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Author Topic: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?  (Read 11236 times)

O Tamandua

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Please forgive, but I couldn't find this in the "search" box.  With Northwest Arkansas about to hit the 500,000 population mark this summer, it's astounding that the regional airport, XNA, is still served only by two-lane roads.  (By comparison, other metro areas (thinking of fellow SEC area Lexington, KY and its "Bluegrass field"(?), which will be slightly less populated than NWA) have airports served by not one but two four-lane highways.)

I thought there was a four lane road being built from Springdale to XNA.  Are there any updates on that?  When that happens, and if XNA finally gets a low-cost carrier such as they are in negotations with (might as well say it, and when at least the Bella Vista bypass is completed on future I-49), look out.  Northwest Arkansas hasn't seen any growth yet.
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bjrush

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 05:08:19 PM »

Utility relocates are currently underway for widening Highway 12 between US 71B and Shell Rd toward the airport. It will be widened to 5 lanes following utility relocates. The section around the Highway 112 intersection already is 5 lanes

Long term I believe a new connector will be a city project.

I don't see a low cost carrier coming to XNA for a long time. The likely candidates already serve nearby airports (like Tulsa)
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O Tamandua

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 11:53:24 PM »

Utility relocates are currently underway for widening Highway 12 between US 71B and Shell Rd toward the airport. It will be widened to 5 lanes following utility relocates. The section around the Highway 112 intersection already is 5 lanes

Long term I believe a new connector will be a city project.

I don't see a low cost carrier coming to XNA for a long time. The likely candidates already serve nearby airports (like Tulsa)

Thanks, bjrush.

Southwest pulled out of Branson a month or two back.  Pity.  There was an article two weeks ago in The City Wire on this subject of XNA and low cost carriers.  Maybe nothing will come of it right now.  In future...we'll have to see.
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bugo

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 01:55:35 AM »

A private road is being built from the future US 412 Springdale bypass to the airport.
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Gordon

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 10:11:38 AM »

 The AHTD site shows this job on there STIP, and connecting to the future US 412 Springdale bypass, maybe we can get AHTD to comment on when they see this starting. 090069   Benton   Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Access (F)   NEW   2013   New Location
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cjk374

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 01:25:23 PM »

Is this gonna be another AR 980 airport road?
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bjrush

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 02:45:15 PM »

Also I should note the Highway 12 widening began design in like 2006. The city even gave AHTD $1 million to accelerate the project at one point, but then Don Tyson Pkwy supporters screamed even louder, and Hwy. 12 was put on the back burner.

In other words, it was designed way before AHTD cared about access management. Just so no one is surprised when it is a 5-lane "Arkansas freeway" facility
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Woo Pig Sooie

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 01:40:03 AM »

In other words, it was designed way before AHTD cared about access management. Just so no one is surprised when it is a 5-lane "Arkansas freeway" facility

Off topic, but bjrush, do you know about the US 62 expansion between Rogers and Gateway?  I've read differing things about that.  I've seen it's going to be a 5 lane... but also that it will be 2 lanes each direction with a painted center median.  Do you know anything about that?
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O Tamandua

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 01:46:30 PM »

Looked up a Southwest Airlines online route map.  It's outdated (given that Branson is no longer served) but Branson aside, it's amazing how many of those metro areas are the same size or smaller than Northwest Arkansas (500,000) or Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith (NWA's all-but-conjoined sibling, around 800,000 people combined).

I don't have a dog in this hunt, and if XNA never gets a low cost airline, it doesn't.  But it's still amazing to me how much transportation infrastructure and accessibility has to grow here (the good news: it is growing, slowly) for a metro area of a half million people.   Typical boomtown problems, I'm guessing.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 01:49:20 PM by O Tamandua »
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bjrush

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 03:52:45 PM »

I have no info on US 62 in that area. Sorry

Maybe we can ask AHTD. I have also been wondering how the new US 412 east of Springdale has been progressing. I think that project has been under construction for decades, but every time I get out there it looks done and no one is working
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Woo Pig Sooie

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 01:19:16 AM »

I have no info on US 62 in that area. Sorry

Maybe we can ask AHTD. I have also been wondering how the new US 412 east of Springdale has been progressing. I think that project has been under construction for decades, but every time I get out there it looks done and no one is working

Thanks for the reply!  I just think construction on projects can be accelerated, with incentives?  I know you've mentioned ideas... I'm too tired to go back. 

Where I grew up, they could reconstruct a 10 mile side of an Interstate (in a rural area) in a summer... Meaning April to September.  I don't get why these road projects take so long!
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bjrush

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 07:57:22 AM »

I know they used A + B bidding on the Don Tyson interchange and that project is flying by

Maybe it will continue to grow in NWA. Lots of people (in the engineering community) have already been talking about what a success that project has been
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Woo Pig Sooie

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 08:31:48 AM »

There will be a Toll connector built along the US412 bypass, whenever it is completed. It will be privately owned, I believe,  and not an official part of the state highway system

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US71

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 08:34:03 AM »

 As far as low cost carriers, I have my doubts: XNA is expensive. It's almost cheaper to drive to Tulsa to fly.

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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 11:04:50 PM »

Looked up a Southwest Airlines online route map.  It's outdated (given that Branson is no longer served) but Branson aside, it's amazing how many of those metro areas are the same size or smaller than Northwest Arkansas (500,000) or Northwest Arkansas/Fort Smith (NWA's all-but-conjoined sibling, around 800,000 people combined).

I don't have a dog in this hunt, and if XNA never gets a low cost airline, it doesn't.  But it's still amazing to me how much transportation infrastructure and accessibility has to grow here (the good news: it is growing, slowly) for a metro area of a half million people.   Typical boomtown problems, I'm guessing.

Southwest will still fly till June from Branson.

Southwest is fighting with Virgin for two more gates at Love, I know that Memphis is slated to get a daily nonstop if Southwest gets them. Frontier has moved into Memphis as well. As Southwest's footing in Memphis grows and Origination and Destination numbers are increasing since it's getting cheaper with Delta virtually gone, I wonder how that will effect LR. I feel Memphis getting Southwest did Jackson MS. in. I don't see NWA getting Southwest but maybe Frontier.

The Branson Airport is a different model, it's a privately owned facility that gets a kickback from the area on folks flown in and they offer exclusive routes. When Southwest was there, it was flying to Orlando and back but only once a week. They owned that route their and no other airline could fly to Orlando from there. HAve you ever seen the Branson airport. Some folks may not like landing on a flattened hilltop

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bugo

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2014, 02:06:28 AM »

As far as low cost carriers, I have my doubts: XNA is expensive. It's almost cheaper to drive to Tulsa to fly.

Did you know you can use Pikepass to pay for parking at the Tulsa International Airport?
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O Tamandua

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2014, 09:43:43 AM »

Wayward Memphian, thanks.

Despite their tourist travel, I'm still thinking of a significant difference between Branson and Northwest Arkansas: Branson's area (Taney and Stone Counties) doesn't have half a million people.  They are at 100,000 folks if that.

(And if you add Springfield just above in the number jumps to around 450,000 - 480,000.  If you add Fort Smith just below NWA (closer to that metro than to Tulsa or Little Rock) the FSM/NWA number jumps above 800,000, and that's just right now...the combined Fort Smith/NWA metro is expected to be around 1,500,000 some day.)
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bugo

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2014, 11:50:07 AM »

Fort Smith and the Fayetteville area are obviously two separate metro areas.  There is a long rural stretch between the two with little development.
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O Tamandua

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2014, 05:59:25 PM »

Fort Smith and the Fayetteville area are obviously two separate metro areas.  There is a long rural stretch between the two with little development.

Indeed.  Interesting thing is that Branson was advertising in the Bentonville area when they had Southwest flights.  There is only 1 mile difference in terms of highway between Branson to Bentonville / Highfill AR (home of XNA) to Fort Smith...but obviously the routes are much different.  It's about a half hour quicker to get from Fort Smith to Highfill than it is from Bentonville to Branson.

Gut feeling: if Southwest or someone like it comes to XNA (big "if") we'll see billboards and/or business for it in Fort Smith (which shares the Nielsen DMA with Northwest Arkansas).
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2014, 10:02:43 PM »

Fort Smith and the Fayetteville area are obviously two separate metro areas.  There is a long rural stretch between the two with little development.

Indeed.  Interesting thing is that Branson was advertising in the Bentonville area when they had Southwest flights.  There is only 1 mile difference in terms of highway between Branson to Bentonville / Highfill AR (home of XNA) to Fort Smith...but obviously the routes are much different.  It's about a half hour quicker to get from Fort Smith to Highfill than it is from Bentonville to Branson.

Gut feeling: if Southwest or someone like it comes to XNA (big "if") we'll see billboards and/or business for it in Fort Smith (which shares the Nielsen DMA with Northwest Arkansas).

Branson is going to have to reinvent itself. Too many theaters and they are struggling. Fancier Indian Casinos bringing in better acts have cut them deep. SDC is going strong. Branson is going to have to go to more a younger demo with larger resorts that offer indoor and outdoor water parks like Wilderness in the Smokies. The Branson Airport(commercial not munnie) looks like a Bass Pro inside and out. Google it.

The founder of Bass Pro is buying up stuff everywhere including mulitple golf courses. He's recently landed a long term deal to host a Legends event they yearly at the first class par 3 Top of the Rock course.

Like I said they still have some Frontier flights, and the Southwest flights had shown steady increases in numbers, it was kinda out of the blue.

An interstate quality 412 would be a god send to get there. I don't care how many alternating 3 lane sections they put in between Huntsville and Alpena, it still sucks to drive it. I'm from northeast Arkansas and go home ofter, I have naughty dreams of a 4 lane, divided 412 across all of north Arkansas so I don't have to do a semi circle across the state to get there. I think I'd even might go to Memphis that way if it tied into 63 making it all interstate like. I'm still miffed over the Siloam project and wonder why they didn't have a four lane divided loop the town and tie into Okie's 4 lane divided. Seemed like a total waste of resources. I don't seem to get through Siloam any quicker , even with the strange island they installed to limit cross traffic.
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AHTD

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Re: Is there still a four-lane road planned to get to XNA airport?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2014, 09:41:53 PM »

The first leg of the Springdale northern bypass to be constructed will be funded by the half-cent sales tax approved by Arkansas voters in November 2012.

http://www.connectingarkansasprogram.com/corridors/21/highway-412-benton-county/

This will extend from I-540 to State Highway 112. HOWEVER...we will construct a usable section just past State Highway 112 to the point where the XNA access road will tie-in. Public access will end at State Highway  112, but should XNA build its access road, we'll have something for them to connect with.

All questions about the XNA access road should be directed to that authority.
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