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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 720654 times)

sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2400 on: June 18, 2019, 12:39:37 AM »

Should just convert that new stretch of I-49 between US-71 and AK-255 into a local road, then route I-49 up the existing I-540. That $700 million could go to completing long rural stretches of I-49 instead, which are far more of a priority.

The new I-49 stretch would just become another one of those highways - built intended for an interstate, then re-routed instead and only serves local traffic.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2401 on: June 18, 2019, 03:35:22 PM »

On the bright side, the temporary Super 2 configuration will at least secure the right of way and prevent jackass developers from putting new buildings in the way.

That part of Arkansas won't have issues with development encroaching for quite some time, but, yes, it'll be good to get ROW acquisition nailed ASAP.
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2402 on: June 18, 2019, 04:53:44 PM »

Has anyone seen any paving going on the north bound lanes of HWY 549, Bella Vista Bypass? I saw an article that the bridges were about finished.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2403 on: June 18, 2019, 04:59:03 PM »

On the bright side, the temporary Super 2 configuration will at least secure the right of way and prevent jackass developers from putting new buildings in the way.

That part of Arkansas won't have issues with development encroaching for quite some time, but, yes, it'll be good to get ROW acquisition nailed ASAP.

Since it looks like much of the alignment from US 270 north to Greenwood will essentially follow the current facility, securing (ostensibly) a ROW accommodating 2+2, even though only initially constructing 2 of the 4, and maintaining limited access like any other Super-2, would go a long way (that's a big chunk of mileage!) toward getting I-49 built at all (baby steps!).  And -- IMO, if the Super-2 sits more or less atop the old US 71, it would be most appropriate just to retain the US 71 signage for the time being (avoiding the temptation to call it another "549" section) until such time as funding allows the 2nd carriageway to be constructed.  All in all, not a bad plan, considering the overall funding situation.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2404 on: June 18, 2019, 06:30:35 PM »

Has anyone seen any paving going on the north bound lanes of HWY 549, Bella Vista Bypass? I saw an article that the bridges were about finished.

No paving yet, but lots of dirt work done and all but a couple of bridge decks about ready to go in the middle section.  The ends don't have any progress as of a month ago when I was there last and that's where lots of work remains to tie into existing I-49 and start progressing north of Rocky Dell Hollow Rd.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2405 on: June 18, 2019, 06:46:02 PM »

Should just convert that new stretch of I-49 between US-71 and AK-255 into a local road, then route I-49 up the existing I-540. That $700 million could go to completing long rural stretches of I-49 instead, which are far more of a priority.

The new I-49 stretch would just become another one of those highways - built intended for an interstate, then re-routed instead and only serves local traffic.

I-540 would not be a very good replacement for any stretch of I-49 as it is already heavily loaded with traffic and adds almost 10 miles of distance through the heart of Ft. Smith with lots of exits.  That was one of the scenarios studied before coming up with the new alignment alternative after rejecting I-540 for those very reasons.

AR-549 currently has a northern termination at AR-22.  We have issues even building 200+ miles of freeway, but I'd love to be able to take an epic interstate journey to Alaska-255!  It'd be heavily traveled even for those destined to Idaho/Washington since there isn't much in the way of NW-SE diagonal Interstates.  Now I've dove off into fictional though.
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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2406 on: June 18, 2019, 06:48:02 PM »

Should just convert that new stretch of I-49 between US-71 and AK-255 into a local road, then route I-49 up the existing I-540.

No, a hundred times NO! 540 is bad enough. Put that much through traffic on it and it will become a nightmare.  There isn't nearly enough room to widen it. Besides there is no practical way to connect it with 49 going south. You would spend a hefty chunk of that $700 million just getting it all put together as you are suggesting.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2407 on: June 18, 2019, 10:24:32 PM »

On the bright side, the temporary Super 2 configuration will at least secure the right of way and prevent jackass developers from putting new buildings in the way.

That part of Arkansas won't have issues with development encroaching for quite some time, but, yes, it'll be good to get ROW acquisition nailed ASAP.

Since it looks like much of the alignment from US 270 north to Greenwood will essentially follow the current facility, securing (ostensibly) a ROW accommodating 2+2, even though only initially constructing 2 of the 4, and maintaining limited access like any other Super-2, would go a long way (that's a big chunk of mileage!) toward getting I-49 built at all (baby steps!).  And -- IMO, if the Super-2 sits more or less atop the old US 71, it would be most appropriate just to retain the US 71 signage for the time being (avoiding the temptation to call it another "549" section) until such time as funding allows the 2nd carriageway to be constructed.  All in all, not a bad plan, considering the overall funding situation.

None of I-49 between Ft. Smith and Y City, which is the first section in the PDF to potentially receive funding for a Super-2 is concurrent with the current US-71 alignment.  Terrain between Y City and Acorn to the south will dictate having to be concurrent to make the S-curve around the 2 big mountains there for a few miles, but other than that, it's all new alignment throughout.  For the most part, other than slicing to the east of Mansfield, the highlighted Super-2 section is all to the west of US-71.
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roadman65

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2408 on: June 18, 2019, 10:38:06 PM »

I was on the I-49 completed section from US 71 to I-220 in La, I noticed at the north temporarily ending of the road a house sits across from the end of the ramp on the west side of both US 59 & 71.  Is that house going to be demolished?  Or is the alignment planned to miss it and once done, the house will be inside the interchange?
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2409 on: June 19, 2019, 12:50:24 AM »

On the bright side, the temporary Super 2 configuration will at least secure the right of way and prevent jackass developers from putting new buildings in the way.

That part of Arkansas won't have issues with development encroaching for quite some time, but, yes, it'll be good to get ROW acquisition nailed ASAP.

Since it looks like much of the alignment from US 270 north to Greenwood will essentially follow the current facility, securing (ostensibly) a ROW accommodating 2+2, even though only initially constructing 2 of the 4, and maintaining limited access like any other Super-2, would go a long way (that's a big chunk of mileage!) toward getting I-49 built at all (baby steps!).  And -- IMO, if the Super-2 sits more or less atop the old US 71, it would be most appropriate just to retain the US 71 signage for the time being (avoiding the temptation to call it another "549" section) until such time as funding allows the 2nd carriageway to be constructed.  All in all, not a bad plan, considering the overall funding situation.

None of I-49 between Ft. Smith and Y City, which is the first section in the PDF to potentially receive funding for a Super-2 is concurrent with the current US-71 alignment.  Terrain between Y City and Acorn to the south will dictate having to be concurrent to make the S-curve around the 2 big mountains there for a few miles, but other than that, it's all new alignment throughout.  For the most part, other than slicing to the east of Mansfield, the highlighted Super-2 section is all to the west of US-71.

Oops -- saw the blue dots on the map connected together with a thin line; looked like a proposed route atop an existing one (should have checked w/atlas -- would have seen the east Mansfield "cutoff").   That's what happens when your eyes get old!  So it's mostly new alignment; the segment using extant US 71 is a bit south and not addressed by this round of funding.  I'd still prefer that the new alignment simply use a shifted US 71 rather than the AR 549 designation, although the latter will likely prevail, partially because of the fact that it'll be several miles away from existing 71 in the Mansfield area, and partially because that's what ADOT did with the segment south of Texarkana until the portion of I-49 around the east side of that city was completed -- and it was a segment closely paralleling US 71. 
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2410 on: June 19, 2019, 10:40:02 PM »





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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2411 on: June 20, 2019, 04:50:27 PM »

That's a lot of unfunded portions of the Four-Lane Grid System. Where is all the money going to come from to construct those unfunded corridors?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2412 on: June 21, 2019, 04:19:15 AM »

I'm not sure why the term "high-priority corridor" is used so widely (especially in unbuilt areas where I-49, I-57, and I-69 will go) there, yet the $$$$$ coming to them isn't exactly a high priority.  I guess the idea/need is the "high" part.   :-/ ;-)
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GreenLanternCorps

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2413 on: June 21, 2019, 07:30:06 AM »

Has anyone seen any paving going on the north bound lanes of HWY 549, Bella Vista Bypass? I saw an article that the bridges were about finished.

No paving yet, but lots of dirt work done and all but a couple of bridge decks about ready to go in the middle section.  The ends don't have any progress as of a month ago when I was there last and that's where lots of work remains to tie into existing I-49 and start progressing north of Rocky Dell Hollow Rd.

I think the that the work on the connection to Missouri will probably not start until Missouri breaks ground early next year.  My uneducated guess is that the two states would coordinate their work on that stretch, because it is really a single section of roadway.
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2414 on: June 21, 2019, 12:20:45 PM »

The two remaining jobs for Arkansas, county road 34 to Missouri state line and Hwy. 71 interchange Connection to I49 are on the bid list for July 24th this year. Missouri has their part scheduled for spring of 2020. So Arkansas will start those 2 jobs sometime this fall.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2415 on: June 21, 2019, 09:57:23 PM »

I'm not sure why the term "high-priority corridor" is used so widely (especially in unbuilt areas where I-49, I-57, and I-69 will go) there, yet the $$$$$ coming to them isn't exactly a high priority.  I guess the idea/need is the "high" part.   :-/ ;-)

High Priority Corridors are a very specific "thing" in the world of road transportation and the funding thereof.  They are Congressionally legislated, and placed in the U.S. Code as corridors of interest (often to specific representatives) and generally eligible for the maximum 80% Federal funding.  However, unlike the original chargeable Interstate mileage, there are no guaranteed funds attached; the list of corridors, now numbering 90, functions more as a "wish list" for future road projects.  Many of these have actually reached fruition; I-49 is on the books with two separate corridor listings: #1 and #72 (the southern LA section from NO to Lafayette is separately listed as #37 and #74).  With directed legislation written into the corridor description, they may, at authors' option, be designated as future Interstates -- with some, actual route numbers are attached as well.  For instance, the corridor that's the subject of this thread was originally outlined as "Corridor #1" (yes, the first to be listed); but the Interstate designation wasn't added until 2005, when the I-49 designation was appended to the Corridor #72 description (the corridors fully overlapped; the purpose of the latter was specifically to add the I-49 designation to the mix).  This also happened with I-22; while the original corridor, #10, had largely been built in MS and AL, it wasn't until 2004, when another overlapping corridor, #45, was added to the list -- and its language contained the I-22 designation.  That is an example of a HPC that actually reached full fruition, although it took over a decade before it was fully signed due to some substandard segments in MS and the lack of an eastern outlet (to I-65) north of Birmingham.  But most of the corridors reflect local or state projects and don't necessarily entail a new Interstate facility.  And there are designated future Interstates, like along HPC #54 in California, where no number has been attached, so a number would have to be finalized at a later time (likely when actual upgrade or building projects are let).  Some corridors address transit only (usually in urban areas); some are statewide "clusters" of routes (WI, MO, and GA feature these; it's a way to funnel what Federal funding becomes available into specific state arterials).

Nevertheless, it's clear the real purpose of the HPC's in general is to do an "end run" around Congressional rules prohibiting "earmarks" by individual representatives intending to direct funding to their districts and/or pet projects.  By placing these prospective projects in a single Federal "hopper", the representatives can claim to have "brought home the bacon" to their constituents without a shovelful of dirt being turned -- now, eventually inaction on these will catch up to them, particularly if they continue to tout the corridor as an accomplishment.  So there needs to eventually be some sort of follow-up or manifestation of the general corridor concept; this is what happened with 2015's HPC #84, a cross-Texas freeway concept with the I-14 designation attached.  Since a 25-mile portion of the corridor near Fort Hood, TX was already built to Interstate standards (and signed as US 190, which hosted much of the proposed corridor) -- and connected to I-35 at its eastern end, that section received signage in 2016 as I-14 -- sort of a "camel's nose through the tent door" approach -- implying that "we've got some of it done, so let's just go ahead and do the rest".  At this point, only time will tell whether that strategy will pay off.   But the Congressional folks see I-49, I-22, and the completed sections of I-69, I-73, and I-41 (among others) and are reassured that the methodology works -- so if local backers and their Congressional representatives are in agreement about a corridor, establishing a HPC with an Interstate designation attached has been the recent default method of Interstate expansion, for better or worse.   :-/
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2416 on: June 21, 2019, 11:19:08 PM »

Just to tell you how some states view high priority road planning, here is the latest map.

Which states do you think abuse the "high priority" designation?

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sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2417 on: June 21, 2019, 11:41:34 PM »

Which states do you think abuse the "high priority" designation?
Georgia. Just Georgia. Maybe Missouri, but Georgia. Definitely Georgia. No questions asked.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/high_priority_corridors/hiprimap_lg.jpg
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2418 on: June 22, 2019, 01:13:57 AM »

Which states do you think abuse the "high priority" designation?
Georgia. Just Georgia. Maybe Missouri, but Georgia. Definitely Georgia. No questions asked.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/high_priority_corridors/hiprimap_lg.jpg

Georgia representatives essentially did what GADOT asked them to do:  encompass the entire GRIP system in one corridor definition (HPC #62).  Since that system functions as their "superhighway" connectivity system, it means that there's 80% federal contribution to that system -- which is how they got the Fall Line to its present status, as well as other projects on the very extensive state network.  They gamed the system and have been doing so since 2005's SAFETEA-LU act.  Sneaky but ultimately effective! :eyebrow:
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roadman65

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2419 on: June 22, 2019, 11:22:03 AM »

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102746766/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102860212/in/photostream/

Some photos of I-49 I just took a few weeks ago.  I am surprised that Houston is a control city for I-49 South at I-30.  Even though Loop 151 links to US 59 which goes there, still seems a little odd.

Also Four State Fair is an unusual name for a road, but I assume there is ane event that takes place in Texarkana each year that is got the name four states for LA, AR, TX, and probably OK is the fourth state that is knock off state fair for all four states.

Correction:  I checked it out with Google and I am correct.  Its like the County Fair for Miller but under a more grandeur name, but its fairgrounds are located along the road that bears its name between both I-49 and I-30 and even has a rodeo when it takes place.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 12:00:30 PM by roadman65 »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2420 on: June 22, 2019, 03:05:50 PM »

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102746766/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102860212/in/photostream/

Some photos of I-49 I just took a few weeks ago.  I am surprised that Houston is a control city for I-49 South at I-30.  Even though Loop 151 links to US 59 which goes there, still seems a little odd.

Also Four State Fair is an unusual name for a road, but I assume there is ane event that takes place in Texarkana each year that is got the name four states for LA, AR, TX, and probably OK is the fourth state that is knock off state fair for all four states.

Correction:  I checked it out with Google and I am correct.  Its like the County Fair for Miller but under a more grandeur name, but its fairgrounds are located along the road that bears its name between both I-49 and I-30 and even has a rodeo when it takes place.

They could have made the Four States Fair BGS just a little wider so the street name isn't chopped up on the sign like that.  Oh well, at least there is a sign.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2421 on: June 22, 2019, 04:23:40 PM »

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102746766/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/48102860212/in/photostream/

Some photos of I-49 I just took a few weeks ago.  I am surprised that Houston is a control city for I-49 South at I-30.  Even though Loop 151 links to US 59 which goes there, still seems a little odd.

Also Four State Fair is an unusual name for a road, but I assume there is ane event that takes place in Texarkana each year that is got the name four states for LA, AR, TX, and probably OK is the fourth state that is knock off state fair for all four states.

Correction:  I checked it out with Google and I am correct.  Its like the County Fair for Miller but under a more grandeur name, but its fairgrounds are located along the road that bears its name between both I-49 and I-30 and even has a rodeo when it takes place.

From the pictures, it looks like neither the N-S section of US 59/I-369 nor Loop 151 have Interstate-standard inner shoulders; that would likely have to be corrected if and when either of those segments are fully incorporated into the Interstate system.   I for one am surprised that FHWA allowed signage for I-369 given this discrepancy -- might give credence to the notion that this I-369 segment is simply a "placeholder" for a different eventual alignment.
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2422 on: June 22, 2019, 07:32:08 PM »

Which states do you think abuse the "high priority" designation?
Georgia. Just Georgia. Maybe Missouri, but Georgia. Definitely Georgia. No questions asked.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/high_priority_corridors/hiprimap_lg.jpg

Georgia representatives essentially did what GADOT asked them to do:  encompass the entire GRIP system in one corridor definition (HPC #62).  Since that system functions as their "superhighway" connectivity system, it means that there's 80% federal contribution to that system -- which is how they got the Fall Line to its present status, as well as other projects on the very extensive state network.  They gamed the system and have been doing so since 2005's SAFETEA-LU act.  Sneaky but ultimately effective! :eyebrow:

On the flip side, only 2 states don't have a high priority designation within their boundaries.

Illinois and Hawaii.

The other oddity is the high priority route #3, which I assume is I-66. I will comment in another forum on that, but that is the only one that really sweeps across the country.
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roadman65

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2423 on: June 23, 2019, 12:03:10 PM »

I thought the section north of US 67 is all new and built with the intention of being full interstate?  I know south of US 67 all the way around was AR SH 549 and was not at the time it was constructed fully realized that an interstate(s) would some day come through the area.

Yes that sign is a little too much as it makes it harder to comprehend at high speeds or even the numeral 4 could have been used instead of spelling it out.

I do not know why I-349 is even signed for other reasons.  From what I saw the ramps leading to it have no shields.  Only on the highway itself and probably I-30 as I did not travel that road into its directional interchange at all.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2424 on: June 27, 2019, 11:43:36 AM »


Kentucky sign gantry in Arkansas.  I know there are a few of them outside of the Bluegrass State, but to me I find them most intriguing.
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