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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 738383 times)

Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2475 on: November 16, 2019, 09:37:43 PM »

2018 AADT levels on US-71 between Fort Smith and Texarkana vary greatly depending on location. It's 28000 just South of the AR-549/US-71 junction South of Fort Smith. It drops to around 8300 close to Huntington. It dips to as little as 2800 going through the mountains between Waldron and Mena. AADT levels get back up over 10000 between Ashdown and Texarkana.
https://www.arkansashighways.com/System_Info_and_Research/traffic_info/2018_traffic.aspx

Current AADT levels along US-71 are not really enough to say "NO'' to building I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana. It's very certain a great deal of long distance traffic moving through the region chooses other Interstate or 4-lane US highway corridors rather than taking that stretch of US-71. Much of that segment of US-71 is a 2 lane route. Forests run pretty thick along many parts of the route.

I think it's pretty likely AADT levels would jump quite a lot if I-49 was completed between Fort Smith and Texarkana. An existing 2 lane road isn't going to achieve AADT levels typical of a rural Interstate highway when the Interstate isn't built there yet.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 10:08:24 PM by Bobby5280 »
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3467

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2476 on: November 16, 2019, 09:54:48 PM »

Good points. I was just curious what the current traffic was like. I read the Highway commission report and saw a lot of unfunded projects. I also saw one picture of a road with 4 lanes and a yellow strip with a center lane that looked a little narrower than the driving lanes. Is that the Arkansas design for the non interstate 4 lanes it is building?
It's an interesting design. Does it save much money over a divided?
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2477 on: November 16, 2019, 10:19:10 PM »

I'm not a big fan of those 4-lane highways with a really skinny center "lane." That middle lane really isn't wide enough to properly function as a left turn lane. There is no barrier between opposing lanes of traffic. So it doesn't take much for someone having a sudden spaz moment or driving inattentively to cross that "median" into the opposing lanes. A true median or a Jersey/cable barrier would be a good idea.

To answer your question, yes, it is usually cheaper to build a single 4˝ lane wide roadway on a single landscaped berm rather than build up two separated berms with their own 2-lane carriageways, shoulders, landscaping, drainage, etc.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2478 on: November 17, 2019, 02:33:30 AM »

It's very certain a great deal of long distance traffic moving through the region chooses other Interstate or 4-lane US highway corridors rather than taking that stretch of US-71.
US-167 between Alexandria and Little Rock is mostly 4-lane divided highway, with the exception of a short stretch in southern Arkansas that is 3-lanes that has an alternating passing lane, and I-40 between Little Rock and Fort Smith is all interstate highway.

That routing is only about 10 miles slower than I-49 / US-71, and only a few minutes slower. It’s likely much truck traffic / long distance traffic utilizes US-167 / I-40 over I-49 / US-71 for these reasons.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2479 on: November 17, 2019, 07:33:37 AM »

Thanks Missouri is a fan of the 3 lane. They don't have the money for those either.I just went through Iowa after a snow and the narrow Interstate medians and those little fences don't help that much.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2480 on: November 19, 2019, 08:47:37 PM »

As currently estimated, the new Bentonville Walmart headquarters (2024) and the I-49 Bella Vista Bypass (2022) are estimated to be completed within a couple of years of each other.  Don't quite know how each will affect the other, but watching the changes (and needs) thereafter will be quite interesting.:

https://www.curbed.com/2019/11/19/20970158/walmart-home-office-urbanism-corporate-hq-retail?fbclid=IwAR3kPXGW20OwzUGb0xCcIAFdr4yel1sgoWJqF-PmMkTKOJfTwEL9-tk-kC8

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M86

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2481 on: December 18, 2019, 12:53:30 AM »

Good points. I was just curious what the current traffic was like. I read the Highway commission report and saw a lot of unfunded projects. I also saw one picture of a road with 4 lanes and a yellow strip with a center lane that looked a little narrower than the driving lanes. Is that the Arkansas design for the non interstate 4 lanes it is building?
It's an interesting design. Does it save much money over a divided?
That's the infamous Arkansas expressway. ARDOT, in the past, seems to just do the bare minimum.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 12:57:34 AM by M86 »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2482 on: December 18, 2019, 08:22:25 AM »

As currently estimated, the new Bentonville Walmart headquarters (2024) and the I-49 Bella Vista Bypass (2022) are estimated to be completed within a couple of years of each other.  Don't quite know how each will affect the other, but watching the changes (and needs) thereafter will be quite interesting.:

https://www.curbed.com/2019/11/19/20970158/walmart-home-office-urbanism-corporate-hq-retail?fbclid=IwAR3kPXGW20OwzUGb0xCcIAFdr4yel1sgoWJqF-PmMkTKOJfTwEL9-tk-kC8



i'm sure Walmart consulted with ARDOT. Maybe even asked for a cheap piece of land.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2483 on: December 18, 2019, 08:25:03 AM »

Good points. I was just curious what the current traffic was like. I read the Highway commission report and saw a lot of unfunded projects. I also saw one picture of a road with 4 lanes and a yellow strip with a center lane that looked a little narrower than the driving lanes. Is that the Arkansas design for the non interstate 4 lanes it is building?
It's an interesting design. Does it save much money over a divided?

Mena has a 4-Lane 71 that's been re-striped as a 5-Lane
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2484 on: January 02, 2020, 01:41:57 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2485 on: January 02, 2020, 04:27:30 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.

Just south of where 549 currently ends. It was mentioned at the faux groundbreaking.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2486 on: January 02, 2020, 04:40:35 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.
Is the welcome center planned to be a two-way welcome center located on a site off of the first exit, or a southbound only welcome center directly on the freeway?
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2487 on: January 02, 2020, 04:57:06 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.
Is the welcome center planned to be a two-way welcome center located on a site off of the first exit, or a southbound only welcome center directly on the freeway?

My guess is SB only. What I understood is it would be ON/along the highway.
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Buck87

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2488 on: January 02, 2020, 05:10:22 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.
Is the welcome center planned to be a two-way welcome center located on a site off of the first exit, or a southbound only welcome center directly on the freeway?

My guess is SB only. What I understood is it would be ON/along the highway.

Is Missouri planning to build one for the NB lanes of the future new section on their side?

If so, it would make sense for Arkansas to build theirs as SB only.
If not, it would more sense to build it off the exit, so that traffic from both directions would be able to use it.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2489 on: January 02, 2020, 05:18:51 PM »

In the thread about US 71B's decommissioning in Fort Smith, was this link:

http://www.arkansashighways.com/minute_orders/2019/2019-12.pdf

It was mentioned elsewhere in that .pdf that the welcome center off US 71 in Bella Vista will revert to being a locally-run tourist/visitor center.  Meanwhile, its replacement will be built at the first SB exit south of the MO/AR state line on I-49.
Is the welcome center planned to be a two-way welcome center located on a site off of the first exit, or a southbound only welcome center directly on the freeway?

My guess is SB only. What I understood is it would be ON/along the highway.

Is Missouri planning to build one for the NB lanes of the future new section on their side?

If so, it would make sense for Arkansas to build theirs as SB only.
If not, it would more sense to build it off the exit, so that traffic from both directions would be able to use it.

I have not heard, but there is a "satellite" info center in Pineville, though you have to drive into town to get to it.
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Tomahawkin

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2490 on: January 07, 2020, 06:47:22 PM »

Is there anything going on with 49 south of the Ft Smith area? IMO, it seems that this area is reluctant/against any interstate development in that area! That hinders future revenue. Having lived in NWA could not image what NWA would be like without 540/49 running through it...
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2491 on: January 07, 2020, 06:59:25 PM »

Is there anything going on with 49 south of the Ft Smith area? IMO, it seems that this area is reluctant/against any interstate development in that area! That hinders future revenue. Having lived in NWA could not image what NWA would be like without 540/49 running through it...

From what I understand, the foremost problem with i-49 between Texarkana and Fort Smith is, simply, finding the funds to build the facility -- particularly through the more mountainous sections north of Mena.   Haven't heard of any significant organized local opposition to the upgrade -- although when the "overlay" portion around the US 270 junction is built, there will likely be a lot of grousing around road closures/delays along US 71 as construction commences.   Not a lot of problems in that regard with the NWA portion in the '90's, as the portion through the more densely populated areas was intact when even I-540 was commissioned, and the portion from Alma to Fayetteville was new-terrain construction requiring no US 71 traffic interruptions.  Unfortunately, the Ouachita mountain terrain isn't favorable to that sort of configuration, so some interim navigational difficulties are to be anticipated.  As the old saying goes, sometimes you gotta break some eggs..................  :-/
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Tomahawkin

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2492 on: January 07, 2020, 08:02:11 PM »

That makes sense. What I dont get is that interchange 22 through Alabama and Mississippi was built in the same terrain and through one of the poorest areas in the country, per capita. 49, IMO would seem to be a bigger priority as a Canada to New Orleans corridor? I dont see that 200 plus mile section from FT Smith to Texarkana completed until 2035 or 2040??? Or maybe I'm exaggerating???
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Tomahawkin

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2493 on: January 07, 2020, 08:04:09 PM »

And they could always build IH 49 in segments like IH 22 in Alabama was built during the 90s til 2010???
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2494 on: January 07, 2020, 08:23:23 PM »

And they could always build IH 49 in segments like IH 22 in Alabama was built during the 90s til 2010???

That's what they did with the US 71 Freeway (now I-49) north of Fayetteville.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2495 on: January 07, 2020, 10:42:52 PM »

Yep I forgot about that. Wasnt US 71 in Fayetteville considered the bypass from the Fayetteville airport to Springdale long 30 years ago?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2496 on: January 08, 2020, 12:53:44 AM »

From what I've heard to date, a bypass of Mena may well be the first segment to be developed, with the Red River-De Queen segment not too far behind.  Since the latter will likely feature a substantial amount of new-terrain routing west of present US 59/71, it won't incur the traffic problems that Mena-Waldron will likely see (although I'm led to believe that the Little River crossing will be a direct overlay of the bridge/causeway along the present facility).  But exactly when the latter segment will get underway is probably dependent upon TxDOT's schedule for their brief portion of I-49, particularly as regards the Red River bridge.   
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2497 on: January 08, 2020, 08:53:46 AM »

Yep I forgot about that. Wasnt US 71 in Fayetteville considered the bypass from the Fayetteville airport to Springdale long 30 years ago?

The original bypass was built around 1970 between the airport and the NWA Mall.  Around 1980, construction was started on the 71 freeway between Fayetteville and Bentonville.  The first terminus was US 412, followed by 264 at Lowell,  71 at Rogers and 62 at Bentonville before it was finished to Bella Vista.

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2498 on: January 18, 2020, 01:41:35 PM »

Quote
Missouri sweetening the pot for I-49 Bella Vista Bypass work

SPRINGDALE -- Missouri highway officials are putting another $7 million in the pot to build their portion of the Interstate 49 Bella Vista Bypass from Pineville to the state line.

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission was asked to amend planning documents to reflect the additional money for the project, which is also known as the I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector. The project is within regional planning's jurisdiction. A committee Thursday recommended approval of the amendment.

Tim Conklin with regional planning said the change was needed to cover anticipated cost increases for the project, which sat dormant for several years. Missouri plans to open bids on the project in March, he said.

https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2020/jan/18/missouri-sweetening-the-pot-for-i-49-be/

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2499 on: January 18, 2020, 06:22:31 PM »

Fort Smith/River Valley is not against I-49. It would be great for Chaffee Crossing.

The newest Highway Commissioner is from Lavaca, surely a big part of his selection was to keep the emphasis on I-49
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