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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 695639 times)

O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #400 on: June 30, 2013, 09:50:56 PM »

There is a beautiful Arkansas Welcome Center on I-35 east of Texarkana.


I'm guessing you mean I-30.  Otherwise, that's one part of I-35 I've *never* been on :D

It's less than 5 years old. Replaced an older one between Exits 1 and 2.  The one in Bella Vista is a bit older, but it replaced one at the state line.

I think the current one in Bella Vista is a LOT older.  And given all that's happening in northwest Arkansas (in less than a year, USA Today has run an article (two days ago, actually) called 'Mayberry' goes Manhattan about Bentonville; the "Amazeum" plans have been announced, Bentonville and its dining scene made the Washington Post's "In/out list" (dumping the dining scene of Charleston, SC) and Southern Living asked if Bentonville is "the south's next cultural 'Mecca'?").

Off I-30 (thanks for the correction on my goof :-P ) near Texarkana Arkansas is wanting to put its best foot forward for Texas and Texas-bound visitors.  Gut feeling is that near that west Bella Vista interchange Grzrd put the map for above Arkansas will want to put its best foot forward also for northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith (got some things happening there as well even without considering Chaffee Crossing).  They need to replace the (excuse me) dump that's on the west side of U.S. 71 in Bella Vista right now.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #401 on: June 30, 2013, 10:53:34 PM »



I think the current one in Bella Vista is a LOT older.  And given all that's happening in northwest Arkansas (in less than a year, USA Today has run an article (two days ago, actually) called 'Mayberry' goes Manhattan about Bentonville; the "Amazeum" plans have been announced, Bentonville and its dining scene made the Washington Post's "In/out list" (dumping the dining scene of Charleston, SC) and Southern Living asked if Bentonville is "the south's next cultural 'Mecca'?").

Off I-30 (thanks for the correction on my goof :-P ) near Texarkana Arkansas is wanting to put its best foot forward for Texas and Texas-bound visitors.  Gut feeling is that near that west Bella Vista interchange Grzrd put the map for above Arkansas will want to put its best foot forward also for northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith (got some things happening there as well even without considering Chaffee Crossing).  They need to replace the (excuse me) dump that's on the west side of U.S. 71 in Bella Vista right now.

You should have seen the Hellhole it replaced  :thumbdown:.  I'm not in Bentonville enough to really tell how bit it's becomng (and I will never go to Alice's museum), but I know it's growing a lot to the west, esp along the road to XNA (about the only direction they can go).  It will be interesting to see what happens when the Arkansas Music Pavilion and Walton Arts Center move up that way.

The Marshall's Museum could be a big draw for Ft Smith: I know they're hoping with all the money they are spending on it. We now have signs at the city limits about being the easternmost town of the old west. I have mixed feelings about the museum, but am taking a wait and see attitude.


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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #402 on: July 01, 2013, 12:46:40 AM »

Why two interchanges at AR 72 but none at AR 279? 
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #403 on: July 01, 2013, 09:10:18 AM »

Looks like there will be an interchange at or near Rocky Dell Hollow: http://bellavistaarkansas.org/bella-vista-bypass.html
The November 2007 Design Reassessment ... (page 4/16 of pdf) ....
Why two interchanges at AR 72 but none at AR 279?

The map that NE2 linked shows the relationship of the three locations. In the 1998 concept design, each of the three locations had an interchange.  By the time 2006 rolled around, the 0.75 mile length from AR 279 to AR 72 East was deemed too close for two interchanges and the decision was made to choose either AR 279 or AR 72 East as an interchange location.  The primary argument for the AR 279 location was that it provided the most direct access to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and that there were plans to upgrade it to four lanes.  The primary argument for the AR 72 East location was that AR 72 East had higher current and projected traffic volumes than AR 279.  The AR 72 East location was chosen because of the higher traffic volumes.

However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 04:44:22 PM by Grzrd »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #404 on: July 01, 2013, 10:59:27 AM »


However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.

Also came in handy as a 279 Detour last Summer ;)
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #405 on: July 01, 2013, 03:23:39 PM »

Is TO AR 279 going to be signed from I-49?  Are there going to be TO I-49 signs on the frontage road?  If not, this setup is a failure.  The 72 west interchange is totally unnecessary.
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Lyon Wonder

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #406 on: July 11, 2013, 06:22:56 PM »

Renumber US-49 in AR and MS to US-47 or even a 3-digit number.  Problem solved!!
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #407 on: July 11, 2013, 06:37:00 PM »

Renumber US-49 in AR and MS to US-47 or even a 3-digit number.  Problem solved!!

If one can get Mississippi to go along with that.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #408 on: July 11, 2013, 08:12:01 PM »

There's no problem except Arkansas's misinterpretation of AASHTO's anality.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #409 on: July 11, 2013, 08:54:50 PM »

There's no problem except Arkansas's misinterpretation of AASHTO's anality.

...but not alanity....
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #410 on: July 17, 2013, 12:01:50 PM »

Looks like the bridge over Hwy. 72 West between Gravette and Hiwasse is near completion.  What's fascinating about this location is that there's a "berm" that's been built by moving earth for future I-49 north of here, which also blocks the view of construction to the north (toward that future west Bella Vista interchanges Grzrd had the map of earlier).  The berm is right next to the section of the current highway which will have to be demolished to make way for I-49 once the aforementioned bridge is finished.  Once that's done and the old highway/berm are removed drivers will have a clear view right and left of the future interstate.

BTW, Grzrd, I've made an e-mail inquiry into the Arkansas Visitor's Bureau to ask about any available information for plans for a future I-49/Bella Vista-NWA area Welcome Center.  It's inevitable there will be a new one with an Interstate...just "where", "manned/unmanned" and "how big".

Water lines are also being laid east of Gravette (which is west of the previously mentioned bridge) but I'm not sure if that's for expected development along the interchange or just for the nice houses (not as big a developments as near Bentonville, but nice homes nonetheless) being built along Hwy. 72 east of G-town.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #411 on: July 17, 2013, 12:11:30 PM »

Looks like the bridge over Hwy. 72 West between Gravette and Hiwasse is near completion.  What's fascinating about this location is that there's a "berm" that's been built by moving earth for future I-49 north of here, which also blocks the view of construction to the north (toward that future west Bella Vista interchanges Grzrd had the map of earlier).  The berm is right next to the section of the current highway which will have to be demolished to make way for I-49 once the aforementioned bridge is finished.  Once that's done and the old highway/berm are removed drivers will have a clear view right and left of the future interstate.

BTW, Grzrd, I've made an e-mail inquiry into the Arkansas Visitor's Bureau to ask about any available information for plans for a future I-49/Bella Vista-NWA area Welcome Center.  It's inevitable there will be a new one with an Interstate...just "where", "manned/unmanned" and "how big".

Water lines are also being laid east of Gravette (which is west of the previously mentioned bridge) but I'm not sure if that's for expected development along the interchange or just for the nice houses (not as big a developments as near Bentonville, but nice homes nonetheless) being built along Hwy. 72 east of G-town.

You may wish to contact AHTD. I have a friend with the Dept of Tourism who says AHTD is responsible for the Info Centers.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #412 on: July 25, 2013, 09:39:46 AM »

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/jul/25/i-540-widening-tap/ (pay, but schedule published)

Quote

TIMELINE
The Projects

Bid schedules for the first six half-cent sales tax projects are:

• Bella Vista Bypass (I-540 interchange): Late 2013

• Bella Vista Bypass (U.S. 71 to Arkansas 72): Late 2013

• Bella Vista Bypass (Benton County 34 to Missouri line): Early 2014

• Springdale Northern Bypass (I-540 to Arkansas 112): Late 2014

• I-540 Widening (Southeast 14th Street to East Central Avenue): Early 2015

• I-540 Widening (Fulbright Expressway to Sunset Avenue): Mid-2015

Source: Arkansas Highway And Transportation Department

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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #413 on: July 25, 2013, 10:03:30 AM »

^ Great find and great news! Here's a free article:

http://www.thecitywire.com/node/28743#.UfEu4b7D-M8

Quote
The first six highway construction projects funded by the “Connecting Arkansas Program” (CAP) are in Benton and Washington counties ....AHTD Spokesman Randy Ort said the six projects made the top of the list because “they were much further along in the process.” .... Those projects aren’t the end of the line for Northwest Arkansas work. A bid on work for I-540 (Highway 264 and New Hope Road) should be let in mid 2015. A bid for U.S. 412 work between Highways 67 and 141, and work for I-540 (U.S. 412 and Wagon Wheel Road) is expected to be let in mid 2017.

edit

This PowerPoint presentation from the July 24, 2013 AHTD Commission Business Meeting contains the entire CAP Schedule and here is a snip of the three Bella Vista Bypass projects (page 47/61 of pdf):

« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 03:14:01 PM by Grzrd »
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #414 on: July 25, 2013, 07:19:45 PM »

Thanks, Grzrd.  If I'm reading this correctly, does this snip graphic you placed above mean they're working to have the BV bypass complete at year 2016's end on the Arkansas side?  (That seems reasonable...granted, Missouri has to have their section complete).
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #415 on: July 25, 2013, 09:24:35 PM »

does this snip graphic you placed above mean they're working to have the BV bypass complete at year 2016's end on the Arkansas side?  (That seems reasonable...granted, Missouri has to have their section complete).

I don't see the BVB mentioned elsewhere on the Schedule, which leads me to believe that they intend to have grading and paving completed by the end of 2016.  If Missouri stays on schedule and lets their five-mile section in Fall 2014, then they would have two full construction seasons to finish their section by the end of 2016.  I agree that such a schedule seems reasonable.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #416 on: August 01, 2013, 10:55:59 PM »

right now it's estimated that Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith has a combined metro population, right now, of 784,000 people .... In addition, in 30 years Northwest Arkansas alone is predicted (without Fort Smith) to have 1,000,000 people.
(above quote from Texarkana (Future I-49, I-69 Spur) thread)
The November 2007 Design Reassessment ... (page 4/16 of pdf) ....
By the time 2006 rolled around, the 0.75 mile length from AR 279 to AR 72 East was deemed too close for two interchanges and the decision was made to choose either AR 279 or AR 72 East as an interchange location ... The AR 72 East location was chosen because of the higher traffic volumes.

However, the frontage road was incuded in the design to shorten the travel time between AR 279 and AR 72 East.  Also, in anticipation of possible great increases in traffic volumes, the AR 72 East interchange and the frontage road have been designed so that an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange, with the frontage road being incorporated into a system of collector/ distributor roads, can be built.

I wonder whether the explosive growth in the area has exceeded expectations and AHTD may see a need to upgrade to an AR 279/ AR 72 East "split" interchange sooner rather than later, perhaps as part of the project to upgrade the BVB from two lanes to four lanes?
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #417 on: August 04, 2013, 08:44:33 AM »

From yesterday's Joplin (MO) Globe:

Quote

“The design of the highway is complete,” he said. “The acquisition of property is complete. All we have been waiting on is the funding. It is basically ready to go.’’

Rob Smith, communications and policy specialist for the Northwest Arkansas Council, which supported the Connecting Arkansas Program, said, “The importance of the Bella Vista bypass project and the other two major highway projects in Northwest Arkansas that will occur because voters approved Issue No. 1 cannot be overstated.

“Research commissioned by the NAC and conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute last year showed our two-county area of Northwest Arkansas loses $103 million annually due to traffic congestion,’’ he said in an email statement. “The researchers told us major projects, such as the Bella Vista bypass, will help reduce that figure.”

The council is a private, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1990 to work on issues, such as infrastructure, education, economic development and community vitality. The council has about 100 members.

Said Smith: “For Northwest Arkansas and for Southwest Missouri, there’s no highway project more important than the Bella Vista bypass.’’

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1664877140/Arkansas-to-seek-bids-for-initial-two-lanes-of-Bella-Vista-bypass/?state=taberU


So I guess it's official.  :nod:
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #418 on: August 04, 2013, 11:07:14 AM »

FY 2013 TIGER Grants
DOT is authorized to award $473.847 million in TIGER Discretionary Grants pursuant to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Pub. L. 113-6, March 26, 2013).  This appropriation is similar, but not identical to the appropriation for the “TIGER” program authorized and implemented pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”). Because of the similarity in program structure, DOT will continue to refer to the program as ‘‘TIGER Discretionary Grants.’’ As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2013 TIGER program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.

It looks to me that the Bella Vista Bypass would qualify for the other 2 lanes from Tiger 2013. I wonder if the AHTD put in an application.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #419 on: August 04, 2013, 02:09:04 PM »

Good question, Gordon.

I also wonder if, despite it seeming all-but-quixotic and certainly non-considerable right now, the stretch of highway between Fort Smith and Texarkana will in a few years, quicker than we think, itself be called "the most important project in southwest Arkansas".  Or maybe Arkansas proper.



I'm reminded, for anyone who remembers it, of when the Larry Johnson/Stacy Augmon-led undefeated UNLV basketball team (fresh off a national championship season, going undefeated until a loss to Christian Laettner/Bobby Hurley-led Duke in the NCAA semis, with all five UNLV players making "all-American" and being called "the greatest team to never win a national championship") came to Arkansas (which itself only had one loss and had perhaps its most heralded recruiting class to date playing as seniors, who set the table for back-to-back national championship games a few years later, winning one of them).  At the time, UNLV was #1 in the polls, Arkansas #2.

Larry Johnson couldn't get into SMU academically in his hometown of Dallas, but he was smart enough in a pre-Arkansas game interview, when told that someone (Dick Vitale?) had predicted UNLV to lose, to respond: "Hey, he's pretty good.  He's usually right."  In reality, Dick Vitale, in the UNLV/UA pregame, said "The UNLV players are sky-high about this game".  And they were, blowing out Arkansas on the latter's home court.

Promise not to use this Texas DOT map above (reprinted on video recently by KTBS-TV Channel 3/Shreveport) again, but the fact that the Texas DOT did this map, and that key to it is I-49/Arkansas, tells me that secretly, behind the scenes, there are some important people sky-high about a prospect of a completed I-49.  And again, given the fact that the possible chief I-49(/I-69) beneficiary Houston is now America's #1 goods port also tells me that some of these sky-high players may have some very deep pockets.  Don't get me wrong, they won't spend their own money to build an interstate through the Ouachitas.  But they can make a LOT of noise about it.  And sometimes that's all it takes.

This will get interesting in the Natural State.  Many of us expecting otherwise may even live to see it...

(EDIT: hadn't ever looked it up, but Wiki says stats show the ports of South Louisiana and Houston were ranked #1 and 2, with the NYC/NJ port #3.  Beaumont is #4!  Meanwhile, Duluth/Superior (#18 in the US) Port's website says this port is the #1 volume port on the Great lakes, #2 in dry bulk in the U.S. (though I'm guessing much of that is grain which wouldn't head down the I-49 corridor).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_American_ports#United_States

This tells us so much of we need to know about I-49/I-69.)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 03:06:19 PM by O Tamandua »
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Brandon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #420 on: August 05, 2013, 04:03:42 PM »

^^ Here's the Wiki listed by US port volume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ports_in_the_United_States
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #421 on: August 05, 2013, 06:32:02 PM »

^^ Here's the Wiki listed by US port volume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ports_in_the_United_States

Thanks, Brandon.

Amazing: The "Winnie-Minnie-New-Hou" corridor is going to link the Central US/Central Canada (and beyond) to 7 of the top 10 ports in America, 8 if you count the access to nearby Mobile for people coming from the north/northwest.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #422 on: August 07, 2013, 01:55:53 PM »

http://bvwv.nwaonline.com/news/2013/aug/07/interchange-first-list-20130807/

The link above is pay, so I'll type in part of the story, by Cassi Lapp:

Interchange first on list
Bids to be let by end of year for first of three projects

Quote

Construction of the bypass around Hiwasse began March 2011 and connects a portion of Arkansas Highway 72 back on itself, creating a bypass of the Hiwasse area of Gravette.  Two interchanges are being constructed, on the southeast and northwest sides of Hiwasse. The interchanges and roadway connecting the two is epxected to be completed next spring.

The price of that project is $19.8 million, (Danny) Straessle (of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department) said.

The second project already in the works is an interchange at Rocky Del (sic) Hollow Road, west of the Highlands in Bella Vista.

Construction on the interchange and the road to connect to the Arkansas 72 interchange began in the summer of 2012.  Straessle said the project should wrap up late in the summer of 2014.  This will create a continuous two-lane state highway from Hiwasse nearing the Missouri state line.


and;

Quote

A third project will also go to bid early next year to complete the highway from Rocky Del (sic) Hollow Road to the state line.

"The Bella Vista Bypass project has been ready to go for some time; we just needed the money.  Overpasses at interchanges are being built to full interchanges, they just won't have southbound lanes," Straessle said.

There is a plan for a future four-land highway to become I-49 running from Louisiana to Canada.  But the money isn't there yet, Straessle said, and the completion date for that is an unknown at this time.

"Ideas are being kicked around.  One is a toll study, but that is in its infancy," he said.  A toll-road study was completed once before, he added, but at the time was not feasible to support the bypass.

"We're taking a look at that again," he said.


Takeaways?

1.  I still say the state of Arkansas runs the risk of looking foolish for not having thought to build I-49 between Greenwood and Texarkana.  Our second largest risk of looking foolish is going to be having the BV bypass two lane, during the time it is two-lane.

2.  According to this article, Mr. Straessle is predicting the aforementioned Rocky Dell Hollow interchange (west Bella Vista) to the east Highway 72 interchange will be fully complete, in two-lane form, next summer, which means,

3.  The Rocky Dell Hollow-to-Missouri line section and (the BIG one, IMO) the east Highway 72 interchange-to-I-540's-current-end section will be the two areas which take from 2014 (or this year, if they're started*) to 2016 per Grzrd's schedule posted earlier.

*On another forum, a resident near the future BV bypass says she's spoken with people who are doing constant fossil / artifact digs near the Lowe's at Bentonville/Bella Vista in advance of future I-49 coming through there in a couple of years.

Sorry for the long post.  :pan:
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #423 on: August 07, 2013, 02:08:30 PM »



Heh, went looking for "Rocky Dell Hollow Road" to make sure I was spelling it right, and found this, one of many listings for the same property - a weird thing I see happening is that subdivisions are being built along the sides of this future interstate elsewhere in the BV area, not just here:

Quote
Beautiful serene property on the west side of one of the proposed Bella Vista bypass interchanges. Mostly pasture (about 30% wooded). Close to the Bella Vista gun range. Public water at the site. Owner is willing to subdivide.,There is also additional acreage available on the east side of the planned interchange. Cattle on property. Okay to drive by property to see, but do not enter property. Call listing agent to arrange for access to property.

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #424 on: August 07, 2013, 08:24:47 PM »

Any estimates on how much a upgrade from super two to four lanes would cost?
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