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Author Topic: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway  (Read 5018 times)

BridgesToIdealism

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AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« on: June 29, 2021, 07:33:57 PM »

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but what the heck is the purpose of these two stub freeways off of I-49 near Fayetteville, AR? I can't find any recent discussion on the matter, and to me these two stubs look rather pointless... like just a glorified exit ramp to a local street or boulevard that for some reason ArDOT decided to put a name/number with. Why? Are there longer term (or former cancelled) plans for these two spurs? I can't locate any other stubs in different locations that look like they were intended/are planned to connect with these stubs.
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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2021, 07:48:47 PM »

I'm assuming the two stubs of the Fulbright and the freeway in between was the original bypass US 71? I might be wrong, though.
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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2021, 08:10:47 PM »

AR 612 is future US 412 Springdale bypass and Fullbright IIRC was an old alignment of US 71 back in the 1980s. The current I 49 corridor in Northwest Arkansas was built originally as a new alignment for US 71.

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I-55

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2021, 09:42:47 PM »

Original AR-612 Thread
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=21769.0

Proposed Interstate Upgrade Thread:
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=29375.0

These links should help you understand the situation regarding AR-612. The reason 612 exists as a stub is because Arkansas often builds highways in pieces when funding becomes available (see Monticello Bypass, AR-530, AR-549 to name a few).
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MikieTimT

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2021, 05:48:46 PM »

Arkansas is a pave as there's money state as, in general, we haven't done bond issues except as voted on by ballot initiative.  As such, highway development has historically been done piecemeal, with bypasses in populated areas coming first, then connected up later on to new terrain segments.  The Fulbright Expressway stubs you see are the vestiges of the US-71 Bypass that went around Fayetteville before there was an I-49 or I-540 prior to that north of I-40.  I-49/I-540 took over the middle section of the bypass when it was constructed, leaving the connectors back to US-71B in Fayetteville.  The northern one is responsible for the unwieldy U-turn of I-49 before it turns north up the hill.  AR-612 is the middle section of the Springdale Northern US-412 Bypass, which will ultimately have 2 more segments constructed leading back to US-412 west of Tontitown where the divided highway currently ends, and over east of Sonoma almost to the White River crossing where that divided highway currently ends.  AR-612 will be a placeholder designation (likely just revert to US-412 when completed, leaving the current US-412 through Tontitown, Springdale, and Sonoma as a US-412B) like the AR-5* numbers are for future Interstate segments.  However, AR-612/US-412 to the Arkansas/Oklahoma border is planned for an eventual Interstate upgrade as well as everything west all the way to I-35 in Oklahoma, if funding can ever be found.  Not likely to happen for a while as there will have to be another bypass constructed around Siloam Springs, although most of the rest of the US-412 corridor between I-35 and I-49 can be upgraded to Interstate specs fairly easily with overpasses/access roads.
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capt.ron

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2021, 12:47:26 PM »

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but what the heck is the purpose of these two stub freeways off of I-49 near Fayetteville, AR? I can't find any recent discussion on the matter, and to me these two stubs look rather pointless... like just a glorified exit ramp to a local street or boulevard that for some reason ArDOT decided to put a name/number with. Why? Are there longer term (or former cancelled) plans for these two spurs? I can't locate any other stubs in different locations that look like they were intended/are planned to connect with these stubs.
The Fullbright Expressway (both ends) were at one time US 71 when 71 was a 2 lane road south of Fayettville, and what's interesting is that what became the Fullbright Expressway started out as a 2 lane "bypass" in the early 1970's and then upgraded to a 4 lane facility in the early 1980's. The north end of the bypass tied in to the existing US 71 alignment. Once the freeway (later became US 71, then I-540, and finally I-49) north of the north stub opened up in the 1990's, more of the old alignment became US-71B. And of course, a lot of 71B got decommissioned recently.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2021, 01:21:06 PM by capt.ron »
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US71

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2021, 01:04:32 PM »

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but what the heck is the purpose of these two stub freeways off of I-49 near Fayetteville, AR? I can't find any recent discussion on the matter, and to me these two stubs look rather pointless... like just a glorified exit ramp to a local street or boulevard that for some reason ArDOT decided to put a name/number with. Why? Are there longer term (or former cancelled) plans for these two spurs? I can't locate any other stubs in different locations that look like they were intended/are planned to connect with these stubs.
The Fullbright Expressway (both ends) were at one time US 71 when 71 was a 2 lane road south of Fayettville, and what's interesting is that what became the Fullbright Expressway started out as a 2 lane "bypass" in the late 1970's and then upgraded to a 4 lane facility in the early 1980's. The north end of the bypass tied in to the existing US 71 alignment. Once the freeway (later became US 71, then I-540, and finally I-49) north of the north stub opened up in the 1990's, more of the old alignment became US-71B. And of course, a lot of 71B got decommissioned recently.

Old 71 was supposed to be re-signed as AR 471 when the freeway opened (circa 1980), but the locals pitched a fit thinking they would lose business from people not knowing 471 was old 71 so AHTD (now ARDOT) changed it to 71B.  Of course, 71B in NWA now only exists from the north end of the 71 Bypass to Rainbow Curve in Bentonville.  In the next couple years , it will disappear in Fort Smith.
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dafisker

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2023, 02:54:49 PM »

I've seen proposals recently by the city of Fayetteville to downgrade Fullbright to have at least one intersection and stoplight (in front of Target).  This seems like a terrible waste of already having an expressway with exits through a busy part of a growing city.  Instead, I would love to see plans to extend Fullbright to 412 in both directions meeting up with the northern 412 bypass/612 to form a loop around the metro.  I've heard a southern bypass was debated decades ago but I don't know the issues.
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Bobby5280

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2023, 10:11:39 PM »

A traffic signal in front of a Target store wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing as long as enough ROW was preserved to be able to upgrade the intersection to a freeway exit at a later date. The traffic signal could be an interim solution to save money.

But it would be unforgivably stupid if they built an intersection and let businesses build right up on top of the highway -driveways and all sorts of other trash included. That would cancel out the entire point of building a bypass in the first place.
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MikieTimT

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Re: AR 612 & Fulbright Expressway
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2023, 11:41:50 AM »

Fayetteville needs to stay out of traffic engineering business and keep focusing on the "pretty" things they do best.  It would only benefit eastbound traffic as westbound already has an exit onto Shiloh not a half mile up from there at the end of the fairly new flyover.  What's the point of going to the expense of the flyover for westbound if traffic gets backed up onto it because of a stupid light there?  It makes infinitely more sense to just put an overpass from Futrall to Shiloh between the end of Steele Blvd. and get rid of the goofy traffic circle without any additional exit either direction as there are already exits both directions within a half mile anyway.  Downgrading this facility is as moronic an idea as they come.
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