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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 716318 times)

Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2350 on: January 11, 2019, 04:24:03 PM »

ARDOT Highway commission meeting Jan. 9th shows the Connecting Arkansas Program that the two jobs remaining for Bella Vista Bypass Future I49 is scheduled for 2020. No actual date so I would assume they have talked to Missouri and they will start there job also during 2020.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2351 on: February 12, 2019, 02:30:06 PM »

Going to be a mess in Bentonville/Rogers for a few months with Exit 86 north ramps (entrance and exit) closed to tie in with the 8th St. exit rampworks.  Looks like a bunch of traffic getting dumped onto Exit 85 for U-turns, so I'd definitely avoid Exit 85 until after May.

http://ardot.gov/news/2019_news/NR%2019-033.pdf
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2352 on: February 12, 2019, 08:48:05 PM »

Going to be a mess in Bentonville/Rogers for a few months with Exit 86 north ramps (entrance and exit) closed to tie in with the 8th St. exit rampworks.  Looks like a bunch of traffic getting dumped onto Exit 85 for U-turns, so I'd definitely avoid Exit 85 until after May.

http://ardot.gov/news/2019_news/NR%2019-033.pdf

Likely going to be a mess after they finish, as well, with SB traffic exiting at 8th Street to access 14th.
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mvak36

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2353 on: February 27, 2019, 11:40:21 AM »

https://www.4029tv.com/article/updates-on-benton-county-i-49-road-construction/26337335
Quote
Construction continues on the Bella Vista Bypass; ArDOT waiting for MODOT to issue contracts

There's good news for Bella Vista drivers - especially those that share the road with big rigs. The completed bypass will connect I-49 south of Pineville, MO to I-49 in Benton County. Danny Straessle says about 7,500 vehicles use the existing Highway 549 each day. When the roadway becomes a full-fledged interstate, the effect will be noticeable.

“The trucks that go through the area will take the interstate and that will get them out of Bella Vista and that should help the traffic congestion there greatly,” Straessle said.

Right now - two lanes take State Highway 549 from the Bella Vista/Bentonville roundabout to Hiwassee - about 2 miles short of the Arkansas-Missouri border.

In the meantime, construction continues on the northbound lanes of the future interstate. ArDOT says it is waiting on Missouri's highway department to issue contracts for their piece of the connection. Once that is done, ArDOT will begin work on assembling their contracts for the piece near the state line and at the roundabout in Bentonville & Bella Vista.

There will be 4 interchanges along the new bypass - including a new, single-point urban interchange at the roundabout. Construction is expected to wrap up on the Bella Vista Bypass at the end of 2020.

I assume when they're talking about construction being completed by 2020 it might just be the Arkansas side?
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2354 on: February 27, 2019, 12:41:06 PM »

A 2020 finish time for the current work in progress (adding the second set of lanes) makes sense. MO DOT has yet to let any contracts on their portion of the bypass. They have a lot more work to do on their side of the state line. If they were already at work clearing the final alignment and doing grading work it might be possible for MO DOT to finish their side of the bypass by the end of 2020. But since they haven't even gotten started yet I'd bet it would be more like 2022-2024 for the over-long soap opera to finally come to an end.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2355 on: February 27, 2019, 02:55:29 PM »

The process of clearing out structures in the right-of-way on Missouri's side only recently began, so it'll be a while before they actually start blasting hills and moving dirt.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 03:11:22 PM by MikieTimT »
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2356 on: February 27, 2019, 03:09:15 PM »

https://www.4029tv.com/article/updates-on-benton-county-i-49-road-construction/26337335
Quote
Construction continues on the Bella Vista Bypass; ArDOT waiting for MODOT to issue contracts

There's good news for Bella Vista drivers - especially those that share the road with big rigs. The completed bypass will connect I-49 south of Pineville, MO to I-49 in Benton County. Danny Straessle says about 7,500 vehicles use the existing Highway 549 each day. When the roadway becomes a full-fledged interstate, the effect will be noticeable.

“The trucks that go through the area will take the interstate and that will get them out of Bella Vista and that should help the traffic congestion there greatly,” Straessle said.

Right now - two lanes take State Highway 549 from the Bella Vista/Bentonville roundabout to Hiwassee - about 2 miles short of the Arkansas-Missouri border.

In the meantime, construction continues on the northbound lanes of the future interstate. ArDOT says it is waiting on Missouri's highway department to issue contracts for their piece of the connection. Once that is done, ArDOT will begin work on assembling their contracts for the piece near the state line and at the roundabout in Bentonville & Bella Vista.

There will be 4 interchanges along the new bypass - including a new, single-point urban interchange at the roundabout. Construction is expected to wrap up on the Bella Vista Bypass at the end of 2020.

I assume when they're talking about construction being completed by 2020 it might just be the Arkansas side?

Based on the article the existing portions of AR 549 from just west of the roundabout to Rocky Dell Hollow Road will be completed to Interstate standards.  The Section from Rocky Dell Hollow Road North to the State Line and the interchange to replace the roundabout at the I-49/US 71 North Interchange (Exit 93) will not start until MDOT actually lets contracts for the section from the State Line north to I-49.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2357 on: February 27, 2019, 03:19:36 PM »

Based on the article the existing portions of AR 549 from just west of the roundabout to Rocky Dell Hollow Road will be completed to Interstate standards.  The Section from Rocky Dell Hollow Road North to the State Line and the interchange to replace the roundabout at the I-49/US 71 North Interchange (Exit 93) will not start until MDOT actually lets contracts for the section from the State Line north to I-49.

And that roundabout will be replaced by the 2nd SPUI in NWA.  The first being at (current) Exit 85 for 71B in Rogers/Bentonville.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2358 on: February 27, 2019, 10:41:24 PM »

Based on the article the existing portions of AR 549 from just west of the roundabout to Rocky Dell Hollow Road will be completed to Interstate standards.  The Section from Rocky Dell Hollow Road North to the State Line and the interchange to replace the roundabout at the I-49/US 71 North Interchange (Exit 93) will not start until MDOT actually lets contracts for the section from the State Line north to I-49.

And that roundabout will be replaced by the 2nd SPUI in NWA.  The first being at (current) Exit 85 for 71B in Rogers/Bentonville.

Going to be interesting to watch them convert that.
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M86

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2359 on: February 28, 2019, 02:51:30 AM »

Even after all the improvements, the Exit 86 interchange is still going to be horrific for traffic on the Rogers side. It's technically still Bentonville, but the Rogers city limits are just to the east.

When I lived there, I talked with the Bentonville transportation guy, since the city was behind the Exit 86/new 8th Street interchange. I tried to express my concerns with the traffic congestion to the east of I-49.

He didn't care. And apparently, Rogers doesn't care either.

But...

I found this:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2019_PM/090500/090500.aspx

I'm just glad that stupid intersection at AR 94 and US 62 will be fixed.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2360 on: February 28, 2019, 10:49:15 AM »

Even after all the improvements, the Exit 86 interchange is still going to be horrific for traffic on the Rogers side. It's technically still Bentonville, but the Rogers city limits are just to the east.

When I lived there, I talked with the Bentonville transportation guy, since the city was behind the Exit 86/new 8th Street interchange. I tried to express my concerns with the traffic congestion to the east of I-49.

He didn't care. And apparently, Rogers doesn't care either.

But...

I found this:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2019_PM/090500/090500.aspx

I'm just glad that stupid intersection at AR 94 and US 62 will be fixed.

And I'm just glad Alternative 2 adds an extra lane each direction between SW I St. and SE C St.  That stretch is gridlock with regularity.  And both alternatives add right turn lanes and radius the corners at major intersections, so that will certainly help with traffic flow and trailers making corners for all of the semis on that stretch.

Unfortunately, this is just the study, the actual project has a tentative 2040 date in the documents.  And they state: When will the construction begin?  The  Highway  62  and  102  study  will  provide  a  master  plan  of  improvements.  There  are  no  funds  currently  identified  for  construction  along  this  study  segment.  If  funds  are  identified, a project schedule will be developed that will identify when construction will begin and end. 

So, there is a plan, but no money.  Baby steps, though.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2361 on: February 28, 2019, 10:35:28 PM »

Even after all the improvements, the Exit 86 interchange is still going to be horrific for traffic on the Rogers side. It's technically still Bentonville, but the Rogers city limits are just to the east.

When I lived there, I talked with the Bentonville transportation guy, since the city was behind the Exit 86/new 8th Street interchange. I tried to express my concerns with the traffic congestion to the east of I-49.

He didn't care. And apparently, Rogers doesn't care either.

But...

I found this:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/public_meetings/2019_PM/090500/090500.aspx

I'm just glad that stupid intersection at AR 94 and US 62 will be fixed.

That's been a clusterfork for years.  Typical of AHTD/ARDOT's failure to plan ahead until it's too late.
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2362 on: March 13, 2019, 07:11:50 AM »

Since this effects I-49 in Arkansas too, here is a link to the Missouri website for the Missouri-Arkansas Connector (aka The Bella Vista Bypass) from the I-49 Coming to Missouri thread:

https://www.modot.org/i-49-missouriarkansas-connector

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2363 on: March 13, 2019, 02:05:00 PM »

When the entire Bella Vista Bypass is complete, will the US 71 designation be moved onto the bypass? Or will it remain on its existing alignment? My assumption is that US 71 will move to the bypass.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2364 on: March 13, 2019, 03:02:54 PM »

When the entire Bella Vista Bypass is complete, will the US 71 designation be moved onto the bypass? Or will it remain on its existing alignment? My assumption is that US 71 will move to the bypass.

To my knowledge current 71 will remain 71, but the bypass will become I-49 (though they did try to do that with the highway out of Alma once upon a time)
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2365 on: March 14, 2019, 07:06:18 PM »

When the entire Bella Vista Bypass is complete, will the US 71 designation be moved onto the bypass? Or will it remain on its existing alignment? My assumption is that US 71 will move to the bypass.

To my knowledge current 71 will remain 71, but the bypass will become I-49 (though they did try to do that with the highway out of Alma once upon a time)


IIRC, the Bella Vista Bypass in Arkansas is currently signed as AR 549, correct?
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2366 on: March 14, 2019, 07:10:53 PM »

When the entire Bella Vista Bypass is complete, will the US 71 designation be moved onto the bypass? Or will it remain on its existing alignment? My assumption is that US 71 will move to the bypass.

To my knowledge current 71 will remain 71, but the bypass will become I-49 (though they did try to do that with the highway out of Alma once upon a time)


IIRC, the Bella Vista Bypass in Arkansas is currently signed as AR 549, correct?

Yes. As is future 49 between Ft Smith and Barling.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2367 on: March 15, 2019, 04:29:15 PM »

When the entire Bella Vista Bypass is complete, will the US 71 designation be moved onto the bypass? Or will it remain on its existing alignment? My assumption is that US 71 will move to the bypass.

To my knowledge current 71 will remain 71, but the bypass will become I-49 (though they did try to do that with the highway out of Alma once upon a time)


IIRC, the Bella Vista Bypass in Arkansas is currently signed as AR 549, correct?

Yes. As is future 49 between Ft Smith and Barling.


As was I-49 south of AR 151 at Texarkana until the facility was completed around that city and south to the LA state line.  "549" is basically a placeholder for incomplete I-49 projects.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2368 on: March 22, 2019, 08:11:43 PM »

ArDOT Has listed jobs CA0903 Hwy 71 Interchange (Bella Vista) and CA0905 Co RD 34 - Missouri State Line ( Bella Vista) for July 24th 2019. https://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/Next_Three_Lettings.pdf. So this future I 49 connector is making some progress.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2369 on: March 22, 2019, 09:35:08 PM »

ArDOT Has listed jobs CA0903 Hwy 71 Interchange (Bella Vista) and CA0905 Co RD 34 - Missouri State Line ( Bella Vista) for July 24th 2019. https://www.arkansashighways.com/ProgCon/General/Next_Three_Lettings.pdf. So this future I 49 connector is making some progress.

The SPUI at 549/71 is going to be a pain in the a$$ while it's being built.
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mvak36

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2370 on: March 23, 2019, 12:36:13 PM »

If they're being let in July, does that mean both projects will be done sometime in 2021, give or take?
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2371 on: March 23, 2019, 12:46:15 PM »

If they're being let in July, does that mean both projects will be done sometime in 2021, give or take?

Well, MODOT expects to be done sometime in 2022, so 2021-2022 depending on weather and cost overruns.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2372 on: March 28, 2019, 07:44:39 AM »

Are there drawings of the SPUI project for I-49/AR 549 and US71 on the web?  Not even sure where to look on the ARDOT website.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2373 on: March 28, 2019, 10:46:56 AM »

Are there drawings of the SPUI project for I-49/AR 549 and US71 on the web?  Not even sure where to look on the ARDOT website.

I've not seen any. Have you tried writing ARDOT?
https://site.idrivearkansas.com/index.php/contact/ask-a-question

I used to have a direct e-mail, but can't find it at the moment.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 12:02:18 PM by US71 »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2374 on: March 28, 2019, 06:32:21 PM »

https://talkbusiness.net/2018/04/ardot-dusts-off-600-million-future-i-49-barling-to-alma-stretch/

Quote
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration have cooperated on an environmental re-evaluation as well as refining the conceptual alignment for a new section of Interstate 49 (I-49) that would connect approximately 13.7 miles between Highway 22 in Sebastian County and the I-40/I-49 interchange in Crawford County.

ArDOT officials presented a portion of the work by Kansas City-based engineering firm HNTB Corporation on Thursday (April 26) from the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Barling.

The proposed project was originally part of a larger environmental study known as the “US 71 Relocation.” The previous study extended from Highway 70 in DeQueen to I-40 near Alma, and it encompassed approximately 125 miles. The relocation of U.S. 71 in Arkansas is part of Congressionally-Designated High Priority Corridor 1 and Corridor 72, running from Shreveport, La., to Kansas City, Mo. A final environmental impact statement was prepared and a record of decision was issued in December of 1997 that approved the general alignment of a new location, four-lane highway in western Arkansas.

Due to the length of the corridor and funding constraints, design and construction of sections of the corridor have been completed as funding has become available. HNTB’s work on this particular section will include a toll feasibility analysis to see if there would be enough traffic to justify tolling as a funding mechanism to pay for the $600 million stretch.

‘NOT A DONE DEAL’
Danny Straessle, public information officer for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), told Talk Business & Politics HNTB’s portion of the work should be completed by the end of 2018. “We’re basically taking it off the shelf, blowing the dust off, and taking another look at it. We still don’t have any money for this, but there’s enough of I-49 that has been completed where it’s reasonable to take a look at it again, especially since we have a Chaffee Crossing part that goes from 71 to 22. Going from 22 to I-40 is the next logical step.”

Straessle continued: “It’s not a done deal. The consultant might find that we won’t collect enough tolls. We’ve done several toll studies in the state already where it has been determined that no, it’s not feasible.”

Still, Straessle added, no toll doesn’t necessarily mean no project.

“The project will be done one day. We’ve just got to find the money for it. We don’t have $600 million laying around.” When asked if it could be another 20 years before the 13.7 miles is built, he said, “Possibly, but not preferably.”

What’s different this time is that there is “a groundswell of support from the community, and the department looks at this as something that’s doable” and would help support Arkansas’ economic development.

“You know, the highways in Arkansas are our backbone of economic development, so it just makes sense to complete it. But you’ve got to balance this (project) with the other priorities we have in the state. We have the 12th largest highway system in the country. We have more than 16,400 miles of highways, and we rank 42nd in being able to take care of what we got. Meaning, we have a lot of miles; we don’t have a lot of money. So the commission has to make tough decisions every day on where to spend what limited money we have, and when you look at a brand spanking new four-lane divided Interstate that’s theoretically priced around $600 million, that’s $600 million you can spend over five years in other areas of the state. So how do you balance these potholes over here or this bridge that’s failing, versus a nice, shiny, nice-to-have Interstate that would help economic development in the community over here?”

PAYING FOR IT
One way the department has done it is through a half-cent sales tax on everything but food, gas, and medicine. It was passed by voters in November of 2012, but the sunset date is in 2023, and there’s no guarantee of renewal.

“The money off of that, we use to leverage bonds to pay for all this construction we’re doing. It’s about a $1.8 billion program, so when the public steps up and votes and says, ‘Yes, good roads do matter to us in Arkansas,’ it gives us these opportunities.” However, due to the sunset date, “none of that money will apply to this project,” Straessle said, “but a program like that could help fund something like this. We have a project in Little Rock that is about the same price tag. It’s called ’30 Crossing.’ They’re redoing Interstate 30 through the downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock areas and part of I-40. It’s about a $630 million project, and it’s being paid for with that half-cent sales tax.”

Other funding comes through the state’s existing fuel tax, which has not increased in over 20 years.

“But if you think about it, the gas tax hasn’t been raised since the mid-to-late 1990s, yet think about what the cost of construction has done since then. It’s gone up,” Straessle said. “It’s more expensive to build a mile of highway. Six million dollars for a lane mile of interstate. For every two lanes, you’ve got $12 million per mile easily. Have the other two lanes going the other way, or multiply ($6 million) times four, basically, and all of the sudden, it’s gotten really expensive.”

As an example, Straessle pointed to the first 4.5-mile segment of the Springdale bypass. The project held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday and officially “opens” on Monday (April 30). “It’s a four-lane divided Interstate, in a new location. It was $100.6 million, all paid for by the half-cent sales tax.”

Concerning how the department prioritizes projects, Straessle said money usually follows the traffic, and that of Arkansas’ 16,400 miles of road, only half (or close to 8,500) supports 92% of the state’s traffic.

“Those are interstates, major arteries, routes of regional significance. And there are some areas where we’ve had to do capacity upgrades, like we just got finished widening I-49 to three lanes in both directions. With a project like this — we were able to build the stretch across Chaffee Crossing relatively cheaply in terms of construction because the federal government gave us the land. We did not have to purchase right-of-way. Right-of-way purchase, utility relocation costs — those tremendously add to the cost of a project.”

THE I-49 CORRIDOR
Summing up the mission of the I-49 corridor, Straessle said the vision is to create a mid-continental, north-south route for shipments. With the widening of the Panama Canal, “those big container ships can go to the Port of New Orleans now” and the idea would be “to put all the containers on the trucks and drive straight up I-49 through Arkansas, up into Kansas City or wherever it terminates there in the middle of the country. That way, you don’t go to the port on the east coast or the port on the west coast and then truck it in on I-40. So there’s a lot of benefit to it.”

Other major projects ahead include completion of the Bella Vista bypass and the segment of I-49 connecting Greenwood, US-71, and Texarkana, the latter of which is an estimated $2 billion project.
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