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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 719938 times)

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #200 on: March 31, 2012, 04:09:14 PM »

With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #201 on: March 31, 2012, 09:55:56 PM »

With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

Honest answer: I don't know.

Snarky answer available via private message  :whip:
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #202 on: April 01, 2012, 03:11:33 AM »

I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.

Switchbacks?  Do you mean crossovers where the lanes shifted onto the new roadway? 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #203 on: April 01, 2012, 10:05:47 AM »

I remember the narrow Center Creek bridges being used for SB traffic for many years. 4 Lane was Hit n Miss to near Jasper. I remember a couple odd switchbacks in that area, too.

Switchbacks?  Do you mean crossovers where the lanes shifted onto the new roadway? 

Yes.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #204 on: April 02, 2012, 02:19:16 AM »

With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

You would think so... As massive as Walmart is, I'm surprised that they haven't done more... Traffic congestion here can get crazy.  That being said, Walmart is pushing for an interchange on I-540 at SE 8th Street in Bentonville...  It would greatly help the SE 14th Street/Hudson Road interchange... That gets backed up at peak times like crazy.  A big part of it is the Walmart home office people trying to get on 540 to go south to Springdale/Fayetteville.

That, and the Waltons (so I've heard) hired an outside source to push the wet/dry county issue in Benton County to a vote... Sorely needed (Time to move to the 21st Century!).
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #205 on: April 02, 2012, 08:55:24 AM »

With all the corporate influences in NW Arkansas, especially WM, wouldn't it help them to, ummm, help the Bypass' cause a little bit?  It's sure not going to help them and other firms with trucks to be waiting around on a slowly-thrown-together not-so-super-2. 

I think I need a few of these now... :cheers:

You would think so... As massive as Walmart is, I'm surprised that they haven't done more... Traffic congestion here can get crazy.  That being said, Walmart is pushing for an interchange on I-540 at SE 8th Street in Bentonville...  It would greatly help the SE 14th Street/Hudson Road interchange... That gets backed up at peak times like crazy.  A big part of it is the Walmart home office people trying to get on 540 to go south to Springdale/Fayetteville.

That, and the Waltons (so I've heard) hired an outside source to push the wet/dry county issue in Benton County to a vote... Sorely needed (Time to move to the 21st Century!).

I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #206 on: April 03, 2012, 04:34:37 PM »

It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

The Highway 72 to Co. Rd. 34 section of the Hiwasse Bypass is scheduled to be let on May 2.  EDIT - Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 2.377 MILES OF TWO LANE ROADWAY FOR HWY. 71 AND THE COUNTY ROAD 34 INTERCHANGE IN BENTON COUNTY. THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BASE, BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, PCC PAVEMENT, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER OVERPASS BRIDGE (TOTAL SPAN LENGTH 192.12'), EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/dec/17/fort-smiths-4th-interchange-i-49-get-star-20111217/?f=news-arkansas
Quote
The state Highway and Transportation Department plans to award a contract next year to build a fourth interchange in the Fort Smith area for the long-planned Interstate 49.
The interchange would be at U.S. 71 south of the city, according to Joe Shipman, District 4 engineer for the Highway Department ...
Three other Fort Smith-area interchanges for the new northsouth interstate are nearly finished, according to Shipman.

Also in the May 2 letting, I believe this is the "fourth interchange" project referenced in the above-linked article. Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 0.635 MILE OF THE HWY. 71 RELOCATED EMBANKMENT, THE EMBANKMENTS FOR THE RAMPS ALONG WITH THE OVERPASS BRIDGE AND APPROACHES AT THE INTERCHANGE OF HWY. 71 AND COUNTY ROAD 8 IN SEBASTIAN COUNTY NEAR THE FORT CHAFFEE MILITARY RESERVATION.  THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, GUARDRAIL, EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER UNIT OVERPASS BRIDGE (329.16 FT.), WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

County Road 8 is also known as Howard Hill Road.

AHTD must be stretching itself to have both a Bella Vista Bypass project and a Chaffee Crossing project in the same letting ...  :wow:
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:19:10 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #207 on: April 04, 2012, 06:03:01 PM »

It's a Hiwassee Bypass  :rofl:

The Highway 72 to Co. Rd. 34 section of the Hiwasse Bypass is scheduled to be let on May 2.  EDIT - Here is AHTD's description of the project:

Quote
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO CONSTRUCT 2.377 MILES OF TWO LANE ROADWAY FOR HWY. 71 AND THE COUNTY ROAD 34 INTERCHANGE IN BENTON COUNTY. THIS PROJECT CONSISTS OF EARTHWORK, AGGREGATE BASE COURSE, ACHM BASE, BINDER AND SURFACE COURSES, PCC PAVEMENT, MINOR DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, A CONT. COMP. PLATE GIRDER OVERPASS BRIDGE (TOTAL SPAN LENGTH 192.12'), EROSION CONTROL ITEMS, WIRE FENCE, MAINTENANCE OF TRAFFIC AND MISC. ITEMS.

It's about damn time... :banghead: :pan: :pan: :pan:

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #208 on: April 04, 2012, 11:14:15 PM »


County Road 8 is also known as Howard Hill Road.


I know the area fairly well: It's less than 10 miles from me. There are a couple old sections of 71 nearby which are in rough shape.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #209 on: April 07, 2012, 07:12:10 AM »

I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?

In my opinion, Walmart Home Office is careful about what it does, which, infrastructure wise, is nothing.  They haven't and won't give money to infrastructural improvements... If they did, the traffic issues in Bentonville would be somewhat resolved.. They are advocating them somewhat with the 8th Street interchange.  Walmart definitely wants the 8th Street interchange, and the City of Bentonville has plans for it on their website.

It makes me sad that I find zero information on the state website.  What purpose does AHTD serve if I can't info on it?
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #210 on: April 07, 2012, 02:08:24 PM »

I know there's a big Wet/Dry push in Benton County: doesn't surprise me that the Waltons may be behind it. I know Wal-Mart helped build the regional airport and Alice Walton recently built a museum. Why they don't throw their weight behind I-49 is beyond me. Maybe not sufficiently in their "best interest" ?

In my opinion, Walmart Home Office is careful about what it does, which, infrastructure wise, is nothing.  They haven't and won't give money to infrastructural improvements... If they did, the traffic issues in Bentonville would be somewhat resolved.. They are advocating them somewhat with the 8th Street interchange.  Walmart definitely wants the 8th Street interchange, and the City of Bentonville has plans for it on their website.

It makes me sad that I find zero information on the state website.  What purpose does AHTD serve if I can't info on it?


I think AHTD has little to do with it. It's mainly the city that's doing the work:
http://www.bentonvillear.com/8th_street_project.html

Wal-Mart was a strong proponent of the regional cargo passenger airport, as were JB Hunt and Tyson,  which was paid for with bonds issued by Llama Company (Alice Walton) .

Not surprising they don't contribute much to infrastructure improvements: they don't like employee benefits, either.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #211 on: April 09, 2012, 09:17:23 PM »

Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #212 on: April 10, 2012, 05:08:36 PM »

Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #213 on: April 11, 2012, 12:14:57 AM »

Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #214 on: April 11, 2012, 01:13:20 AM »

Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!

AHTD may be responsible for the actual interchange,  but 8th Street itself isn't a state maintained roadway. 
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #215 on: April 11, 2012, 07:05:22 AM »

Has anyone taken some pictures of the Hiwasse bypass? I saw where the AHTD said it was about 25% complete. I liked us 71 description of the road.

I've not had time, but maybe sometime this Spring.  I can tell you 49 will go under 72 on the east end and over 279 south of town. BTW: Hiwasse may soon cease to exist, as they have approved a plan to merge with Gravette.


That's interesting...

Also, why would the Bentonville 8th Street interchange be a city project?  I'm confused!  Does AHTD completely step out of it?  Weird!

I don't know if something similar has happened in Arkansas, but here in Huntsville, AL the city of Huntsville fully paid for the widening of US 431 through part of the city, so it had little to no involvement from ALDOT.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #216 on: April 11, 2012, 11:20:13 AM »


I don't know if something similar has happened in Arkansas, but here in Huntsville, AL the city of Huntsville fully paid for the widening of US 431 through part of the city, so it had little to no involvement from ALDOT.

Not to my knowledge, though AHTD has been known to assume maintenance for a road, improve it, then turn it back to the city.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #217 on: April 13, 2012, 01:26:02 AM »

AHTD may be responsible for the actual interchange,  but 8th Street itself isn't a state maintained roadway. 

I'm just used to the state recognizing what needs to be done, and doing the main work (with little city coordination) when it came to projects like that.

In Sioux Falls SD, they reconstructed most of I-29 through the city.  The SDDOT also reconstructed the interchanges (putting in SPUIs and a Parclo), along with the streets involved (usually it was 1/4 mile to a 1 mile on each side of the interchange, depending).  I loved traveling I-29 in SF with 3 lanes and an auxiliary lane... Compared to I-540 here in NWA.

Maybe it's because SD is a low population state (I've heard both sides), but dang, they got it right up there when it comes to funding.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #218 on: April 17, 2012, 11:36:38 AM »

After getting Arkansas voters to approve the bond referendum for interstate maintenance in November, AHTD and the Arkansas legislature will come back in November 2012 and ask Arkansas voters to approve a one-half percent increase in the sales tax for construction of and improvements to four-lane highways (including additional lanes).  Completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass is one of the projects that would be funded by the increase:
http://thecabin.net/news/2011-12-24/highway-improvement-advocates-gearing-sales-tax-hike-campaign
Quote
The Legislature this year referred to the 2012 general election ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the state’s 6 percent sales tax to 6 1/2 percent to fund a $1.8 billion program that would connect all corners of the state with four-lane highways ...
Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department ... has said approval of the half-cent sales tax increase would fund a number of large, expensive projects across Arkansas, including ... [t]wo lanes of the proposed Bella Vista bypass ...

In this article, Scott Bennett reiterates that completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass would be funded by the bonds.  He also mentions that the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor (I assume I-540) would be widened from four to six lanes:

Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #219 on: April 22, 2012, 01:38:41 AM »

Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
Sigh... well... He realizes the issues, but he needs to decommission a ton of state highways, and fix the funding formula for transportation funding (Not something he can do).  That might help.  I do admire his drive.  540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #220 on: April 22, 2012, 05:59:35 AM »

Quote
Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Commission Scott Bennett oversees the improvements of 16,000 miles of highway, the 12th largest in the country.
He outlined the programs that would begin construction if a half-cent sales tax increase passes in November. The tax would be in effect for 10 years and finance a $1.8 billion bond program for a four-lane highway system linking every part of the state.
In Northwest Arkansas, it would widen the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor to six lanes and complete the Bella Vista bypass to two lanes. It would also build a bypass from North Springdale, west toward XNA connecting somewhere in the Tonitown vacinity.
“The bond gives you the money up front…under construction in five years and finished in seven and paid in ten years. If you raise the money ... it would take 20 years or more to widen I-540 in Northwest Arkansas,” said Bennett.
Sigh... well... He realizes the issues, but he needs to decommission a ton of state highways, and fix the funding formula for transportation funding (Not something he can do).  That might help.  I do admire his drive.  540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.
Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #221 on: April 23, 2012, 11:40:52 PM »

Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?

Knowing Arkansas, 49 and 71 will run concurrent, but 71 will be "invisible" .
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #222 on: April 24, 2012, 12:19:15 AM »

Head south to Louisiana, and you'll see a state that needs to shed some miles. TONS of highways here end at the state line with Arkansas, changing from a LA hwy to an AR county road. Gravel road on one side, asphalt with striping and shields on the other. It's crazy, really.
Any word on if the interstate will change to I-49 completely, or stay dual signed?

Knowing Arkansas, 49 and 71 will run concurrent, but 71 will be "invisible" .

I assume that 71 will remain on its current alignment except for a few places (Foran Gap, the causeway near Milwood Lake, etc.)
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #223 on: May 01, 2012, 11:00:45 AM »

In this article, Scott Bennett reiterates that completion of two lanes of the Bella Vista Bypass would be funded by the bonds.  He also mentions that the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor (I assume I-540) would be widened from four to six lanes
540 between Fayetteville and Bentonville/Rogers is a death trap... It's sad the amount of accidents I see, and it backs up traffic for miles upon miles.  The Bella Vista bypass is very needed... And not with a ridiculous 2 laner.

AHTD official Dick Trammel was in Bentonville yesterday lobbying for the sales tax increase:

Quote
Transportation experts spent Monday morning talking traffic in Bentonville, Arkansas.
State Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel joined Alex Herrgott, the US Chamber of Commerce's Director of Transportation and Infrastructure, and US Senator John Boozeman on a panel to discuss the issues facing northwest Arkansas and the country.
"540 is full," Trammel says. "Every morning you see the congestion."
Herrgott says now is the time to address infrastructure issues, because traffic will increase as the economy continues to recover.
"If you think things are bad now, you should see two years from now," he says. "Failure to adequately address capacity on that road in the next five or ten years will increase congestion, choke out goods and services, and will have substantial negative impacts on the economy."
He says we need to expand highways and interstates across the country.
"It's not just about people getting to and from work," Herrgott says. "It's about competing in the global marketplace."
In November the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation plans to ask voters in to approve a half-cent sales tax to pay for the expansion of I-540 to six lanes. Trammel says the tax would last for ten years, and would also pay for the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass and part of a bypass for Springdale.
"We don't have the funding now to do these expensive and highly congested areas," Trammel says."It takes three to five years to finish those projects so I'm just hoping the people give us the opportunity now."
The panel was part of the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce's "Focus on the Economy" series.

Trammel paints a pretty bleak picture if the sales tax increase is not approved by the voters.  Vote aside, I don't understand why the I-540 widening is not already a higher priority at AHTD.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #224 on: May 01, 2012, 12:14:28 PM »


Trammel paints a pretty bleak picture if the sales tax increase is not approved by the voters.  Vote aside, I don't understand why the I-540 widening is not already a higher priority at AHTD.

Purely conjecture on my part, but I wonder if has to do with how remote NW Arkansas is from Little Rock? Surely 540 would be a bigger priority than the 430/630 rebuild? Of course, no one walks about the 440 extension, BUT I-530 is in the process of a major renovation. Sounds to me like mismanaged priorities.
Logged
a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest -- Simon & Garfunkel

 


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