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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 689689 times)

US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #125 on: December 30, 2011, 09:26:20 AM »

Reason why Arkansas doesn't have I-22 like progress is Bama has Richard Shelby. Shelby has been one stubborn SOB in pushing I-22. Stories of him holding up Congressional vacations for more funding are legendary.

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

The people who have held his seat in the House since then talk about completing I-49, but haven't allocated any funds. John Boozman talks the talk about securing more funding, but so far it seems to be all talk.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #126 on: January 02, 2012, 05:39:05 AM »

It's surprising this area doesn't have a big voice for this... In terms of lawmakers...  Anyone driving I-540 between Bentonville and Fayetteville, during peak hours, have a lot of venting. 

This is a bit off topic, but the 14th Street (AR 102) reconstruction through Bentonville (from US 71 Business to Greenhouse Road) took, literally, years to complete.  A simple reconstruction, from a rural 2-lane, to an urban 4-lane.  And they didn't even include medians (very do-able... embrace the median!) and roadway lighting.  Sigh....
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #127 on: January 02, 2012, 09:56:51 AM »

It's surprising this area doesn't have a big voice for this... In terms of lawmakers...  Anyone driving I-540 between Bentonville and Fayetteville, during peak hours, have a lot of venting. 

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

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

Lots of people asking/demanding for I-49, but nothing seems to happen. Boozman says he's trying to get money, but I don't see how he can when he keeps saying we need to slash the federal budget  :confused:
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ShawnP

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #128 on: January 02, 2012, 10:00:49 AM »

Is there enough support to get a transportation district of all the counties together. That way they could create funding mechanism's to kick up by themselves. Sadly as important as a corridor as it is to America. I don't see much feds money coming Arkansas's way. Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #129 on: January 02, 2012, 10:17:47 AM »

Is there enough support to get a transportation district of all the counties together. That way they could create funding mechanism's to kick up by themselves. Sadly as important as a corridor as it is to America. I don't see much feds money coming Arkansas's way. Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.

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

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

Yet, at the same time, Arkansas just cut taxes on the sales of used cars.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #130 on: January 02, 2012, 11:02:13 AM »

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

EDIT

Also, petitioning AASHTO for redesignation of I-540 as I-49 should be a no-brainer and should be done immediately.  Given what AASHTO has allowed Texas and Kentucky to do with I-69 signage, and Missouri with I-49 signage, AASHTO should approve the change.  I don't understand AHTD's apparent reluctance to petition for approval of the change.  It would only help get more $$$ over time.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 11:25:39 AM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #131 on: January 02, 2012, 11:49:37 AM »


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

Missouri and Arkansas tried in 2007 to get the I-49 designation approved, but AASHTO said NO. So maybe they are waiting until they get more done?
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #132 on: January 02, 2012, 12:18:08 PM »

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

I'm just curious as to why Missouri went back to AASHTO alone in 2011.  Huge gap between Pineville, MO and Shreveport, LA but MoDOT received qualified approval.  Seems like AHTD would get similar approval for I-540 if they went back to AASHTO.  Other than BVB, would make gap between Alma and Shreveport.  It can't hurt to ask again; it worked for Missouri.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 02:18:10 AM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #133 on: January 02, 2012, 12:42:51 PM »

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

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

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

Missouri may be done by the end of 2012, while Arkansas will be sitting around wishing for money.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #134 on: January 02, 2012, 02:02:45 PM »

Missouri showed significant progress. From Pineville to Kansas City, it's already at least partially controlled access. Arkansas has almost nothing south of Ft Smith.
Here's a link to a pdf of the 2007 AASHTO's disapprovals of Missouri's I-49 application and the Arkansas I-49 North application:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/AM2007_USRN_ReporttoSCOH.pdf
At that time, Missouri only applied for a designation from the state line to I-44 and Arkansas applied from I-40 to the state line.  Both applications were denied because "road is not yet under construction".  I interpret that to mean that complete lack of construction on BVB killed both applications.

Since then, Missouri has made great progress with the interchanges from Joplin to KC (all will be completed by Dec. 2012), but still has not made any progress on BVB.  In its 2011 application, Missouri asked for and received conditional approval from the state line to I-435:
http://route.transportation.org/Documents/USRNReporttoSCOHOct152011.pdf
In Arkansas, I-540 from I-40 to BVB is already an interstate, and at least a small part of BVB around Hiwasse is under construction.  In both regards, I think an Arkansas I-49 North re-application would compare favorably with Missouri's re-application. I don't think the minimal amount of progress between I-40 and I-30 would be a factor in AASHTO's decision.  I think AHTD should go for it. 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:06:43 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #135 on: January 02, 2012, 03:42:07 PM »

Missouri has their portion coming due 2014-16 as their long range budget has actual construction money budgeted. I would build it now as Construction Rates are as low as they might be in decades. I know it would  be a ghost road and the know nothings would complain about it but it would actually save money over the long term.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #136 on: January 02, 2012, 06:11:19 PM »

Missouri has their portion coming due 2014-16 as their long range budget has actual construction money budgeted. I would build it now as Construction Rates are as low as they might be in decades. I know it would  be a ghost road and the know nothings would complain about it but it would actually save money over the long term.

My guess is Missouri will wait until everything north of Carthage has been completed, then worry about Pineville. Arkansas seems to be in no hurry, so there is little or no incentive for Missouri to do anything.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #137 on: January 03, 2012, 01:14:22 AM »

I can see the hesitation on getting the I-49 designation in AR... It doesn't make sense without the Bella Vista Bypass... That really is the missing link.  The southern portion of I-49 (south of Fort Smith) will be a huge task.  The topography/terrain will be a challenge... then again, there's lower population and traffic down there.  The I-49 designation between KC and I-44 makes total sense, and Missouri will have that by the end of 2012 (according to MoDOT).  The Bella Vista Bypass is very underrated, and needs to be completed ASAP.  I drive US 71 often between Bentonville/Rogers and the MO state line... I feel really bad for the truckers... There is so much truck traffic, that have to deal with the traffic signals in Bella Vista, not to mention the regular traffic, both local and regional.  While the BVB should take priority, I-540 (& the interchanges) need huge help too.  I'm just glad I work a shift that avoids the major traffic congestion!  I really hope AR can get it's act together and get that dang bypass built right.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #138 on: January 03, 2012, 01:48:23 AM »

What will be the temporary numbers for the Bella Vista bypass and the Fort Smith section of I-49 that is currently under construction?  Will they be segments of AR 549?  Will the Bella Vista bypass be AR 540?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #139 on: January 03, 2012, 07:19:55 AM »

I think AHTD should reapply for designation of I-540 from Alma to Bentonville as I-49 as Grzrd points out. It wouldn't hurt, and if I-69 in Mississippi can be approved then I don't see why I-49 in Arkansas can't be, either.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #140 on: January 03, 2012, 11:22:11 AM »

Arkansas had John Paul Hammerschmidt who got Arkansas the money to build I-540 north of Alma, but he retired a few years ago.  
The people who have held his seat in the House since then talk about completing I-49, but haven't allocated any funds. John Boozman talks the talk about securing more funding, but so far it seems to be all talk.
Arkansas doesn't have the Uncle Sugar Daddies with power in Congress anymore.
The Bella Vista Bypass is very underrated, and needs to be completed ASAP.  I drive US 71 often between Bentonville/Rogers and the MO state line... I feel really bad for the truckers... There is so much truck traffic, that have to deal with the traffic signals in Bella Vista, not to mention the regular traffic, both local and regional.
Is either one of the senators from Arkansas powerful enough to push construction of the BVB through the halls of the Senate and its various committees?  Harry Reid, the very powerful Senator from Nevada, has apparently successfully included funding for Interstate 11 in the current draft of the Senate's version of the highway reauthorization bill (and I suspect he will fight hard to keep it in the bill):
http://www.examiner.com/las-vegas-in-national/interstate-from-las-vegas-to-phoenix-plans-move-along-us-senate

It seems like there is a very real need for the BVB, and that a strong argument can be made for it in terms of national significance.  Does Arkansas really have very little senatorial clout?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 11:26:20 AM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #141 on: January 03, 2012, 07:51:53 PM »


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

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



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ShawnP

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #142 on: January 04, 2012, 07:53:37 PM »

I-49 should have 6 core Senators in MO, AR and LA delegations. One of those Senators is Roy Blount who got alot of money for work on US-71. I-49 should get support from TX, OK, KS, NB, IA, SD, ND Senators also . All states would have more commerce flowing into them from I-49/I-29 connections.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #143 on: January 04, 2012, 09:53:40 PM »

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

In theory, yes. But each Senator has their own agenda...often political. 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #144 on: January 05, 2012, 01:40:55 AM »

I drove out to Hiawasse to see the progress on the segment they are currently constructing.  It's promising.  They are working on the BVB, a loop around the small town of Hiawasse (which was plastered with signs saying "No annexation" and "Leave Hiawasse Alone".  I'm wondering if Bella Vista or even Centerton is trying to annex them?)  Weird.

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

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

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #145 on: January 05, 2012, 09:26:16 AM »

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

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

In theory, yes. But each Senator has their own agenda...often political. 
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #146 on: January 05, 2012, 10:37:11 AM »

I drove out to Hiawasse to see the progress on the segment they are currently constructing.  It's promising.  They are working on the BVB, a loop around the small town of Hiawasse (which was plastered with signs saying "No annexation" and "Leave Hiawasse Alone".  I'm wondering if Bella Vista or even Centerton is trying to annex them?)  Weird.

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

Quote

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

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


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

I don't remember if there was an incentive clause or not: AHTD doesn't always do them. I think they did for the 102 project in Bentonville, and we saw how that turned out ;)
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #147 on: January 05, 2012, 11:44:05 AM »

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

I remain unconvinced that saving twenty minutes of a truck driver's transit time magically improves the economy by stimulating business.  If this were 1940, then you could convince me, but today's highway infrastructure is so extensive that I think the connection between highway upgrades and the economy is far overstated.  I-49 may improve the economy of the cities it travels through or near, but I highly doubt the other states would see any change at all in their economies.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #148 on: January 05, 2012, 08:35:58 PM »

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

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

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #149 on: January 06, 2012, 12:12:25 AM »

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

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

OK is building a 4 lane US 59 from Poteau to I-40.  It could easily be extended to I-49, if traffic counts ever warrant.  Most truck traffic on 59/270 south of Hodgen turns south onto US 259 and vice versa.  When I-49 is completed, will trucks continue to use US 259 as a cutoff or will they take 270 to I-49?|
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