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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 770767 times)

US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2575 on: May 16, 2020, 12:54:38 PM »

They want to spend trillions of dollars on a lot of things, yet infrastructure seems nowhere to be found.

Well, you KNOW tax cuts for the wealthy are more important. /sarc
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2576 on: May 16, 2020, 02:59:38 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Couldn’t Oklahoma build such a conceptual section as one of their many toll Turnpikes?

Just in terms of Oklahoma-based traffic an I-49 route along the East edge of the state would be a big waste of money. It probably wouldn't generate enough toll revenue to prevent the OTA from bleeding a lot of red ink. Tulsa-Texarakana is the only traffic play I see with that concept and it would still be a fairly crooked concept at that. Motorists in Arkansas would likely shun-pike the thing via US-71 as an alternative.

I think OKC to Texarkana would be a far more worthy conceptual turnpike corridor to develop in that OKC is at a major crossroads of the Interstate system. A high speed turnpike along or near OK-3 could connect into I-49 and basically create a different yet effective Ports to Plains corridor.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 10:27:08 PM by Bobby5280 »
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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2577 on: May 17, 2020, 03:18:41 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Couldn’t Oklahoma build such a conceptual section as one of their many toll Turnpikes?

Just in terms of Oklahoma-based traffic an I-49 route along the East edge of the state would be a big waste of money. It probably wouldn't generate enough toll revenue to prevent the OTA from bleeding a lot of red ink. Tulsa-Texarakana is the only traffic play I see with that concept and it would still be a fairly crooked concept at that. Motorists in Arkansas would likely shun-pike the thing via US-71 as an alternative.

Authorization for the Webbers Falls to Poteau and south turnpike is still listed in the statutes. I'll be Governor before it ever gets built. The intent was for it to tie into I-49 somewhere south of Mena. It was hoped by the members pimping it that a road from Tulsa to I-49 would 'create jobs'.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2578 on: May 17, 2020, 03:19:23 PM »

I wish Congress would do an Infrastructure bill based on the 538 electoral college so 1 Billion per electoral vote and pay with a gas tax increase.

SM-G950U

Boy TEXAS would come out sweet on that one.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2579 on: May 17, 2020, 10:14:50 PM »

Quote from: sprjus4
Couldn’t Oklahoma build such a conceptual section as one of their many toll Turnpikes?

Just in terms of Oklahoma-based traffic an I-49 route along the East edge of the state would be a big waste of money. It probably wouldn't generate enough toll revenue to prevent the OTA from bleeding a lot of red ink. Tulsa-Texarakana is the only traffic play I see with that concept and it would still be a fairly crooked concept at that. Motorists in Arkansas would likely shun-pike the thing via US-71 as an alternative.

Authorization for the Webbers Falls to Poteau and south turnpike is still listed in the statutes. I'll be Governor before it ever gets built. The intent was for it to tie into I-49 somewhere south of Mena. It was hoped by the members pimping it that a road from Tulsa to I-49 would 'create jobs'.

I agree. I can't see this happening ever.

Oklahoma needs to stick to updating the US-75/US-69 corridor between DFW and KCMO.  NAFTA traffic is looking to avoid OKC and Tulsa while heading north.

Tulsa already has one of the more expensive inland ports thanks to us taxpayers and the Corp of Engineers. If they want to reach ports on the gulf, they can send it down the Arkansas River.

Building a tollroad through the Kiamichi is a waste.
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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2580 on: May 21, 2020, 09:48:39 AM »

Tulsa already has one of the more expensive inland ports thanks to us taxpayers and the Corp of Engineers. If they want to reach ports on the gulf, they can send it down the Arkansas River.

You can thank Robert S. Kerr for that. He and John McClellan had a LOT of stroke in the Senate in the late 50's and early 60's to get that boondoggle built.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2581 on: May 21, 2020, 08:14:30 PM »

Tulsa already has one of the more expensive inland ports thanks to us taxpayers and the Corp of Engineers. If they want to reach ports on the gulf, they can send it down the Arkansas River.

You can thank Robert S. Kerr for that. He and John McClellan had a LOT of stroke in the Senate in the late 50's and early 60's to get that boondoggle built.

And.....that big old lake/reservoir in eastern OK on the Arkansas River is named for him.  One of the arms of that lake is where the I-40 bridge collapsed (w/loss of life) after being struck by a barge not quite 20 years ago. 
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2582 on: May 21, 2020, 08:17:13 PM »

Tulsa already has one of the more expensive inland ports thanks to us taxpayers and the Corp of Engineers. If they want to reach ports on the gulf, they can send it down the Arkansas River.

You can thank Robert S. Kerr for that. He and John McClellan had a LOT of stroke in the Senate in the late 50's and early 60's to get that boondoggle built.

And.....that big old lake/reservoir in eastern OK on the Arkansas River is named for him.  One of the arms of that lake is where the I-40 bridge collapsed (w/loss of life) after being struck by a barge not quite 20 years ago. 

Has it been that long? Seems like just a few years ago.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2583 on: May 21, 2020, 08:30:05 PM »

Tulsa already has one of the more expensive inland ports thanks to us taxpayers and the Corp of Engineers. If they want to reach ports on the gulf, they can send it down the Arkansas River.

You can thank Robert S. Kerr for that. He and John McClellan had a LOT of stroke in the Senate in the late 50's and early 60's to get that boondoggle built.

And.....that big old lake/reservoir in eastern OK on the Arkansas River is named for him.  One of the arms of that lake is where the I-40 bridge collapsed (w/loss of life) after being struck by a barge not quite 20 years ago. 

Has it been that long? Seems like just a few years ago.

Coming up on 18 years -- May 26, 2002.  I had come through WB in a Penske rental with the last of my GF's furniture about 2 weeks before it happened.  IIRC, was raining like crazy all the way from Little Rock to well west of OKC.  Tornado watch was out as well; fortunately didn't run into any of those that trip! 
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2584 on: May 23, 2020, 11:52:44 AM »


Coming up on 18 years -- May 26, 2002.  I had come through WB in a Penske rental with the last of my GF's furniture about 2 weeks before it happened.  IIRC, was raining like crazy all the way from Little Rock to well west of OKC.  Tornado watch was out as well; fortunately didn't run into any of those that trip! 

Gods, I feel old now :(
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stridentweasel

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2585 on: May 25, 2020, 03:58:29 PM »

Oklahoma needs to stick to updating the US-75/US-69 corridor between DFW and KCMO.  NAFTA traffic is looking to avoid OKC and Tulsa while heading north.

Serious question, and I've actually been wondering this for a long time:  Why not just use I-35 for DFW-to-KC traffic?  Isn't that what it's there for?  Is OKC traffic really that bad?  Are trucking companies that hard up to avoid the Kansas Turnpike tolls?  And if the latter is a concern, is Oklahoma really going to do this without building a new turnpike and letting US 69 be a side road, if they ever do it at all?
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JREwing78

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2586 on: May 25, 2020, 04:54:50 PM »

Oklahoma needs to stick to updating the US-75/US-69 corridor between DFW and KCMO.  NAFTA traffic is looking to avoid OKC and Tulsa while heading north.

Serious question, and I've actually been wondering this for a long time:  Why not just use I-35 for DFW-to-KC traffic?  Isn't that what it's there for?  Is OKC traffic really that bad?  Are trucking companies that hard up to avoid the Kansas Turnpike tolls?  And if the latter is a concern, is Oklahoma really going to do this without building a new turnpike and letting US 69 be a side road, if they ever do it at all?

Not everything is headed to Kansas City (though US-69 and I-49 certainly gives them a *mostly* toll-free route). St. Louis and Chicago-bound traffic, for example, has a more direct route via US-75/69 than following I-35, or following I-30 to I-40, then up I-55. If Arkansas and Missouri finish their I-57 extension to Little Rock, that might change.

As far as Oklahoma building out the US-75/69 corridor as a toll road, that would be the smart thing to do, but they should have done that years ago as part of the 4-lane buildout. They *could* obliterate the 2nd carriageway and put the toll road aside the remaining 2 lanes, but that's a lot of money and displacements simply in the name of sticking it to long-haul truck traffic.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2587 on: May 25, 2020, 05:13:04 PM »

Oklahoma needs to stick to updating the US-75/US-69 corridor between DFW and KCMO.  NAFTA traffic is looking to avoid OKC and Tulsa while heading north.

Serious question, and I've actually been wondering this for a long time:  Why not just use I-35 for DFW-to-KC traffic?  Isn't that what it's there for?  Is OKC traffic really that bad?  Are trucking companies that hard up to avoid the Kansas Turnpike tolls?  And if the latter is a concern, is Oklahoma really going to do this without building a new turnpike and letting US 69 be a side road, if they ever do it at all?

Not everything is headed to Kansas City (though US-69 and I-49 certainly gives them a *mostly* toll-free route). St. Louis and Chicago-bound traffic, for example, has a more direct route via US-75/69 than following I-35, or following I-30 to I-40, then up I-55. If Arkansas and Missouri finish their I-57 extension to Little Rock, that might change.

As far as Oklahoma building out the US-75/69 corridor as a toll road, that would be the smart thing to do, but they should have done that years ago as part of the 4-lane buildout. They *could* obliterate the 2nd carriageway and put the toll road aside the remaining 2 lanes, but that's a lot of money and displacements simply in the name of sticking it to long-haul truck traffic.

If OK were actually engaging in intelligent corridor planning, the US 69/75 corridor would have been eked out as a full freeway over the years (screw the speedtrap towns!) while the iron was hot -- i.e., well before AR could try to identify funds to fully complete I-49 in their state.  Since '91 they've had the federal OK (unfortunately with no funds attached as per policy for the last several decades) to designate an Interstate along the 69 and 69/75 composite corridor from the TX state line to I-40.  Again, they should have pounced on this years ago.  That would allow them the opportunity to do the remainder of the corridor north of there to I-44/Big Cabin as a toll facility, giving NB drivers an option -- either save the fifteen bucks or so and schlep over I-40 to I-49 and up to get to MO points or spend it and save miles and time -- a classic long-distance shunpike concept.  But the low tax/limited service atmosphere pervading OK over the last few decades has for all intents & purposes put a damper on planning efforts that eventually involve significant expenditure.  So they let development activities flourish (or at least try to) in adjoining states, apparently content to be mere observers.  In a side-but-related note actually concerning another thread topic -- it'll be interesting to see how OK handles the issue if the proposed Port-to-Plains northern extension heads up US 287 across the Panhandle -- whether it'll actually be internalized into the budget process or whether ODOT and their handlers try to squeeze developmental funds out of TX and/or CO, since it won't connect to the heart of their state and would only provide benefit to outflung Boise City.   
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edwaleni

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2588 on: May 25, 2020, 08:40:49 PM »

Oklahoma needs to stick to updating the US-75/US-69 corridor between DFW and KCMO.  NAFTA traffic is looking to avoid OKC and Tulsa while heading north.

Serious question, and I've actually been wondering this for a long time:  Why not just use I-35 for DFW-to-KC traffic?  Isn't that what it's there for?  Is OKC traffic really that bad?  Are trucking companies that hard up to avoid the Kansas Turnpike tolls?  And if the latter is a concern, is Oklahoma really going to do this without building a new turnpike and letting US 69 be a side road, if they ever do it at all?


As far as Oklahoma building out the US-75/69 corridor as a toll road, that would be the smart thing to do, but they should have done that years ago as part of the 4-lane buildout. They *could* obliterate the 2nd carriageway and put the toll road aside the remaining 2 lanes, but that's a lot of money and displacements simply in the name of sticking it to long-haul truck traffic.

Not sure why, but the traveling public seems to get offended when a 'truck only' route is proposed.

When the original CHI-KCMO route (now called CKC) lost planning dollars, several proposals for a trucks only toll route were proposed. ISTHA was all over it for a little while until Missouri said we don't do tolls.

The 2 unique proposals for a private toll road appeared, one financed by a conglomerate of banks supported by major trucking firms and another by a private firm.

But when it came to giving these entities the same powers and rights as a public highway authority, then the house came down. People screamed (with a little prodding perhaps from some highway lobbies) and the whole thing was dropped.

Seems getting a condemnation notice from some corporate entity can't be swayed by a local politico.
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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2589 on: May 26, 2020, 01:51:52 PM »

If OK were actually engaging in intelligent corridor planning, the US 69/75 corridor would have been eked out as a full freeway over the years (screw the speedtrap towns!) while the iron was hot -- i.e., well before AR could try to identify funds to fully complete I-49 in their state. 

Ooh, that's a good one. I have 2 words for you, Gene Stipe. Google him and then come back and tell me ODOT could ignore "the speedtrap towns". Was NEVER gonna happen.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2590 on: May 26, 2020, 04:29:55 PM »

If OK were actually engaging in intelligent corridor planning, the US 69/75 corridor would have been eked out as a full freeway over the years (screw the speedtrap towns!) while the iron was hot -- i.e., well before AR could try to identify funds to fully complete I-49 in their state. 

Arkansas got most of their initial funding through John Paul Hammerschmidt, who was one of the kings of pork in his day.

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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2591 on: May 26, 2020, 05:06:42 PM »

If OK were actually engaging in intelligent corridor planning, the US 69/75 corridor would have been eked out as a full freeway over the years (screw the speedtrap towns!) while the iron was hot -- i.e., well before AR could try to identify funds to fully complete I-49 in their state. 

Ooh, that's a good one. I have 2 words for you, Gene Stipe. Google him and then come back and tell me ODOT could ignore "the speedtrap towns". Was NEVER gonna happen.


Didn't have to google him -- my Broken Bow cousins (principally one in particular who is a perennial candidate for office) were bitching about him in the mid-80's.  Apparently somewhere in that time period his wife was ticketed in Stringtown for speeding (although she vehemently denied it), and Stipe himself contacted the Stringtown mayor's office to try to get it dismissed.  At that time there was talk that the speed trap actually constituted an organized criminal conspiracy, and investigations had begun, with the added presence of lawsuits by commercial trucking companies against the town.  According to regional lore, Stipe negotiated an agreement whereby his wife's ticket would be dismissed and he would "go to bat" as necessary for the town and its continued over-the-road revenue stream.  While purportedly a "champion of transportation", he effectively blockaded any bypass plans for Stringtown, Kiowa, and Atoka for the remainder of his term, which ended with his resignation -- under indictment -- in 2003 (he died in 2012).  But he did direct funding to the US 69 (75) corridor during his term -- just as long as what was done maintained the status quo of the stretch between Bryan County and McAlester (which is why the freeway sections end at those locations). 

But my cousins' beef with Stipe was largely based on the fact that he was able to direct funds toward his district (McAlester, Checotah, etc.) at the expense of other SE OK regions (they've been trying to get US 70 twinned all the way from Durant to the AR state line for decades).  All that being said, the man's been effectively gone for 17 years -- but his replacement(s), affected by term limits instituted largely because of Stipe's 30+ year term of office, have invariably come from the anti "tax-and-spend" crowd -- so to them it's not a personal promise but a general demeanor.  Either way, corridors don't get developed in any effectual fashion.   X-(

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bjrush

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2592 on: May 26, 2020, 06:38:21 PM »

We built a lot of "truck only corridors" between these major cities circa 1860-80.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2593 on: May 26, 2020, 07:04:58 PM »

We built a lot of "truck only corridors" between these major cities circa 1860-80.

1860?
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BrandonC_TX

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2594 on: May 26, 2020, 07:22:35 PM »

I am assuming bjrush is talking about railroads here.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2595 on: May 26, 2020, 07:58:05 PM »

I am assuming bjrush is talking about railroads here.

Shifting gears without a clutch?
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sparker

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2596 on: May 27, 2020, 03:17:07 AM »

I am assuming bjrush is talking about railroads here.

Shifting gears without a clutch?

Yeah -- diesel locomotives have been doing just that (via a device termed "automatic transition") since the late 1940's.  But seriously, the only reason there is a relatively straight corridor down US 69 is the old MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) railroad's choice of path along the Ozark and Ouachita west side fall line at the end of the 19th century. 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2597 on: May 27, 2020, 04:24:49 AM »

Mena has a 4-Lane 71 that's been re-striped as a 5-Lane

The part of 59-71 in the center of Mena was always a 5 lane after they widened it from 2 lanes.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2598 on: May 27, 2020, 04:28:00 AM »

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..................  :-/

The mountains south of Mena are just as rugged, if not more so, than the ones north of town. The interstate will run several miles east of 59-71 and will go through what is right now rather secluded territory.
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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #2599 on: May 27, 2020, 10:09:28 AM »

If OK were actually engaging in intelligent corridor planning, the US 69/75 corridor would have been eked out as a full freeway over the years (screw the speedtrap towns!) while the iron was hot -- i.e., well before AR could try to identify funds to fully complete I-49 in their state. 

Ooh, that's a good one. I have 2 words for you, Gene Stipe. Google him and then come back and tell me ODOT could ignore "the speedtrap towns". Was NEVER gonna happen.


Didn't have to google him -- my Broken Bow cousins (principally one in particular who is a perennial candidate for office) were bitching about him in the mid-80's.  Apparently somewhere in that time period his wife was ticketed in Stringtown for speeding (although she vehemently denied it), and Stipe himself contacted the Stringtown mayor's office to try to get it dismissed.  At that time there was talk that the speed trap actually constituted an organized criminal conspiracy, and investigations had begun, with the added presence of lawsuits by commercial trucking companies against the town.  According to regional lore, Stipe negotiated an agreement whereby his wife's ticket would be dismissed and he would "go to bat" as necessary for the town and its continued over-the-road revenue stream.  While purportedly a "champion of transportation", he effectively blockaded any bypass plans for Stringtown, Kiowa, and Atoka for the remainder of his term, which ended with his resignation -- under indictment -- in 2003 (he died in 2012).  But he did direct funding to the US 69 (75) corridor during his term -- just as long as what was done maintained the status quo of the stretch between Bryan County and McAlester (which is why the freeway sections end at those locations). 

But my cousins' beef with Stipe was largely based on the fact that he was able to direct funds toward his district (McAlester, Checotah, etc.) at the expense of other SE OK regions (they've been trying to get US 70 twinned all the way from Durant to the AR state line for decades).  All that being said, the man's been effectively gone for 17 years -- but his replacement(s), affected by term limits instituted largely because of Stipe's 30+ year term of office, have invariably come from the anti "tax-and-spend" crowd -- so to them it's not a personal promise but a general demeanor.  Either way, corridors don't get developed in any effectual fashion.   X-(


When I worked in the Legislature in the 90's, Gene was still around.  I could share some stories but that's WAY off topic.

There was a legislator named M.C. Leist from Morris. He would stand up in the House once a week and give the "Stringtown speedtrap report". He would read off statistics on # of tickets, etc. He HATED this and was trying to get rid of it. Personally, I wish he would have done the same for Rush Springs.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 01:39:30 PM by rte66man »
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