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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 689653 times)

Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #150 on: January 10, 2012, 02:52:50 PM »

I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
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."
the BVB link in the top quote above has been removed from the home page and is now inactive.  A small thing ...  Not a good signal...

I had a recent email Q & A with AHTD regarding the removal of the BVB link from the AHTD homepage and was reassured that they are still proceeding with BVB:

Quote
Q: I recently noticed that the Bella Vista Bypass link that used to be on the AHTD home page has been removed and deactivated.  Does this mean that completion of BVB has dropped in the scheme of AHTD priorities?

A: I’ll check on that link, but it doesn’t mean anything. We are undergoing changes to our web page. The BV Bypass job continues and the next scheduled job is for the 5 miles from Hwy 72 north to County Road 34.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 02:21:12 AM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #151 on: January 11, 2012, 01:13:35 PM »

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:
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.
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

Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

Quote
...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 02:22:49 AM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #152 on: January 11, 2012, 11:26:25 PM »

Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

"...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...

Doubtful
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:
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.
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
Boozman is doing more talking; claims he is working on the reauthorization bill and that he is going to "fire up" the I-49 Coalition:
http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_bd9fa5bc-3c67-11e1-9405-001871e3ce6c.html

"...Boozman said he and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are working on a highway reauthorization bill and plan to fire up the I-49 Coalition, which has congressional representatives from New Orleans to the Canadian border."

Maybe he and Ross can at least match Reid dollar for dollar in I-49 funding vs. I-11 funding.  However, I suspect otherwise ...
.

Ross is a lame duck: he's not running for re-election. 
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M86

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #153 on: January 16, 2012, 11:58:13 PM »

I just noticed that AHTD now has a page devoted to the Bella Vista Bypass (with links):
http://www.arkansashighways.com/BVB/bellavista.aspx
I had a recent email Q & A with AHTD regarding the removal of the BVB link from the AHTD homepage and was reassured that they are still proceeding with BVB:

Q: I recently noticed that the Bella Vista Bypass link that used to be on the AHTD home page has been removed and deactivated.  Does this mean that completion of BVB has dropped in the scheme of AHTD priorities?

A: I’ll check on that link, but it doesn’t mean anything. We are undergoing changes to our web page. The BV Bypass job continues and the next scheduled job is for the 5 miles from Hwy 72 north to County Road 34.

Thank you for inquiring about that.  The AHTD website is crappy, and needs a upgrade (Hint:  Look at MoDOT's webpage!).  I still think NWA Arkansas is neglected, and priority is given to the Little Rock area.  Yes, I haven't lived here too long, but I've heard that from many people here.  But... in my opinion, but the BVB should be at the top of the priority list (#1, in my opinion) for AHTD.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #154 on: January 17, 2012, 08:31:05 AM »

Lived in NW Arkansas in the late 70's and it has always been a step child to Little Rock. Yet NW Arky is almost if not past Little Rock in Economic impact with 3 huge national corporations in the area. Yet NW Arkansas is still a cul de sac on the Interstate highway system (better than nothing but should be better).
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M86

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #155 on: January 19, 2012, 12:41:21 AM »

Lived in NW Arkansas in the late 70's and it has always been a step child to Little Rock. Yet NW Arky is almost if not past Little Rock in Economic impact with 3 huge national corporations in the area. Yet NW Arkansas is still a cul de sac on the Interstate highway system (better than nothing but should be better).

The growth here has been very rapid (I've only lived here for a year).  There definitely should be more focus here.  It's sad that the majority of the interchanges along I-540, in NWA, need reconstruction. 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #156 on: January 19, 2012, 10:57:35 AM »


The growth here has been very rapid (I've only lived here for a year).  There definitely should be more focus here.  It's sad that the majority of the interchanges along I-540, in NWA, need reconstruction. 

I think it's a combination of multiple factors: No one ever anticipated the growth in NWA: no one ever thought any of the "Big 3" would amount to anything and the U of A was more of a wannabe party school until 10-15 years ago.  Plus Fayetteville is so far removed from the rest of the state (geographically & politically) that they're often forgotten.  Even though the I-540 extension had been proposed since the 1970's, it took until the 1990's to get serious about it.
Now that AHTD is getting serious, there's not enough money to do anything.
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #157 on: January 23, 2012, 07:05:26 PM »

 Has anybody had time to read the article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the Highway department and the money going where the cars are? Also the 1/2 cent sales tax vote this fall being critical to pass for expanding 4 lane roads in Arkansas. It starts on the front page.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #158 on: January 23, 2012, 08:06:06 PM »

Has anybody had time to read the article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the Highway department and the money going where the cars are? Also the 1/2 cent sales tax vote this fall being critical to pass for expanding 4 lane roads in Arkansas. It starts on the front page.

It's behind a Paywall online.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #159 on: January 23, 2012, 09:37:44 PM »

Sorry,That paper and the Texarkana Gazette are in my lunch room at work so I don't have access to it online;.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #160 on: January 23, 2012, 10:11:49 PM »

Well, a little bit of construction on I-540: AHTD is spending $5 million to install 24 miles of cable barriers on I-540:

Quote
AHTD officials said they're getting the cables installed along a busy stretch of I-540 ...
The project started last month, and officials said it is expected to be completed by the summer.
"This is a really big project for us. It's a $5 million project, (constructing) 24 miles of cable barriers. It's significantly bigger than most of the cable barrier jobs we've had," Bolick said.
According to AHTD, the cable barrier will be installed in the median from Bentonville all the way to Fayetteville, securing a large part of the interstate, which is well-known for crossover accidents.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2012, 11:27:25 PM »

Here's a thought:

If Mississippi was allowed to post 20-something miles of I-69 when it's no where close to complete, why can't AHTD or MoDOT post I-49?
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #162 on: January 24, 2012, 11:35:49 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.

Looks like Bella Vista is taking over Hiwasse by force, though Hiwasse would rather be part of Gravette.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #163 on: January 24, 2012, 01:22:19 PM »

Google maps updated their satellite imagery at Texarkana, here the upcoming interchange of I-30 with I-49 http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.479563,-93.966923&spn=0.055482,0.077162&t=k&z=14&vpsrc=6

Edit: Looks like I arrived too late at the finish line. :sleep:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg129064#msg129064
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 01:28:17 PM by Stephane Dumas »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #164 on: January 24, 2012, 02:32:12 PM »

Google maps updated their satellite imagery at Texarkana, here the upcoming interchange of I-30 with I-49 http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.479563,-93.966923&spn=0.055482,0.077162&t=k&z=14&vpsrc=6
Edit: Looks like I arrived too late at the finish line. :sleep:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3321.msg129064#msg129064
Actually, I believe it is an update over the link I posted.  I don't remember the southern "prong" at N Stateline Ave being paved.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman ...
Complete or nearly complete are interchanges at Arkansas 22 (Rogers Avenue), Roberts Boulevard and Massard Road.
When the fourth interchange on U.S. 71 is under contract and construction is well under way, the state expects to go forward with the last step, Shipman said. That would be paving the highway and opening it to traffic, perhaps by 2014.
Anyway,  Stephane's post motivated me to check Bing's aerial view of the I-49 work at Chaffee Crossing.  Pretty good progress.  I checked Google and Bing for initial signs of construction at Hiwasse, but did not see anything.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 02:54:41 PM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #165 on: January 24, 2012, 09:02:07 PM »


Anyway,  Stephane's post motivated me to check Bing's aerial view of the I-49 work at Chaffee Crossing.  Pretty good progress.  I checked Google and Bing for initial signs of construction at Hiwasse, but did not see anything.

The bridge at AR 22 is done, Frontier Rd/Ft Smith Blvd is done. Rye Hill Rd finished last month.  Massard Rd is still a work in progress.

C'mon up some time and I'll show you around ;)
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #166 on: January 24, 2012, 10:08:25 PM »

The bridge at AR 22 is done, Frontier Rd/Ft Smith Blvd is done. Rye Hill Rd finished last month.  Massard Rd is still a work in progress.
C'mon up some time and I'll show you around ;)
Thanks for the offer.  My roadgeek budget is tight; my wife and kids don't quite "get it".  That said, I am thinking of both 2012 AR I-49 trip and 2013 AR I-49 trip.

It looks like driving on the paved segments of I-49 North is an option if a Texarkana meet comes together.  Today, I spoke with Susan Stafford, a LaDOTD Public Information Officer.  She gave a tentative OK to the notion of meet attendees driving on the paved I-49 North, but there would be some bureaucratic prerequisites ... Even if I cannot make the meet, I might do a "stealth" drive myself before it opens to the general public.  :sombrero:
(above from "2012 meets?" thread on General Highway Talk)
For 2012, I want to drive paved segments of I-49 North before they open to general public and check out new terrain I-49 around Texarkana (I also hold out a quixotic/idiotic hope that, if a meet or personal "stealth" trip were late enough in Summer or early Fall, AHTD would be as accomodating as LaDOTD).  What a great I-49 doubleheader THAT would be!

You should drive the new road and film it.  Nobody would probably even notice and if you did get caught you wouldn't get in that much trouble.
(above from "Texarkana; (Future I-49; I-69 Spur)" thread)

If AHTD is not accomodating, other options may exist ...  :D

Could we make it from Fayetteville to Texarkana and back in a day?
(above from "2012 meets?" thread)

For 2013, I'm thinking of scaling back bugo's idea, making it a Fort Smith-Fayetteville trip, and checking out Chaffee Crossing and BVB construction.  By that time, Howard Hill to US 71S work  and second BVB project work should be well under way.  US 412 work will be cranking, too.  I hope a meet happens; if not, I may need the Road Scholar's guidance through the area.  ;-)
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #167 on: January 28, 2012, 11:33:58 AM »

Is there still another Bridge left to build between Roberts Road and Massard Road in the Fort Smith project. Shipman says there are 2 jobs left before paving. Job # 40479 was for overpass bridges for Massard Rd. and Custer Blvd., then 2 main lane bridges over Roberts Blvd. Job #40478 is for Grading and structures from Rye Hill to U.S. 71. I don't see another one on the AHTD that he is talking about. http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_f9f4b068-2595-11e1-92b4-001871e3ce6c.html
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #168 on: January 28, 2012, 12:06:18 PM »

What will this highway be signed?  Will AASHTO get off their high horse and let AHTD sign it as I-49?  Or will it be another section of AR 549?  It will connect AR 22 to US 71 and probably won't get much traffic until it is extended to I-540 in Alma.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #169 on: January 28, 2012, 01:37:42 PM »

Is there still another Bridge left to build between Roberts Road and Massard Road in the Fort Smith project. Shipman says there are 2 jobs left before paving. Job # 40479 was for overpass bridges for Massard Rd. and Custer Blvd., then 2 main lane bridges over Roberts Blvd. Job #40478 is for Grading and structures from Rye Hill to U.S. 71. I don't see another one on the AHTD that he is talking about. http://www.swtimes.com/business/article_f9f4b068-2595-11e1-92b4-001871e3ce6c.html

Looks like maybe Coyote Trail near Roberts Rd.  http://binged.it/wbHJZE

I've heard nothing regarding its designation. But the only interchange in this area is AR 22 so will 49 be paved and "abandoned" or will it have a temporary at-grade terminus? I've heard nothing either way.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #170 on: January 28, 2012, 02:01:20 PM »

What will this highway be signed?  Will AASHTO get off their high horse and let AHTD sign it as I-49?  Or will it be another section of AR 549?  It will connect AR 22 to US 71 and probably won't get much traffic until it is extended to I-540 in Alma.
I believe the current FHWA guidance is that a freeway built to interstate standards cannot receive an interstate designation until at least one end of the freeway segment connects to a currently existing part of the interstate system (I believe this is the reason I-22 cannot be signed until the I-65/I-22 interchange is completed in 2014).  It will probably be a long wait for I-49 designation because Arkansas River bridge will have to be built to connect AR 22 to I-540 at Alma, which would then provide the necessary connection.

Above said, it looks like I-49 North in Louisiana will have I-49 signage for 2013 opening, even though it will have neither an I-30 connection nor an I-220 connection (although Texarkana work should be completed, and AR/LA state line to Doddridge will be under construction; maybe that's enough to establish the I-30 "connection"):

This is typical of the signing plans for I-49 North:



Note I-49 trailblazer assembly.
(above quote from "I49 in LA" thread)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 02:28:13 PM by Grzrd »
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #171 on: January 28, 2012, 08:00:00 PM »

What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #172 on: January 28, 2012, 08:17:45 PM »

What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?

In theory, yes, you could extend the road north from Barling, but it would be a road to nowhere.  It would likely just sit there doing nothing until the bridge was built, unless locals could use it to access some of the Corp of Engineer parks.

I'm sure the bridge would be a separate project from the I-40/49 interchange, but they would be so close to each other, I think doing one without the other would be a waste of time.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #173 on: January 28, 2012, 09:09:16 PM »

What do you Guys think about some sections between Barling and I 40 that could could be built so you wouldn't have 300 million plus to have at one time. AHTD couldn't come up with 220 million for Bella Vista Bypass at one time. Could they extend I 540 south closer to Arkansas river and mabe extend from Barling towards the river so it could be broken down and not so much money at one time?

In theory, yes, you could extend the road north from Barling, but it would be a road to nowhere.  It would likely just sit there doing nothing until the bridge was built, unless locals could use it to access some of the Corp of Engineer parks.

I'm sure the bridge would be a separate project from the I-40/49 interchange, but they would be so close to each other, I think doing one without the other would be a waste of time.

I don't like new taxes but I see we to pass the 1/2 cent sale tax in Arkansas to build these roads. And the other day in the paper it said don't look for a new highway bill this year because of election year. So worthless congress is not going to help. It is sad that we spend billions of dollars in america and cannot build new roads to help the economy.


« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 09:37:47 PM by US71 »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #174 on: January 29, 2012, 06:52:09 PM »

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.
Wasn't NC the same way? Seeing that I-73 and I-74 signs have sprung up at a frantic pace (and virtually none elsewhere), there must've been some stubborn SOBs running things in Raleigh too.
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