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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 725968 times)

US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #750 on: April 18, 2014, 12:43:59 PM »

What about Miller County?  Will Arkansas change its signs from AR 549 to I-49?  It seems now that would be the feasible thing to do because if they duplicate the number 49 in NW Arkansas they now can do it here.

I think they will once 549 connects to Louisiana. (June?)
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #751 on: April 19, 2014, 01:30:20 AM »

Primary route markers at this time only.

US 71 isn't a "primary route"?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #752 on: April 19, 2014, 04:33:39 AM »

Primary route markers at this time only.

US 71 isn't a "primary route"?

To the US route system, yes, but it's obviously secondary in importance to an Interstate designation.

The new 49 shields are pretty ugly. AHTD should have stuck with the '57 style (this is what we like to see):
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #753 on: April 19, 2014, 11:08:33 AM »

Major road construction to continue in Benton County (Arkansas - fascinating tidbits about future interchanges in this article for Bentonville area folks).
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RBBrittain

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #754 on: April 19, 2014, 01:54:05 PM »

Primary route markers at this time only.
I'm sure adding U.S. 71/62 shields to the newly-minted I-49 shields in NWA takes a back seat to, say, figuring out whether U.S. 67 follows I-30 or U.S. 70 thru central LR/NLR, or figuring out how to tell folks on I-55 SB approaching West Memphis that U.S. 63 turns west on I-40. (Not to mention the University Avenue exit signs on I-30 still say U.S. 70B even though the surface-street signs thru LR/NLR are all back to U.S. 70.)  But then, what about all the extra hardware needed to add two, three or even four U.S. highway shields (I-55 going to the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge carries U.S. 61, 64, 70 and 79) to interstate sign poles?
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #755 on: April 19, 2014, 04:02:56 PM »

Pictures I took today from north of the west side (brand new) Arkansas 72 bridge between "Hiwasse Gravette" and "Gravette Gravette".  :wave:

Standing in future southbound lanes of Bella Vista bypass/I-49.  A year ago old highway 72 ran right by that bridge almost as high as the bridge.  The mound of earth left over from where the old highway was was finally removed at least 1-2 months ago.  Access lanes are carved out either side out of my little phone camera's view.



Closer view of the bridge.  For you who know these things, why is there a type of green hay scattered on the future carriageways?  BTW, the section of future I-49 just south of this bridge to the new east Hiwasse Highway 72 bridge is set to open next week.



Looking northbound.  Rocky Dell Hollow Road (current northbound end of construction) is about 1-2 miles north.  This is set to be opened in the fall of this year, they say.  When it is, this is when the under-assembly Bella Vista bypass will start to get useful. Bella Vista is the widest of all the northwest Arkansas metro cities.  Most of the west half of BV has to rely on Glasgow (to the north) and Highlands (to the south) as its main arteries, both running east to west and very curvy and hilly, particularly for the latter.  Glasgow runs through much heavier residential area.  When this section from Rocky Dell Hollow (whose east end is where Glasgow and Highland both meet forming the left side of a large half-oval shape) to the bridge is finished, west Bella Vista residents can hop straight on it to go a ways down to 73, then onto Bentonville.  When the third segment (outlined in the City Wire article above from today) is finished, they'll just drive straight from Rocky Dell Hollow to I-540.

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #756 on: April 19, 2014, 08:27:48 PM »

For you who know these things, why is there a type of green hay scattered on the future carriageways?

I'm not 'in the know' so to speak, but a guess would be that they want to preserve the way the dirt and base has been prepared up to now (until full construction commences) and not let wind or rain erode any of it in the meantime.  Also as an aside, it may keep any local dirt-bikers/ATVers from getting any off-road-while-the-road-isn't-built-yet ideas.  Either way, my uneducated theory is preservation, for now.  I've actually not seen this done before; maybe TxDOT does it a different way or feels like they don't have to do it at all.

And BTW, nice pix O.T.  Appreciate the update.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #757 on: April 19, 2014, 09:57:02 PM »

Pictures I took today from north of the west side (brand new) Arkansas 72 bridge between "Hiwasse Gravette" and "Gravette Gravette".  :wave:


I was though there around 5pm. Didn't get any shots from the new roadway, though.
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M86

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #758 on: April 20, 2014, 12:53:43 AM »

Major road construction to continue in Benton County (Arkansas - fascinating tidbits about future interchanges in this article for Bentonville area folks).

O Tamandua, Can you tell me the significance of a County Judge?  Like Bob Clinard?  He's older than dirt, but what does he do?

And the article, while nice, has so many errors, I just can't.

I guess Arkansas Highway 72 is a US route now!

Thank you for the photos!  Great to see the progress!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 01:02:52 AM by M86 »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #759 on: April 20, 2014, 03:26:26 AM »

I hope to go there next week (the next day I have off after the 24th) and get some pictures and a video of the Hiwasee Bypass in each direction.  I don't want to go too soon and risk the signage not being up, so I'm going to wait a few days. 

Why isn't the Hiwasee bypass going to be a rerouting of AR 72?  It ends at AR 72 on each end and seems to be a superior routing for the highway.  Or name it Bypass AR 72 until I-49 comes along.  I'm sure if this happened, once I-49 gets signed that AR 72 would disappear along I-49 because AHTD (the organization, not the poster) are lazy idiots who don't know how to properly sign highways.  If the Oklafuckinghoma Department of Transportation can do it, then AHTD can do it too.  Even OK 66, which is worthless in Tulsa between the turnpikes, is fully signed along I-44.  Why can't major highways like US 71 and (especially) US 62 be signed along I-49?  It's two extra signs.  I know AHTD is not hurting for money because they waste money on "TO" signs where they are unnecessary and confusing.  Arkansas used to be excellent at cosigning roads, now they're the worst state in the country.  Show some pride, AHTD, and quit being "poor widdle Arkiesaw".
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #760 on: April 20, 2014, 08:17:16 AM »

I hope to go there next week (the next day I have off after the 24th) and get some pictures and a video of the Hiwasee Bypass in each direction.  I don't want to go too soon and risk the signage not being up, so I'm going to wait a few days. 

Signage appears to be up, unless they're adding "Future I-49" signs.

Quote

Why isn't the Hiwasee bypass going to be a rerouting of AR 72?  It ends at AR 72 on each end and seems to be a superior routing for the highway.  Or name it Bypass AR 72 until I-49 comes along.  I'm sure if this happened, once I-49 gets signed that AR 72 would disappear along I-49 because AHTD (the organization, not the poster) are lazy idiots who don't know how to properly sign highways.  If the Oklafuckinghoma Department of Transportation can do it, then AHTD can do it too.  Even OK 66, which is worthless in Tulsa between the turnpikes, is fully signed along I-44.  Why can't major highways like US 71 and (especially) US 62 be signed along I-49?  It's two extra signs.  I know AHTD is not hurting for money because they waste money on "TO" signs where they are unnecessary and confusing.  Arkansas used to be excellent at cosigning roads, now they're the worst state in the country.  Show some pride, AHTD, and quit being "poor widdle Arkiesaw".

Been to Colorado? They don't co-sign either. US 87 "miraculously" appears on I-25 when you cross into Wyoming.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #761 on: April 20, 2014, 10:22:59 AM »

I have a question for some of you that has seen the new Bella Vista Bypass. Are they doing the dirt work for both north and south lanes and just paving one side? So when they get the money to pave the other lane it will be paving only.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #762 on: April 20, 2014, 11:34:53 AM »

I have a question for some of you that has seen the new Bella Vista Bypass. Are they doing the dirt work for both north and south lanes and just paving one side? So when they get the money to pave the other lane it will be paving only.

Yes. From what I have seen, dirt work has been done for both directions, but only one side has been paved.
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bugo

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #763 on: April 20, 2014, 03:50:19 PM »

I'm planning on heading over to Bentonville on the next day I have off to take some I-49 sign pictures and a video of the Hiwasee bypass.
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #764 on: April 20, 2014, 05:10:40 PM »



Not a great photo since I was in a hurry, but this is 549 at the western AR 72 junction. You can see both sides have been graded.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #765 on: April 20, 2014, 08:59:01 PM »

Thanks US71, I forgot to add bridges with paving so that not that more expensive. I am wondering about Missouri saying it will be more cost unless they are doing all of it to one contractor. I know design build is supposed to cheaper but Missouri says they have the engineering already done. I think they need to do 2 lanes if they can't get the money for 4 lanes. Hope they do something because they did say that they will match what Arkansas does.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #766 on: April 21, 2014, 01:56:13 AM »

I want to say the plans for the MO portion of the Bella Vista Bypass have been posted to the forum at some point in the last few years.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #767 on: April 21, 2014, 11:14:42 AM »

I want to say the plans for the MO portion of the Bella Vista Bypass have been posted to the forum at some point in the last few years.

Fascinating to see how Missouri prepared for this.  They have a cordoned off turn lane(s) for the future bypass southbound, sign bridges to accommodate the additional signage necessary for the future turns, rock cuts for future northbound lanes from the bypass to the highway, all along a 3-4 lane stretch in both directions at the future bypass turnoff south/southwest of Pineville on current I-49.

M86, sorry I can't answer your questions.  Per my paragraph above, it's as if Missouri knew there was going to be a need for the future BV bypass (and more importantly, a completed I-49) while Arkansas pretended it was Nigeria and saw no benefit whatsoever to the state if I-49 wasn't going to traverse Little Rock and East Arkansas.  (If I sound disappointed, it's because I am.  The BV bypass could have been built nearly 10 years ago if the Arkansas legislature had been ready when Missouri was.)

Right now, seeing all that's going on in NW Arkansas, and how a bull's eye is being drawn on this state by the I-49/I-69 developing system and its proponents (who have a VERY good argument for completion) I'm just happy to finally, finally see it coming to fruition now...
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AHTD

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #768 on: April 21, 2014, 12:45:22 PM »

What about Miller County?  Will Arkansas change its signs from AR 549 to I-49?  It seems now that would be the feasible thing to do because if they duplicate the number 49 in NW Arkansas they now can do it here.

I think they will once 549 connects to Louisiana. (June?)

The correct answer here is when we receive authorization from FHWA. We don't anticipate that until the Doddridge to LA SL is completed. And yes, mid-summer is the current completion estimate.
 
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #770 on: April 21, 2014, 07:42:50 PM »

For you who know these things, why is there a type of green hay scattered on the future carriageways?

I'm not 'in the know' so to speak, but a guess would be that they want to preserve the way the dirt and base has been prepared up to now (until full construction commences) and not let wind or rain erode any of it in the meantime.  Also as an aside, it may keep any local dirt-bikers/ATVers from getting any off-road-while-the-road-isn't-built-yet ideas.  Either way, my uneducated theory is preservation, for now.  I've actually not seen this done before; maybe TxDOT does it a different way or feels like they don't have to do it at all.

You mean like this?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8593254285/in/photostream/
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #771 on: April 21, 2014, 07:44:32 PM »

Pictures I took today from north of the west side (brand new) Arkansas 72 bridge between "Hiwasse Gravette" and "Gravette Gravette".  :wave:

Standing in future southbound lanes of Bella Vista bypass/I-49.  A year ago old highway 72 ran right by that bridge almost as high as the bridge.  The mound of earth left over from where the old highway was was finally removed at least 1-2 months ago.  Access lanes are carved out either side out of my little phone camera's view.



Closer view of the bridge.  For you who know these things, why is there a type of green hay scattered on the future carriageways?  BTW, the section of future I-49 just south of this bridge to the new east Hiwasse Highway 72 bridge is set to open next week.



Looking northbound.  Rocky Dell Hollow Road (current northbound end of construction) is about 1-2 miles north.  This is set to be opened in the fall of this year, they say.  When it is, this is when the under-assembly Bella Vista bypass will start to get useful. Bella Vista is the widest of all the northwest Arkansas metro cities.  Most of the west half of BV has to rely on Glasgow (to the north) and Highlands (to the south) as its main arteries, both running east to west and very curvy and hilly, particularly for the latter.  Glasgow runs through much heavier residential area.  When this section from Rocky Dell Hollow (whose east end is where Glasgow and Highland both meet forming the left side of a large half-oval shape) to the bridge is finished, west Bella Vista residents can hop straight on it to go a ways down to 73, then onto Bentonville.  When the third segment (outlined in the City Wire article above from today) is finished, they'll just drive straight from Rocky Dell Hollow to I-540.



What it looked like last year:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8593256467/in/photostream/
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #772 on: April 22, 2014, 03:33:16 AM »

I'm going to go to bed tonight, and probably weep enough tears to finance a concrete company to build the other set of lanes to complete this I-49 bypass.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #773 on: April 22, 2014, 02:11:04 PM »

Had to give a friend a ride from Bentonville to Gravette this morning, just in time to travel the new future section of I-49 on its first day open.  Given that it's a workday I only had time to snap one picture, 1/4 east of the new Highway 72 west-of-Hiwasse bridge:



AHTD,

I know it's got to be frustrating to you and your colleagues to only be able to open two lanes of a future major U.S. interstate corridor under your agency's jurisdiction.  I'm not interested (or educated enough) about the process as so many are here...I'm interested in the progress.

And with that said, I loved driving this even as I was the only one on the entire brand new stretch.  (I'm reminded of an original Star Trek episode "The Tholian Web", where Captain Kirk (to his dismay) talked about briefly having an entire (alternate) universe to himself (that he was temporarily trapped in).

It was weird having an entire stretch of future interstate to myself today.  But it was a beaut to drive.  And when your next section opens (Rocky Dell Hollow Rd to AR 72) and the one after that (AR 72 east new bridge to I-49 north current terminus at Bentonville/Bella Vista line) people are going to be amazed at what a travel blessing this will be from a time-saving standpoint.  And a bunch of us are going to be wondering why this wasn't done sooner (gazing to the southeast in the direction of the Arkansas legislature).

Good job...excellent first step on this, IMO.

(EDIT: hope this ends well, but sadly U.S. Senator John Boozman was in NWA for the BV bypass section ribbon cutting ceremony but must have had a heart attack - he was taken to nearby Rogers for emergency surgery).  :no:  Prayers for Sen. Boozman and his family.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 02:40:11 PM by O Tamandua »
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US71

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #774 on: April 23, 2014, 12:05:55 AM »

Had to give a friend a ride from Bentonville to Gravette this morning, just in time to travel the new future section of I-49 on its first day open.  Given that it's a workday I only had time to snap one picture, 1/4 east of the new Highway 72 west-of-Hiwasse bridge:

No worries. I've got a bunch of photos I'll probably have on Flickr by the end of the week ;)
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