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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 1185421 times)

MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3800 on: August 05, 2022, 05:49:03 PM »

I don't recall the Y City-Acorn passage as particularly treacherous.

That is called Foran Gap. Black Fork Mountain rises in eastern Oklahoma near Page, and heads into Arkansas and terminates at Eagle Gap. Fourche Mountain begins at the other side of Eagle Gap, and runs all the way into Montgomery County. Foran Gap is a natural pass that runs northwest-southeast and cuts through the rather tall mountain (by Ouachita standards), and that is the reason US 71 and 270 has the huge S curve. in it. Foran Gap isn't bad at all, but if you tried to build a freeway over Fourche Mountain that ran due north from Acorn, it would have some very steep grades and there would be plenty of curves. When I-49 is routed through there, there will only be one really big sweeping curve in it, since it will run due south from CR 70 towards AR 88 east of Mena, and avoiding Acorn entirely. Blue Mountain, which is a peak on Fourche Mountain, is the fifth highest point in the state. A structure will have to be built at Foran Gap where the Ouachita Trail crosses the highway. Hopefully they will somehow retain access to the trail at this point.

Here's a Google Earth shot of Foran Gap, looking northwest. It's easy to see how the mountain has a low spot in it where the highways run.



Excellent perspective on the Foran Gap. Thanks for sharing.

And this view give a decent perspective of the elevation relief that this section has to navigate through:

https://goo.gl/maps/kSwfmAEM5uSpUUSG6
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3801 on: September 19, 2022, 01:11:07 PM »

The 2023-2026 draft STIP was posted by ARDOT.  Looks like 2025 has budgeted $256M for Future I-49 across the Arkansas River from AR-22 to Gun Club Rd.  Almost assuredly 2 lanes initially at that rate.  There's several other items for project development of the other segments, including the I-40/I-49 interchange.  Not a done deal since it's a draft version, but unlikely to be significant changes barring any world changing events.

https://www.ardot.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/2023-2026_STIP_Draft_General_Electronic.pdf Pg. 3 and 4 (Slide 34-35)
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3802 on: September 28, 2022, 01:21:19 PM »

ARDOT Public Involvement Meeting in Alma 9/29 from 4PM-7PM to present the plans for I-40<->AR-22.  Looks like they are changing to a half mile long embankment on the north side of the river to reduce bridging costs of the Arkansas River.  Online materials also include a nice flyover animation of the 4 level stack for I-40/I-49.  Looks like ~2027 before the connection is finished, although there isn't anything in these materials about it being limited to 2 lanes initially, so maybe the federal money fairy is blessing the project?

https://vpiph03-job-040748-hwy-22-i40-arkansas-river-i49-en-ardot.hub.arcgis.com/
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zzcarp

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3803 on: September 28, 2022, 02:33:42 PM »

Wow, that is a nicely detailed site with the roll plans and the 3D renderings! Kudos to ARDOT.

Does anyone know the reason why there are two southbound ramps to Clear Creek Road, both of which having full movements?
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3804 on: September 28, 2022, 02:54:04 PM »

Wow, that is a nicely detailed site with the roll plans and the 3D renderings! Kudos to ARDOT.

Does anyone know the reason why there are two southbound ramps to Clear Creek Road, both of which having full movements?

That is a head scratcher, especially for a project that isn't fully funded yet.  Gives options for easier right-turn movements, but certainly seems redundant especially for a road that's 2800 AADT as of 2021.
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3805 on: September 28, 2022, 10:23:41 PM »

Wow, that is a nicely detailed site with the roll plans and the 3D renderings! Kudos to ARDOT.

Does anyone know the reason why there are two southbound ramps to Clear Creek Road, both of which having full movements?

That is a head scratcher, especially for a project that isn't fully funded yet.  Gives options for easier right-turn movements, but certainly seems redundant especially for a road that's 2800 AADT as of 2021.
I'm guessing that part is still in design and the video is incorporating both options.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3806 on: September 30, 2022, 09:57:49 AM »

Wow, that is a nicely detailed site with the roll plans and the 3D renderings! Kudos to ARDOT.

Does anyone know the reason why there are two southbound ramps to Clear Creek Road, both of which having full movements?

That is a head scratcher, especially for a project that isn't fully funded yet.  Gives options for easier right-turn movements, but certainly seems redundant especially for a road that's 2800 AADT as of 2021.
I'm guessing that part is still in design and the video is incorporating both options.

Makes sense.  And if that's the case, then the best option in my opinion is the straight ramp as most traffic will be turning right toward town anyway.  Unless ROW constraints necessitate the curved option, it's always better to decelerate slowly straight to the intersection.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3807 on: October 10, 2022, 08:28:33 AM »

ARDOT found hidden water lines, further delaying the Exit 64/Wedington Dr. project.  Now they estimate it's 10% complete with the added delay and they're looking at 2 years until complete.  This likely causes an overlap in construction with the Exit 62/MLK project which was independently developed and funded, so fun times ahead next year in south Fayetteville!

https://www.4029tv.com/article/utilities-hampering-i-49-wedington-project/41537710
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3808 on: October 11, 2022, 08:59:03 PM »

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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3809 on: October 11, 2022, 10:23:29 PM »

It's about damned time.
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Tomahawkin

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3810 on: October 12, 2022, 10:56:02 AM »

It's 10+ years overdue. Hopefully by 2024 the next phase will already be signed and we can get how they are planning to run the route
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3811 on: October 12, 2022, 11:29:37 AM »

I think this "groundbreaking" is just for the grubbing and clearing from AR-22 to H Street toward the river as that's all that's the only project budgeted for the next year.  My guess is that we're going to have lots of groundbreaking ceremonies at this rate before we get 2 lanes across the river and up to I-40.
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msunat97

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3812 on: October 13, 2022, 03:36:16 PM »

I think this "groundbreaking" is just for the grubbing and clearing from AR-22 to H Street toward the river as that's all that's the only project budgeted for the next year.  My guess is that we're going to have lots of groundbreaking ceremonies at this rate before we get 2 lanes across the river and up to I-40.
You are 100% correct
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3813 on: October 13, 2022, 08:31:36 PM »

The "3 Bs" of Arkansas I-49:

1. The Bella Vista Bypass (counting it as one "B"  :-D, complete)
2. The Bridge (over the Arkansas River - starting, however modestly)
3. The Big one (Greenwood-Texarkana, Greenwood-Y City 2-lane funding allocated(?), after that, ?)
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3814 on: October 13, 2022, 09:21:32 PM »

I think this "groundbreaking" is just for the grubbing and clearing from AR-22 to H Street toward the river as that's all that's the only project budgeted for the next year.  My guess is that we're going to have lots of groundbreaking ceremonies at this rate before we get 2 lanes across the river and up to I-40.
You are 100% correct

But it's a start, so give ARDOT at least some credit
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Road Hog

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3815 on: October 14, 2022, 02:28:44 AM »

The "3 Bs" of Arkansas I-49:

1. The Bella Vista Bypass (counting it as one "B"  :-D, complete)
2. The Bridge (over the Arkansas River - starting, however modestly)
3. The Big one (Greenwood-Texarkana, Greenwood-Y City 2-lane funding allocated(?), after that, ?)
4. ???
5. PROFIT!
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3816 on: October 14, 2022, 06:43:52 PM »

I think this "groundbreaking" is just for the grubbing and clearing from AR-22 to H Street toward the river as that's all that's the only project budgeted for the next year.  My guess is that we're going to have lots of groundbreaking ceremonies at this rate before we get 2 lanes across the river and up to I-40.
You are 100% correct

But it's a start, so give ARDOT at least some credit

True, but if it takes more than a couple of years to progress to the southern bridge approach with actual roadbed (Draft STIP isn't clear on what "project development" entails), they'll wind up clearing it again the way vegetation grows in Arkansas everywhere that isn't in the mountains.  I grew up in the river valley, so I know how fast brush can creep back up if it isn't kept mowed.  Pretty much everything can grow there that isn't tropical.
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3817 on: April 28, 2023, 02:25:39 PM »

Excellent perspective on the Foran Gap. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome. I have family who lives in the immediate area, so I'm quite familiar with it. I-49 will follow US 71/270 through Foran Gap, then it will split off to the south-southeast at about the point where 71/270 curves to the south. It will meet CR 70/FS 76/Posey Hollow Road about a half mile east of current 71/270. The roads will have to be significantly reconfigured, but I haven't seen any maps of the future configuration. My guess is that current 71/270 north of 70/76 will be a dead end road and 71/270 will be routed along 70/76 between I-49 and current 71/270. The current 71/270 and 70/76 intersection will be reconfigured to favor the new 71/270 alignment. I need to make a map of it to explain it better.
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3818 on: April 28, 2023, 04:22:35 PM »

And this view give a decent perspective of the elevation relief that this section has to navigate through:
https://goo.gl/maps/kSwfmAEM5uSpUUSG6

Here is a Street View image from US 59/71 northbound between Mena and Acorn. You can see Fourche Mountain looming in the distance. A tunnel due north of Acorn would be over 2 miles long. A roadcut is out of the question as it would devastate the landscape. This area is part of the Ouachita National Forest, and the Ouachita Trail runs east-west along Fourche Mountain. Speaking of the Ouachita Trail, there will have to be some sort of bridge across I-49 to carry the trail. There is a trailhead at the junction of the trail and US 71/270, which will also have to be addressed in some way.

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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3819 on: April 28, 2023, 08:12:56 PM »

And this view give a decent perspective of the elevation relief that this section has to navigate through:
https://goo.gl/maps/kSwfmAEM5uSpUUSG6

Here is a Street View image from US 59/71 northbound between Mena and Acorn. You can see Fourche Mountain looming in the distance. A tunnel due north of Acorn would be over 2 miles long. A roadcut is out of the question as it would devastate the landscape. This area is part of the Ouachita National Forest, and the Ouachita Trail runs east-west along Fourche Mountain. Speaking of the Ouachita Trail, there will have to be some sort of bridge across I-49 to carry the trail. There is a trailhead at the junction of the trail and US 71/270, which will also have to be addressed in some way.

Funny, both of our views are of the same mountain, but from either side, with the view at 1000'.  The top of that mountain is near 2500', so it sort of disputes the notion that western Arkansas is more hilly than mountainous.  The Ozarks are more very deep hollows and valleys making for the more than 1000' relief that it takes to denote a mountain as opposed to a hill.  The Ouachitas in Arkansas are rather steep ridges in comparison, making the sucker we took the views of 1500' higher than the surrounding valleys.  Even Foran Gap is 1100' below the ridgeline on both sides, which would make either ridge a mountain if the gap itself was considered the elevation of the surroundings.  A tunnel through the mountains on either side of the gap would be deep and long.  Great for certain aspects of adult life, but not for roadbuilding expressways.  So, it will certainly shoot the gap as it would be substantially more difficult and longer than the Hopper Tunnel.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2023, 08:42:50 PM by MikieTimT »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3820 on: April 29, 2023, 11:55:50 AM »

The Interstate 49 in Arkansas page has been altered again (see exit guide): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_49_in_Arkansas. The segment of Interstate 49/AR 549 that opened in 2015 is back to showing the exits being back to being listed by the mileage from the Arkansas/Louisiana border (present and future). It appears the exits were not renumbered to being a continuation of old 540痴 numbers, as was previously marked on Wikipedia. Do correct me if I知 wrong, since I知 basing the information on the Wikipedia page, and the Google Maps Street View, which is dated July 2022.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3821 on: April 29, 2023, 12:46:56 PM »

The Interstate 49 in Arkansas page has been altered again (see exit guide): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_49_in_Arkansas. The segment of Interstate 49/AR 549 that opened in 2015 is back to showing the exits being back to being listed by the mileage from the Arkansas/Louisiana border (present and future). It appears the exits were not renumbered to being a continuation of old 540痴 numbers, as was previously marked on Wikipedia. Do correct me if I知 wrong, since I知 basing the information on the Wikipedia page, and the Google Maps Street View, which is dated July 2022.
It's highly illogical that they kept the old I-540 exit numbers and mileposts on the stretch of I-49 from I-40 to Missouri. Moreover, I don't know how or why the FHWA is letting ArDOT get away with that, given that the FHWA required Indiana to renumber all of its exits on the original stretch of I-69 between Indianapolis and Michigan when the first part of the extension of I-69 to Evansville opened in 2012. Regardless, once ArDOT completes the connection to the section that goes through Fort Chaffee to I-40, they will need to figure out what to do with the exit numbers on I-49. At that point they might be forced to renumber exits between I-40 and Missouri to reflect I-49's total mileage, assuming the proposed alignment of I-49 between Texarkana and Fort Smith has been finalized.
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2-d Interstates traveled:  4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 55, 57, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76(E), 77, 78, 81, 83, 85, 87(N), 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95

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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3822 on: May 01, 2023, 12:59:23 PM »

The Interstate 49 in Arkansas page has been altered again (see exit guide): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_49_in_Arkansas. The segment of Interstate 49/AR 549 that opened in 2015 is back to showing the exits being back to being listed by the mileage from the Arkansas/Louisiana border (present and future). It appears the exits were not renumbered to being a continuation of old 540痴 numbers, as was previously marked on Wikipedia. Do correct me if I知 wrong, since I知 basing the information on the Wikipedia page, and the Google Maps Street View, which is dated July 2022.
It's highly illogical that they kept the old I-540 exit numbers and mileposts on the stretch of I-49 from I-40 to Missouri. Moreover, I don't know how or why the FHWA is letting ArDOT get away with that, given that the FHWA required Indiana to renumber all of its exits on the original stretch of I-69 between Indianapolis and Michigan when the first part of the extension of I-69 to Evansville opened in 2012. Regardless, once ArDOT completes the connection to the section that goes through Fort Chaffee to I-40, they will need to figure out what to do with the exit numbers on I-49. At that point they might be forced to renumber exits between I-40 and Missouri to reflect I-49's total mileage, assuming the proposed alignment of I-49 between Texarkana and Fort Smith has been finalized.

Nothing about this stretch is logical, nor was it ever to begin with, and the "fix" of changing the northernmost 3 exit numbers, even less so.  The original I-540's mile markers increment from the junction of I-40 just like every spur Interstate should, even though it goes to the south-southwest.  I-49/I-540 was screwed up from the get-go with beginning at mile marker/Exit 20, with some convoluted logic of mileage being taken from the Oklahoma border, which is I-540/US-271's mileage being near mile marker 15 at the border.  The mental gymnastics must have included the 5 mile unsigned concurrency of I-40 between the I-540 segments before the final long overdue (always should have been, and maybe this would have been avoided?) ASHTO/FHWA approval of I-49 as a number.  It all stinks of deflecting questions/pressure regarding the middle segment of I-49 for as long as possible.
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3823 on: May 04, 2023, 03:05:28 AM »

Nothing about this stretch is logical, nor was it ever to begin with, and the "fix" of changing the northernmost 3 exit numbers, even less so.  The original I-540's mile markers increment from the junction of I-40 just like every spur Interstate should, even though it goes to the south-southwest.  I-49/I-540 was screwed up from the get-go with beginning at mile marker/Exit 20, with some convoluted logic of mileage being taken from the Oklahoma border, which is I-540/US-271's mileage being near mile marker 15 at the border.  The mental gymnastics must have included the 5 mile unsigned concurrency of I-40 between the I-540 segments before the final long overdue (always should have been, and maybe this would have been avoided?) ASHTO/FHWA approval of I-49 as a number.  It all stinks of deflecting questions/pressure regarding the middle segment of I-49 for as long as possible.

It was signed in one direction.

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rte66man

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #3824 on: May 04, 2023, 08:58:54 AM »

Nothing about this stretch is logical, nor was it ever to begin with, and the "fix" of changing the northernmost 3 exit numbers, even less so.  The original I-540's mile markers increment from the junction of I-40 just like every spur Interstate should, even though it goes to the south-southwest.  I-49/I-540 was screwed up from the get-go with beginning at mile marker/Exit 20, with some convoluted logic of mileage being taken from the Oklahoma border, which is I-540/US-271's mileage being near mile marker 15 at the border.  The mental gymnastics must have included the 5 mile unsigned concurrency of I-40 between the I-540 segments before the final long overdue (always should have been, and maybe this would have been avoided?) ASHTO/FHWA approval of I-49 as a number.  It all stinks of deflecting questions/pressure regarding the middle segment of I-49 for as long as possible.

It was signed in one direction.



Bugo, how long ago was this?
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