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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 720538 times)

Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #325 on: January 26, 2013, 07:32:35 AM »

This TV video report has footage of construction in the Chaffee Crossing area:

Quote
Crews expect all work along 71 to be wrapped up by the end of 2014 or early in 2015 ....
“We have three projects that are complete on the northern portion,” Joe Shipman, District Engineer for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said. “We have one project that will be complete basically in the next few weeks. We have a project at the interchange at Highway 71 in the Jenny Lind community that is well underway. It’s expected to wrap up by the end of the year.”
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #326 on: January 26, 2013, 08:31:47 AM »

This TV video report has footage of construction in the Chaffee Crossing area:

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

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

I spoke with Mr Shipman a few days ago about what designation the Ft Smith-Barling segment might have (the media keeps calling it Highway 71), but he said no decision has been made at this time.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #327 on: January 26, 2013, 01:50:33 PM »

I thought there was to be a decision made for Arkansas regarding redesignating Interstate 540 north from I-40 as I-49. Did not see that covered in the notes document.
Was it postponed for a future meeting?
I received an early August email from AHTD to that effect.  I was surprised that it was not included in the notes document. I will follow up with AHTD.
(above quote from AASHTO Committee on Route Numbering (Nov. 2012) Actions thread)

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

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

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

edit

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


Apparently it didn't matter to Louisiana either.  They also have LA 59 VERY close to I-59, which should have been a no-no according to AASHTO.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #328 on: February 07, 2013, 09:55:39 PM »

Through acquisitions the KCS got the Louisiana and Arkansas and a railroad which runs pretty much parallel to I-49 (current, plus I-10 and future) all the way to New Orleans, and now with their still developing Mexico line they're running parallel to a future Kansas City/Mexico corridor via I-49 and I-69 .... Shows me just how critical this emerging dual I-69 and I-49 corridor is as well.
(above quote from I-69 in TX thread)
This TV video report is primarily about the I-49 unveiling in Missouri, but it includes Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez making the following comment:
Quote
Many say I-49 will connect Missouri to the rest of the country and the world.
"If you look at the stretch of I-49 from Louisiana up to Canada, it's an amazing opportunity here that, as a nation, we cannot miss," said Mendez.
At approximately the 1:00 mark of this TV video report, the following map caught my eye:
(bottom quote from I-69 in LA (and LA 3132/Shreveport Inner Loop Extension) thread)

The above map provides a great visual of how the Alma-to-Texarkana I-49 corridor in western Arkansas is crucial to connecting I-49 in Missouri and NWA (I-540), I-29, I-35, the I-369/I-69 corridor through Texas, and I-49 through southwest Arkansas and Louisiana.  I wonder if Arkansas officals will be able to persuasively make the case for I-49 funding?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 04:33:15 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #329 on: March 20, 2013, 12:11:50 AM »

Yesterday there was a long front page article about highway and road projects underway in Northwest Arkansas.  They mentioned the BV bypass and that there will be no stopping it now (they expect to possibly "let" bids for all the remaining sections to the Missouri State line soon).  Wish I could link it but it's behind a paywall.

They were also talking about other areas in NWA that have road construction, a lot of them.  It will be interesting when the Springdale bypass is complete and, from that, the new road to the XNA airport.  I doubt there are that many airports in the U.S. that serve metro areas of near 500,000 people that only have two-lane roads serving them.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #330 on: March 20, 2013, 07:46:01 AM »


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

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

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

Thank you Grzrd for looking into this!

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

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

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think there are any state and US routes in Arkansas that have the same number.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #331 on: March 20, 2013, 07:56:53 AM »

I just thought of a reason why this has come up, and it isn't an AASHTO problem, but an Arkansas problem. I think internally Arkansas only refers to the route number and makes no distinction between whether it is a Interstate, US, or State Route. With that said, I don't see why they can't just put up I-49 signs but still refer to it internally as 549 until they can come up with a different system internally for referring to state routes.
Oh please. If http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635 can have a single number (159), so can US 49 and I-49.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #332 on: March 20, 2013, 01:04:29 PM »

In regard to Arkansas I-49, in this month's advertisements (for the April 17 letting) AHTD has a contract (030313) for bridges and surfacing on what it calls US 71 Section 1--Louisiana state line north to Doddridge.  This is a full freeway and is the continuation of I-49 North into Arkansas.  It is, however, fairly short, and neither the plans nor the bid items include any signing.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #333 on: March 20, 2013, 06:16:08 PM »

In regard to Arkansas I-49, in this month's advertisements (for the April 17 letting) AHTD has a contract (030313) for bridges and surfacing on what it calls US 71 Section 1--Louisiana state line north to Doddridge.  This is a full freeway and is the continuation of I-49 North into Arkansas.  It is, however, fairly short, and neither the plans nor the bid items include any signing.

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

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

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #334 on: March 20, 2013, 06:43:05 PM »

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

If I understand the email Grzrd quotes correctly, the obstacle is AASHTO, which gets involved in both legs of a US and Interstate number duplication rather than just one leg as in the case of a state and US number duplication.  But the email implies that Arkansas has not yet applied, so the real problem could be that the AHTD personnel responsible for overseeing a route numbering application are reading just the AASHTO policy without being aware of exceptions that have been made elsewhere, including in a neighboring state.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #335 on: March 20, 2013, 09:33:31 PM »

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

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

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

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

One interesting thing is that future I-69 corridor signs have been posted in Arkansas even though there is an AR 69, but there are no Future I-49 signs anywhere that I know of in Arkansas, even though it is MUCH closer to being signed than I-69 is.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #336 on: March 20, 2013, 11:34:27 PM »

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

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

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

Independent markers up at 549 and 71 north of Texarkana, but they are covered. Overhead signage is still being worked on along the new section.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #337 on: March 26, 2013, 09:28:35 PM »

Just got back from a trip from OKC to Indianapolis.  Had some extra time, so I took the scenic route from Tulsa to Springfield via Hiwassee.  The piers and end walls are in at the western junction of AR72 and I49.  The beams are sitting to the side awaiting placement.  It looked as if the ramps and roadbed was cleared north of the overpass, but there was too much mud for me to investigate further.

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

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


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

rte66man
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 10:24:45 PM by rte66man »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #338 on: March 26, 2013, 09:43:57 PM »


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


If memory serves correct, AHTD acquired Right of Way for 4 Lanes, but only has the money to build 2 at this time.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #339 on: March 26, 2013, 10:06:59 PM »

Two on either side makes 4 total, doesn't it?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #340 on: March 26, 2013, 10:20:21 PM »

Two on either side makes 4 total, doesn't it?

That's what I was thinking!  :biggrin:
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #341 on: March 26, 2013, 10:28:41 PM »

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/

Go to the "March 2013 Road Trip" set.

rte66man
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #342 on: March 27, 2013, 01:09:11 PM »

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

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

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

 :banghead:



The Low bid for HWY. 71 , HWY.  22 (base and surface) at Fort Chaffee crossing was 22,649,692.08 from APAC- Tennessee, Inc.
On October 28, AHTD awarded the contract to APAC-Tennessee, Inc. Also, this Oct. 25 TV video report has some footage of Future I-49 construction through Chaffee Crossing and projects that construction should be completed in about two years

This March 21 article reports that the paving project has begun and includes a photo of a crew pouring concrete.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 04:31:49 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #343 on: March 28, 2013, 08:15:43 AM »

^ Try asking them about how they refer to everything as simply "Highway" in their bid lettings, for example, and if that has anything to do with why I-49 can't be signed.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #344 on: March 28, 2013, 10:00:01 AM »

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #345 on: March 28, 2013, 10:56:23 AM »

Here's a link to a pdf of the 2007 AASHTO's disapprovals of Missouri's I-49 application and the Arkansas I-49 North application:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/AM2007_USRN_ReporttoSCOH.pdf
Try asking them about how they refer to everything as simply "Highway" in their bid lettings, for example, and if that has anything to do with why I-49 can't be signed.

The use of "Highway" did not prevent AHTD from applying in 2007, and the presence of US 49 did not appear to be a factor in AASHTO's disapproval of the application.  That said, I have sent an email to AASHTO with an I-49 "hypothetical", and asked if they have granted waivers in the past.  Depending on AASHTO's response, I may ask AHTD about their internal policies.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:34:45 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #346 on: April 14, 2013, 10:23:53 PM »

This April 9 article reports that, although there is still no official timeline, Bella Vista Bypass construction is ready to begin once the money starts coming in from the tax:

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



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

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

Quote
There are also two related construction projects underway in conjunction with this project that are funded with STIP money. Those projects include a bypass around Hiwasse and construction will complete interchanges with Highway 72 as well as the two northbound lanes between the north and south interchanges.
Another project picks up where the other ends and extends the bypass to Benton County Road 34.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #347 on: April 25, 2013, 01:24:42 PM »

MAP-21 might provide a 95% federal funding opportunity for significant sections of I-49 in Arkansas (page 70/599 of pdf; page 70 of document):
Quote
SEC. 1116. PRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS TO IMPROVE FREIGHT MOVEMENT.
At the very least, AHTD should investigate the possibility.

Atkins North America recently completed its I-69 Innovative Financing Study Final Findings and the Executive Summary, and the Final Findings provide a discussion of Section 1116 that is also relevant to I-49 and the Arkansas River bridge (page 18/122 of pdf; page 13 of document):

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

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



Quote
Projects of National and Regional Significance [1120]
MAP-21 authorizes $500 million from the General Fund (subject to appropriation) in FY 2013 only
(above quote from I-69 Ohio River Bridge thread)
This Jan. 23 Texarkana Gazette article (behind paywall) reports that the Miller County Quorum Court will ask for support from the National Association of Counties and the Arkansas congressional delegation to support I-49 funding for rural Arkansas .... Since the Doddridge-to-Louisiana state line paving project is already funded and slated to be let in 2013, and will complete the final Miller County I-49 segment, I wonder if this an initial step of a multi-state (and possibly national) coordinated effort to get I-49 throughout rural Arkansas designated as a Project of National and Regional Significance and become eligible for related funding in future years?
(above quote from Texarkana (Future I-49, I-69 Spur) thread)

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

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

Several months ago I asked AHTD if they had applied for FY 2013 PNRS funding, and I was informed that MAP-21 had killed the PNRS program ...  :banghead:
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 08:15:16 AM by Grzrd »
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O Tamandua

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    • A-B-P Ministries - An evangelical Christian ministry serving Angola, Brazil, Portugal.
Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #348 on: April 25, 2013, 04:48:51 PM »

Couple of mini-updates on this at Hiwasse:

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

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

3.  Funny thing...there are three bridges under construction in Hiwasse..that one, just south of the main part of town, and the western crossing of Hwy 72.  Right before that west bridge was a subdivision that was started around the "boom" years of the mid-2000s but abandoned after just one house was built.  Now small houses appear to be being not built, but MOVED there.  Not sure why (cheap land?) but there are two moved houses on blocks plus a third which looks like it may have been moved.  Not something one sees every day around here, especially not near an interstate under construction.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #349 on: April 30, 2013, 08:11:49 PM »

Missouri has funding for the BVB in the out years. Have a feeling with Arkansas kicking into gear this summer on BVB that Missouri will slide construction up.

http://contribute.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/construction_program/STIP2013-2017/districtconstruct/documents/1_Projects_014.pdf
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