hell take it to Pueblo CO) It would basically give Jonesboro the equivalent of what's happening in Ft. Smith with I-49 and I-540.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on May 11, 2016, 07:30:23 PM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol

It's an old road.

Yeah I know that already
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 11, 2016, 10:46:04 PM
Jonesboro has a lot of industry (plus ASU), so I can sort of see 555 as a pull for more industries. Extending it to Walnut Ridge would, IMO, kill what little is left of Bono.  I just see no real need. There are lots of other projects that are more important.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: RBBrittain on July 11, 2016, 02:46:56 PM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol

It's an old road.
Yep, but it wasn't an interstate when the last IRP/GARVEE bonds were issued. With all of Arkansas' IM money now pledged to IRP, it needs a TIGER grant to fix now; otherwise it'll have to wait for another round like I-530, which is why it's being fixed all at once now.

That's the problem with how Arkansas currently fixes interstates: Using GARVEE forces IM construction into spurts in the 3-5 years after bond issuance; anything not in IRP has to wait till the bonds are paid off (IIRC after 15 years). Regular maintenance really shouldn't be funded with bond issues; but Arkansas building its interstates all at once in the early Mack-Blackwell era, then neglecting them till they were all falling apart at once in an era of high construction inflation, forced us into the initial IRP/GARVEE -- and its tie-up of IM money forced us to do it again. It won't be easy to break us out of this vicious cycle and use IM money when the interstates actually need it. (I would say "pay-as-you-go", but ironically it was strict adherence to that ideal after Mack-Blackwell that got us in this mess to begin with.)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on July 15, 2016, 04:09:32 PM
ADHT has resurfaced everything from Panyeway to Marked Tree with exception of the concrete on the bridges. It helped quite a lot.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 15, 2016, 05:09:43 PM
ADHT has resurfaced everything from Panyeway to Marked Tree with exception of the concrete on the bridges. It helped quite a lot.
The bridges need a lot of help, too.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on July 16, 2016, 09:36:36 AM
ADHT has resurfaced everything from Panyeway to Marked Tree with exception of the concrete on the bridges. It helped quite a lot.
The bridges need a lot of help, too.

Oh, most definitely. They are a patchwork quilt of awfulness.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Rothman on July 19, 2016, 11:38:01 AM
Dang! 555 got a lot of work to do lol

It's an old road.
Yep, but it wasn't an interstate when the last IRP/GARVEE bonds were issued. With all of Arkansas' IM money now pledged to IRP, it needs a TIGER grant to fix now; otherwise it'll have to wait for another round like I-530, which is why it's being fixed all at once now.

That's the problem with how Arkansas currently fixes interstates: Using GARVEE forces IM construction into spurts in the 3-5 years after bond issuance; anything not in IRP has to wait till the bonds are paid off (IIRC after 15 years). Regular maintenance really shouldn't be funded with bond issues; but Arkansas building its interstates all at once in the early Mack-Blackwell era, then neglecting them till they were all falling apart at once in an era of high construction inflation, forced us into the initial IRP/GARVEE -- and its tie-up of IM money forced us to do it again. It won't be easy to break us out of this vicious cycle and use IM money when the interstates actually need it. (I would say "pay-as-you-go", but ironically it was strict adherence to that ideal after Mack-Blackwell that got us in this mess to begin with.)

Interstate Maintenance funds have not been continued since MAP-21.  The only way they can be using up IM is by using old apportionment funds from previous FFYs (for example, NY has a whopping $227K left in IM as of 7/18).  Otherwise, they'll end up hitting their NHP pot.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on July 20, 2016, 05:09:26 PM
How many years will it be before the US 63/Interstate 555 corridor may need to be reconstructed?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: sparker on July 20, 2016, 09:12:17 PM
Question:  Does I-555 have any reassurance/approach signage erected as of yet, including BGS's on I-55?  If so, does anyone have any pix of such?  Thanks!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 20, 2016, 09:22:23 PM
Question:  Does I-555 have any reassurance/approach signage erected as of yet, including BGS's on I-55?  If so, does anyone have any pix of such?  Thanks!

Yes, and yes :)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7318/27517060876_5247cc1b2d_z_d.jpg)
US 49 approaching 555

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7459/26942981283_68192f4c65_z_d.jpg)
Red Wolf Blvd (US 49) at I-555

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7135/27274765710_741b8bfb17_z_d.jpg)
Northbound I-555/US 63 with Southbound US 49 (only triplex assembly on NB 555)


I have more I haven't posted yet :)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: KamKam on July 20, 2016, 10:05:13 PM
Those pics are SO cool!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 21, 2016, 04:46:36 PM
I'd like the I-555 shields more if they weren't neutered. Those "555" numerals are barely fitting into the space. They're applied too high, almost onto the line separating the red and blue fields in the shield background. Numerals fit so much better on normal, non-neutered shields.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: sparker on July 21, 2016, 07:12:32 PM
Mucho gracias -- really cool pix!  While I, too, generally prefer state-name Interstate shields, the sight of new unfaded reassurance/trailblazer shielding is in itself satisfying! 
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 22, 2016, 10:45:39 AM
Google Earth now has June 2016 Street View imagery of the I-555 and I-55 interchange with I-555 shields on the green overhead signs.

The Interstate shields on those signs are all neutered. Of course the numbers don't fit well at all. The I-55 shields are particularly horrible.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 22, 2016, 11:18:54 AM
Google Earth now has June 2016 Street View imagery of the I-555 and I-55 interchange with I-555 shields on the green overhead signs.

The Interstate shields on those signs are all neutered. Of course the numbers don't fit well at all. The I-55 shields are particularly horrible.

Then there's this at Hwy 77
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8143/27844133573_268424fa0e_z_d.jpg)

and this
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7547/28355477112_7e1455b44e_z_d.jpg)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: yakra on July 22, 2016, 02:45:37 PM
Is the extension to AR91 signed in the field yet?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 22, 2016, 03:05:38 PM
Is the extension to AR91 signed in the field yet?

I don't know. I may try to sneak out there again next month to check more bridges, so I might be able to dry by and verify.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 22, 2016, 03:53:21 PM
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8143/27844133573_268424fa0e_z_d.jpg)

That's interesting (in a bad way) to see a 1957 spec I-55 shield next to modern, neutered version.

If it was up to be I would have had both fabricated using the 1970 design.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 22, 2016, 06:44:48 PM
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8143/27844133573_268424fa0e_z_d.jpg)

That's interesting (in a bad way) to see a 1957 spec I-55 shield next to modern, neutered version.

If it was up to be I would have had both fabricated using the 1970 design.

The 55 was likely already there with US 63 before it became 555
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on July 23, 2016, 05:24:11 PM
So did they approve the extension to AR 91?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 23, 2016, 06:01:45 PM
So did they approve the extension to AR 91?

Approved, yes. Posted, uncertain.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on July 25, 2016, 03:30:52 PM
I-555 is signed up to the interchange with US-49, exit 45. Google updated their street view imagery along I-555. It's June 2016 imagery along most of the route's main lanes. Approaching I-555 from US-49 Northbound you can see signs pointing to I-555 going right and US-63 going left.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on July 25, 2016, 07:03:15 PM
I-555 is signed up to the interchange with US-49, exit 45. Google updated their street view imagery along I-555. It's June 2016 imagery along most of the route's main lanes. Approaching I-555 from US-49 Northbound you can see signs pointing to I-555 going right and US-63 going left.

Yes.

Respectfully, I think the question was whether AHTD got official approval to extend 555 to Hwy 91 and whether the extension had been signed.

To my knowledge the extension was approved. Signed? Most likely, but I have no info.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Henry on July 28, 2016, 01:24:45 PM
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8143/27844133573_268424fa0e_z_d.jpg)

That's interesting (in a bad way) to see a 1957 spec I-55 shield next to modern, neutered version.

If it was up to be I would have had both fabricated using the 1970 design.
Wow, that is so cool, seeing old and new shields side by side!
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on October 11, 2016, 09:30:16 PM
Per today's field reconnaissance, 555 is still not posted beyond US 49, even though it has reportedly been extended to AR 91.

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on October 14, 2016, 01:19:41 PM
Approved for extension to AR 91.  It's FHWA that decides when that happens.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Grzrd on December 19, 2016, 04:34:26 PM
AHTD has posted the I-555 TIGER grant application (https://www.arkansashighways.com/TIGER/T2016/I-555/Final%20Application%20I-555.pdf) and it essentially seeks $41 million to be part of $88.8 million for repairs to I-555 (p. 2/22 of pdf); a map in the application illustrates seven stages of repairs (p. 15/22 of pdf):
(http://i.imgur.com/rNC1Aug.jpg)

Having failed at TIGER, AHTD has decided to try a FASTLANE application (http://www.arkansashighways.com/FastLane/I555/FASTLANE_I-555_Application.pdf). AHTD is asking for $65.2 million of the $108.7 million project cost. The cost per segment is as follows (p. 11/22 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_19_12_16_4_32_31.jpeg)
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 19, 2016, 05:38:52 PM
AHTD has posted the I-555 TIGER grant application (https://www.arkansashighways.com/TIGER/T2016/I-555/Final%20Application%20I-555.pdf) and it essentially seeks $41 million to be part of $88.8 million for repairs to I-555 (p. 2/22 of pdf); a map in the application illustrates seven stages of repairs (p. 15/22 of pdf):
(http://i.imgur.com/rNC1Aug.jpg)

Having failed at TIGER, AHTD has decided to try a FASTLANE application (http://www.arkansashighways.com/FastLane/I555/FASTLANE_I-555_Application.pdf). AHTD is asking for $65.2 million of the $108.7 million project cost. The cost per segment is as follows (p. 11/22 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_19_12_16_4_32_31.jpeg)


It's in dire need, especially near Marked Tree
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: I-39 on December 22, 2016, 08:58:21 PM
Has I-555 been signed to AR 91 yet?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on December 22, 2016, 10:30:11 PM
I don't think so. This project has been going on for over 15 years. It would be nice to see a Memphis to KC interstate ( maybe I-22) but Arkansas as usual sat on its arse for a decade plus...It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 22, 2016, 10:56:05 PM
Has I-555 been signed to AR 91 yet?
As of a couple months ago, no.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on December 22, 2016, 11:02:27 PM
It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Huh? Since when is this planned?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 22, 2016, 11:05:47 PM
It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Huh? Since when is this planned?

Sounds like hogwash to me. 555 was never planned beyond Jonesboro.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on December 22, 2016, 11:41:00 PM
It was proposed by the lackluster Jonesboro media to go up to the Missouri state line Circa 2000 (from 1999-2001). Its kind of the same ordeal going on with U.S. 67...
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on December 23, 2016, 09:23:26 AM
It was proposed by the lackluster Jonesboro media to go up to the Missouri state line Circa 2000 (from 1999-2001). Its kind of the same ordeal going on with U.S. 67...

Do you have a source? This is news to me.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on January 01, 2017, 08:03:56 PM
It was mostly speculation in the Jonesboro Sun as well as the Arkansas democrat gazette. Most of them in the opinion columns over 15+ years ago
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: froggie on January 07, 2017, 10:01:05 PM
I can believe the speculation, but how AHTD built the Bono bypass (and more recently than the articles Tomahawkin cited) tells me that it was never taken seriously.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Tomahawkin on January 08, 2017, 05:58:26 PM
Yeah, a lot of it was in the opinion sections. In the Jonesboro Sun. As usual AHTD did it Bass Ackwards 15+ years ago. A Memphis to K.C. interstate would have added a lot of revenue to an area that is lacking because Craighead county is still a dry county...
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: bjrush on January 08, 2017, 11:28:12 PM
So this interstate was going to make Craighead County go wet? Huh?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on January 09, 2017, 10:21:38 AM
So this interstate was going to make Craighead County go wet? Huh?

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/f8/d0/9e/f8d09e19cd51012d0454bc57b26b3abe.jpg)

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Henry on January 09, 2017, 10:32:28 AM
It would be nice to see a Memphis to KC interstate ( maybe I-22)...It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
If anything, it should be I-29, and I-555 will never make it beyond Jonesboro.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Road Hog on January 09, 2017, 07:35:11 PM
I-22 with a northern connecting bridge providing relief to the current two crossings. But by the time this ever gets funded, we'll be in flying cars.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on April 27, 2017, 10:21:37 AM
From the I-49 in Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg2221433#msg2221433) thread
President Trump said on the news he wanted infrastructure projects to ready to put people to work within 3 months when they get a bill passed to spend money.

In AHTD's April 26 Presentation to the Arkansas Higway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2017/20170426%20AHC%20Meeting.pdf), They appear well aware of the 90 day limit (p. 8/132 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_26_04_17_5_42_35.jpeg)

That said, they have a 2022 letting date for the Arkansas River bridge (p. 9/132 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_26_04_17_5_56_52.jpeg)

I suppose that, with the plan supposedly being ten years, they can get away with the 2022 date.  They do have the Bella Vista Bypass being ready to go in late 2017.

If they do build the I-555 access road as shown in the list above, does that mean that all of 555 will be interstate-grade and farm vehicles won't be allowed on it?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on April 27, 2017, 02:54:04 PM
The access road would remove any justification for farm vehicles to drive on the I-555 main lanes. Confining things like tractors to the frontage roads would be a good thing. You don't want to be driving 70mph and come up fast behind a tractor doing less than 30mph.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: NE2 on April 27, 2017, 11:58:50 PM
The access road would remove any justification for farm vehicles to drive on the I-555 main lanes.
Don't they use the shoulders?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Anthony_JK on April 28, 2017, 05:45:10 AM
The access road would remove any justification for farm vehicles to drive on the I-555 main lanes.
Don't they use the shoulders?

Some farm equipment are too wide for the shoulders. A frontage road alongside the mainline makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on April 29, 2017, 07:49:14 PM
From the I-49 in Arkansas (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg2221433#msg2221433) thread
President Trump said on the news he wanted infrastructure projects to ready to put people to work within 3 months when they get a bill passed to spend money.

In AHTD's April 26 Presentation to the Arkansas Higway Commission (http://www.arkansashighways.com/PowerPoints/2017/20170426%20AHC%20Meeting.pdf), They appear well aware of the 90 day limit (p. 8/132 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_26_04_17_5_42_35.jpeg)

That said, they have a 2022 letting date for the Arkansas River bridge (p. 9/132 of pdf):

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/gallery/1615_26_04_17_5_56_52.jpeg)

I suppose that, with the plan supposedly being ten years, they can get away with the 2022 date.  They do have the Bella Vista Bypass being ready to go in late 2017.

If they do build the I-555 access road as shown in the list above, does that mean that all of 555 will be interstate-grade and farm vehicles won't be allowed on it?
Technically,  it's Interstate-grade already. There's just an exception  for farm vehicles.

SM-G930V

Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: mvak36 on April 30, 2017, 03:32:32 PM

Technically,  it's Interstate-grade already. There's just an exception  for farm vehicles.

SM-G930V

Yes it is. That's my mistake. I worded my question wrong.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 01, 2017, 04:53:29 PM
Will the access road be built anytime soon?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 01, 2017, 05:40:42 PM
Will the access road be built anytime soon?

Let date 2018 IF AHTD gets the money
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: chays on May 05, 2017, 04:04:00 PM
Both Google Maps and Wikipedia (sourced from Interstate-Guide) seem to think that the I-555 designation has reached Highway 91.  Has anyone in the area done any field checking since December?
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on May 05, 2017, 04:13:16 PM
Google Earth still doesn't have the I-555 designation applied at all. Looking at Street View imagery dated June 2016 the I-555 designation ends at the US-49 exit in Jonesboro.

While it does seem to make more visual sense to run the I-555 designation up to where the freeway ends (at AR-91) I guess it technically must end at an intersection with another Interstate or US Highway.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 07, 2017, 12:00:59 AM
It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Huh? Since when is this planned?

Sounds like hogwash to me. 555 was never planned beyond Jonesboro.

No, but should. They should plan a southern Bypass of Jonesboogie to connect to the new 4 lane to US 67 and then upgrade  ARK 226 to interstate.

4 laning US 412 across thestate should be the second highest priority after I-49 in the state

I-22 could be extended two ways in my opinion either to KC  or all the way to I-35 near Stillwater. It would give NWA east/west and North/south interstate cred. Call it the UofA (Arkansas and Alabama) corridor.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: sparker on May 07, 2017, 12:39:32 AM
It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Huh? Since when is this planned?

Sounds like hogwash to me. 555 was never planned beyond Jonesboro.

No, but should. They should plan a southern Bypass of Jonesboogie to connect to the new 4 lane to US 67 and then upgrade  ARK 226 to interstate.

4 laning US 412 across thestate should be the second highest priority after I-49 in the state

I-22 could be extended two ways in my opinion either to KC  or all the way to I-35 near Stillwater. It would give NWA east/west and North/south interstate cred. Call it the UofA (Arkansas and Alabama) corridor.

The original batch of posts precariously perched on the edge of Fictional; this last one pushed it right over!  Besides, I-22 doesn't go to Tuscaloosa!  This'll earn me boos and hisses from Razorback fans, but the U of Arkansas really doesn't need a faster way to get their asses handed to them recurringly by the Tide (just going by the overall record, folks!).
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Bobby5280 on May 07, 2017, 01:56:45 PM
I-22 needs to get completed between Memphis and Birmingham. If I-22 (or some other 2 digit Interstate number) was going to be extended along the I-555/US-63 corridor I would prefer it go up into Missouri, meet US-60 and head West to Springfield, multiplex with I-44 to Joplin and then go West to Wichita.

Aside from the fantasy stuff I would at least like to see I-555 extended to Walnut Ridge.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 07, 2017, 04:23:26 PM

Aside from the fantasy stuff I would at least like to see I-555 extended to Walnut Ridge.

Unlikely, IMO
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 09, 2017, 02:30:19 PM

Aside from the fantasy stuff I would at least like to see I-555 extended to Walnut Ridge.

Unlikely, IMO


A road to the east of Jonesboro proper to Paragould would be the best thing to relieve US 49 between the two.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: Wayward Memphian on May 09, 2017, 02:37:06 PM
I-22 needs to get completed between Memphis and Birmingham. If I-22 (or some other 2 digit Interstate number) was going to be extended along the I-555/US-63 corridor I would prefer it go up into Missouri, meet US-60 and head West to Springfield, multiplex with I-44 to Joplin and then go West to Wichita.

Aside from the fantasy stuff I would at least like to see I-555 extended to Walnut Ridge.

Naw, US 412 NWA and Tulsa are much larger economic drivers though Springfield is healthy. Springfield would be connected via US 65 at Harrison and could be upgraded.   
It will be 2025 before I 555 is completed to the Missouri state line. SMFH
Huh? Since when is this planned?

Sounds like hogwash to me. 555 was never planned beyond Jonesboro.

No, but should. They should plan a southern Bypass of Jonesboogie to connect to the new 4 lane to US 67 and then upgrade  ARK 226 to interstate.

4 laning US 412 across thestate should be the second highest priority after I-49 in the state

I-22 could be extended two ways in my opinion either to KC  or all the way to I-35 near Stillwater. It would give NWA east/west and North/south interstate cred. Call it the UofA (Arkansas and Alabama) corridor.

The original batch of posts precariously perched on the edge of Fictional; this last one pushed it right over!  Besides, I-22 doesn't go to Tuscaloosa!  This'll earn me boos and hisses from Razorback fans, but the U of Arkansas really doesn't need a faster way to get their asses handed to them recurringly by the Tide (just going by the overall record, folks!).

I hope you enjoy Saban cause I remember Dubose and Shula
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: US71 on May 09, 2017, 03:14:28 PM

Aside from the fantasy stuff I would at least like to see I-555 extended to Walnut Ridge.

Unlikely, IMO


A road to the east of Jonesboro proper to Paragould would be the best thing to relieve US 49 between the two.

I don't remember 49 being that busy when I was on it, though Paragould is a mess, IMO.
Title: Re: AR: Future I-555
Post by: yakra on May 11, 2017, 12:10:43 PM
Google Earth still doesn't have the I-555 designation applied at all. Looking at Street View imagery dated June 2016 the I-555 designation ends at the US-49 exit in Jonesboro.

While it does seem to make more visual sense to run the I-555 designation up to where the freeway ends (at AR-91) I guess it technically must end at an intersection with another Interstate or US Highway.
ISTR that this extension was approved by AASHTO.