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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 716255 times)

bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #175 on: January 29, 2012, 10:59:23 PM »

If I were in charge of AASHTO, I would ban North Carolina from making any changes to their system for 10 years.  Every time the AASHTO changes are released, half of them are from NC.  The moving of US 117 to a freeway then back to the 2 lane road is the most ridiculous example, with the reroutings of I-40 being nearly as bad. 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #176 on: February 08, 2012, 09:59:19 PM »

This article reports that the second and third largest cities in Arkansas have joined forces to obtain more funding for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas:

Quote
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders held joint press conferences Wednesday [Feb. 8] in their respective cities to discuss the new partnership.
“Our initial focus will be on transportation issues, and other areas of mutual interest will be identified in the future. First: The completion of I-49 is a natural topic for joint emphasis,” Sanders said in a statement. “I-49 will have tremendous economic benefit for our two cities. The benefit to Fort Smith is obvious. It would place us at the center of an east/west and north/south interstate intersection in the center of the United States.  We will see a transportation and logistic enterprise confluence. Job growth will be substantial. There are tremendous benefits to Fayetteville as well.”
Sanders said the “combined efforts” of the two cities in lobbying Congress for I-49 funding “will be significant.”
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders, an Arkansas River bridge east of Barling that could cost up to $350 million, and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
Work has begun on the Bella Vista Bypass, which will connect Arkansas and Missouri with an interstate highway that will eventually be part of I-49. The proposed bypass is about 20 miles, extending from U.S. 71 just south of Bella Vista to U.S. 71 near Pineville, Mo. Arkansas’ portion is approximately 15 miles in length, while the Missouri section will be about 5 miles.
Arkansas has already spent about $20 million on engineering, utility relocation and other preparatory work on the bypass. It is estimated that Arkansas’ share of the project could be as much as $250 million ...
Fort Smith and Fayetteville are the second and third largest cities in Arkansas. We each have strengths that can benefit and support the other. A closer working relationship has the potential to be the catalyst for creating more vibrant growth and development ....

EDIT

A good place to start would be for the two cities to push AHTD to make the redesignation of I-540 as I-49 happen as soon as possible.  :clap:
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 10:35:44 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #177 on: February 09, 2012, 11:23:00 AM »

This article reports that the second and third largest cities in Arkansas have joined forces to obtain more funding for the completion of I-49 in Arkansas:

Quote
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders held joint press conferences Wednesday [Feb. 8] in their respective cities to discuss the new partnership.
“Our initial focus will be on transportation issues, and other areas of mutual interest will be identified in the future. First: The completion of I-49 is a natural topic for joint emphasis,” Sanders said in a statement. “I-49 will have tremendous economic benefit for our two cities. The benefit to Fort Smith is obvious. It would place us at the center of an east/west and north/south interstate intersection in the center of the United States.  We will see a transportation and logistic enterprise confluence. Job growth will be substantial. There are tremendous benefits to Fayetteville as well.”
Sanders said the “combined efforts” of the two cities in lobbying Congress for I-49 funding “will be significant.”
The I-49 route stretches from Texarkana, up through Dequeen, Mena and Waldron, into Fort Smith and on through Northwest Arkansas. All that stands in the way of this interstate reality is several small segments at the Arkansas-Louisiana and Arkansas Missouri borders, an Arkansas River bridge east of Barling that could cost up to $350 million, and a large 185-mile segment between Texarkana and Fort Smith that posts a price tag between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
Work has begun on the Bella Vista Bypass, which will connect Arkansas and Missouri with an interstate highway that will eventually be part of I-49. The proposed bypass is about 20 miles, extending from U.S. 71 just south of Bella Vista to U.S. 71 near Pineville, Mo. Arkansas’ portion is approximately 15 miles in length, while the Missouri section will be about 5 miles.
Arkansas has already spent about $20 million on engineering, utility relocation and other preparatory work on the bypass. It is estimated that Arkansas’ share of the project could be as much as $250 million ...
Fort Smith and Fayetteville are the second and third largest cities in Arkansas. We each have strengths that can benefit and support the other. A closer working relationship has the potential to be the catalyst for creating more vibrant growth and development ....

EDIT

A good place to start would be for the two cities to push AHTD to make the redesignation of I-540 as I-49 happen as soon as possible.  :clap:
Hopefully, once the Missouri portion is completed, then I-49 shields will go up along I-540, at least to the part north of I-40. South of I-40, I see it being signed as Future I-49, until AHTD can figure out a way to connect Fort Smith and Texarkana.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #178 on: February 14, 2012, 08:04:44 PM »

In yesterday's Arkansas Gazette there was an article about Bridges in Arkansas. Scott Bennett mentioned I 49 Bridge between Alma and Fort Chaffee being in the development stage. He said the environmental was done and I think he was talking about it being in the design stage. Hopefully they will know what the actual bridge and cost will be soon.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #179 on: February 14, 2012, 08:47:01 PM »

In yesterday's Arkansas Gazette there was an article about Bridges in Arkansas. Scott Bennett mentioned I 49 Bridge between Alma and Fort Chaffee being in the development stage. He said the environmental was done and I think he was talking about it being in the design stage. Hopefully they will know what the actual bridge and cost will be soon.

Gordon, thanks for the heads up on the article. The entire article, Some imagine Chester Street for new bridge, is behind a pay wall (curiosity led me to pay 99 cents for a one-day subscription).  The good news is that a FEIS has been approved for the entire Texarkana-Fort Smith corridor, but no design work has been done on the bridge:

Quote
Bennett .... cited ... other new bridges in development:
The Interstate 49 bridge over the Arkansas River that would connect Interstate 540 at Alma with a U.S. 71 project under construction on a new location in the area of Fort Chaffee. The environmental impact statement has been approved for the entire I-49 corridor between Texarkana and Fort Smith, but no design work has been done on the bridge.

Maybe Bennett describing it as "in development" means the design work on it is at least on the radar screen.  In contrast, although Bennett mentioned two other major bridge projects as being "in development" (I-69 Mississippi River bridge and Southern Gateway bridge in metro Memphis),  he did NOT mention the I-49 Red River bridge at the Texas state line; the Red River bridge must not be on the radar screen.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 07:39:01 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #180 on: February 16, 2012, 11:52:57 AM »

In case anyone wants some light historical reading, AHTD recently emailed me the Executive Summary of the US 71 Relocation from DeQueen to I-40 FEIS (and Alex is kind enough to host it on the AARoads server).  Enjoy!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 07:02:06 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #181 on: February 16, 2012, 06:10:53 PM »

Wow, I didn't know they selected an alignment already.  I'm kinda surprised at the lack of interchanges for all those towns between Grannis and Mena.  Also, the SA goes through the Ouchita National Forest.  I know it's good for long distance travelers, but if the route isn't going to go closer to those towns, then at least throw them a bone with a couple more interchanges.  At the end of the day, it looks like the route will be about 5 miles to the east of the towns.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #182 on: February 17, 2012, 01:38:15 AM »

Wow, I didn't know they selected an alignment already.  I'm kinda surprised at the lack of interchanges for all those towns between Grannis and Mena.  Also, the SA goes through the Ouchita National Forest.  I know it's good for long distance travelers, but if the route isn't going to go closer to those towns, then at least throw them a bone with a couple more interchanges.  At the end of the day, it looks like the route will be about 5 miles to the east of the towns.

I expect AR 246 will be extended from Hatfield to the new I-49 and AR 4 will be extended from Cove.  There might be some more short connector state highways commissioned as well.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #183 on: February 24, 2012, 09:20:50 AM »

I just received an email reply from AHTD (my questions and then AHTD answers):
Quote
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."

This article indicates that the first Bella Vista Bypass project is about 25% complete and that the next project, five miles and two lanes, is still on track to be let in May:

Quote
Work to convert U.S. 71 in Arkansas is continuing. Glenn Bolick, spokesman for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said work is under way on a two-lane route around Bella Vista that eventually will become a four-lane bypass.
“We’ve completed 25 percent of the first contract, which is almost $20 million, for a three-mile stretch near Highway 72 South at Hiwasse,” he said. “When that stretch of the highway is completed, we will use that piece. It’s a section of what we call independent utility.”
The department will seek bids for a five-mile, two-lane stretch north of Hiwasse in May.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #184 on: February 24, 2012, 09:51:46 AM »


“We’ve completed 25 percent of the first contract, which is almost $20 million, for a three-mile stretch near Highway 72 South at Hiwasse,” he said. “When that stretch of the highway is completed, we will use that piece. It’s a section of what we call independent utility.”

It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #185 on: February 24, 2012, 08:31:41 PM »

Is it still going to be a toll road?  If so, I predict a lot of shunpiking will occur as the toll road will be 2 lanes and the surface road will be 4 lanes divided.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #186 on: March 20, 2012, 06:37:57 PM »

AHTD has asked fpr a grant to help finish the Fort Chaffee Crossing. Hope they get in the 2012 Tiger. grant.http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71.aspx
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #187 on: March 21, 2012, 12:15:15 PM »

AHTD has asked fpr a grant to help finish the Fort Chaffee Crossing. Hope they get in the 2012 Tiger. grant.http://www.arkansashighways.com/tiger/T4/71.aspx

It seems like they could have made a more persuasive case by providing more up-to-date information on the Status of I-49 Corridor map, particularly in regard to Louisiana's I-49 North.  It also could have included the Dec. 2012 projected signage date for I-49 in Missouri.  Doing so might have helped them hammer home the point that completion of the section in question is a critical first step for the I-30 to I-40 section of the corridor because the corridor is already essentially complete from I-435 to I-40 (with exception of Bella Vista Bypass) and I-10 to I-30 (with exception of a bit more work around Shreveport).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 12:18:15 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #188 on: March 25, 2012, 04:00:12 AM »

Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #189 on: March 25, 2012, 08:41:21 AM »

Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #190 on: March 28, 2012, 01:11:39 AM »

Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)

We need something.  With the recent vote passed for bonds, I'm curious to see what will be done in NWA.  I know it won't be widening, but solely on interchange improvements.  Considering how a few them need to be totally gutted and reconstructed, I really wonder about what will be done this summer.  I've tried to find anything on the AHTD website and Google... and I have found nothing.  It's sad.  I'm used to the State DOT's websites to provide a ton of information about projects/plans... and Arkansas is just not with it.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #191 on: March 28, 2012, 09:23:54 PM »

Good ol' Arkansas... I'm still hoping for a complete Bella Vista Bypass (with I-49 designation from Kansas City to I-40) within my lifetime... and I'm 25.

What is needed is another John Paul Hammerschmidt to bring home the pork ;)

We need something.  With the recent vote passed for bonds, I'm curious to see what will be done in NWA.  I know it won't be widening, but solely on interchange improvements.  Considering how a few them need to be totally gutted and reconstructed, I really wonder about what will be done this summer.  I've tried to find anything on the AHTD website and Google... and I have found nothing.  It's sad.  I'm used to the State DOT's websites to provide a ton of information about projects/plans... and Arkansas is just not with it.

All the interstates (except maybe "north" 540) are in desperate need of repaving. There is a major reconstruction project along I-40 in the vicinity of the Cache River with 2-3 bridges being replaced.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #192 on: March 29, 2012, 08:47:58 AM »

I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #193 on: March 29, 2012, 09:14:43 AM »

I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.
Adding overpasses at minor rural roads in southwestern Missouri is certainly pork.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #194 on: March 29, 2012, 09:18:59 AM »

I wouldn't list any project in any states on I-49 as "Pork". This Interstate is badly needed for commerce and hurricane evacuation routing. The Commerce stream is already there and we all know the danger that is southern LA for hurricanes.

At the risk of turning this political, one man's Pork is another man's Earmark (I-99, anyone? ;) )

But yes, it's needed... we just have to convince Congress it's more important than tax breaks for millionaires.   :fight:
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #195 on: March 30, 2012, 01:24:37 AM »

I very much disagree with you.  US 71 between Kansas City and the northern terminus of I-540 in Arkansas have very high traffic counts.  

Missouri has it's act together, like always.  Arkansas can't even get a 2 lane bypass built within a reasonable amount of time (Bella Vista Bypass).

Trust me, it's not pork... Have you traveled it?  It is a rural corridor, so to speak, but look at the traffic counts.  There you go.

I invite you to come down to NW Arkansas... and SW Missouri.  Experience the nightmare here in NWA... I have never seen such inadequacies.  Keep in mind, this is not a major urban area, so to speak.

And there is accident after accident (on I-540/Future I-49 in NWA)... It's a a common occurrence... And the cable median barrier they are constructing will only provide a "band-aid"... It's rather sad.

I commend Missouri for seeing the potential of I-49... Good for them!

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #196 on: March 30, 2012, 02:56:52 PM »

Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

Arkansas has always been behind the times. Not just on 71, but everywhere.  One of the last major improvements on 71 was 4-Laning it south of Greenwood. I don't know if it's money or misplaced priorities, but Arkansas is more RE active than PRO active.

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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #197 on: March 30, 2012, 04:25:57 PM »

Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

It was 2 lanes from Jasper to Carthage when I was a kid.  This would have been the early to mid '80s.  I also remember that traffic would be forced onto what is now the frontage road where the 4 lanes were open.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #198 on: March 30, 2012, 09:40:25 PM »

NW Arkansas if I am right has 3 top 500 companies in Tyson, Hunt and a little retailer called Wal-Mart. All generate tons of traffic and yes I-49 is badly needed in the area.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #199 on: March 31, 2012, 07:26:17 AM »

Missouri has almost always been ahead of the curve when it comes to US 71. Most of it has been 4 lanes north of I-44 for at least 30 years.

It was 2 lanes from Jasper to Carthage when I was a kid.  This would have been the early to mid '80s.  I also remember that traffic would be forced onto what is now the frontage road where the 4 lanes were open.

I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.
 
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