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Author Topic: I-49 in Arkansas  (Read 702402 times)

O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #500 on: October 25, 2013, 11:19:28 AM »

Grzrd, if I recall correctly, you said it might be several days before the AHTD formally announces this?  (And it's reported by Arkansas media outlets?)
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #501 on: October 25, 2013, 11:25:33 AM »

^ I mentioned that it might take several days for AASHTO to post their decision. As for AHTD, they may wait until they clear up any remaining formalities, if any, with FHWA before they issue a news release. I currently have an email in to AHTD and I will post if the reply provides good information.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #502 on: October 25, 2013, 11:26:30 AM »

^ I mentioned that it might take several days for AASHTO to post their decision. As for AHTD, they may wait until they clear up any remaining formalities, if any, with FHWA before they issue a news release. I currently have an email in to AHTD and I will post if the reply provides good information.

Thank you, Grzrd.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #503 on: October 27, 2013, 09:23:56 AM »

it might be several days before the AHTD formally announces this?  (And it's reported by Arkansas media outlets?)

AHTD has gotten word out to the media and this article (behind paywall) reports that AHTD has already submitted its application to FHWA, FHWA has signaled that approval should be effective by Christmas, and that, after approval, "it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down":

Quote
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has gotten initial approval to designate two sections of highway as Interstate 49 ....
The approved sections include 73 miles of Interstate 540 from Alma north to Bella Vista and 42 miles of Arkansas 549 from Texarkana south to the Louisiana state line, said Randy Ort, a spokesmanfor the Highway Department.
The approval came from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials at an Oct. 18 meeting in Denver ....
But final approval must come from the Federal Highway Administration, which received the state’s application last month.
“They have the information,” said Ort. “We’re just waiting to hear back from them. We don’t foresee any problems.”
Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway Department, said he’d like to have final approval by Christmas, but that may be too optimistic.
Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, said Christmas is possible.
“I think that sounds like a very reasonable goal,” he said.

“The proposal from the state is still being reviewed, so we don’t have any way to ballpark how long it’ll take.”
After the I-49 designation is approved on the federal level, it will take a while longer before the new signs go up and the old ones come down, Ort said. The process requires educating the public, making new signs and installing them, he said.
Besides the I-49 signs, the application the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved included “future I-49 signs” for two sections that are still under construction.
Those segments are the 14-mile Bella Vista bypass and a 6-mile section of U.S. 71 on the south side of Fort Smith to Arkansas 22 at Barling.

The section near Fort Smith is scheduled to be completed in June.
A 5-mile section from Doddridge to the Louisiana state line is to be done in May. Ort said it would likely be completed before the Highway Department is ready to put I-49 signs up along the route, so it has been approved for the I-49 signs.
“It just doesn’t make sense to have to keep renumbering things when it’s clear it’s part of the interstate system,” said Bennett, referring to Arkansas 549 south of Texarkana.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 09:29:51 AM by Grzrd »
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #504 on: October 27, 2013, 10:27:44 AM »

 :nod:
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #505 on: October 27, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »

I find it interesting that the US 71 freeway north of US 62/AR 102 is not a part of I-540, but will be a part of I-49 before the BVB is opened.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #506 on: October 27, 2013, 03:43:48 PM »

BTW, I've been out of state the past three weeks, but another key part of the Bella Vista bypass is now in place - they've opened the new west 102 bridge between Gravette and the community formerly known as "Hiwasse".  The new east bridge east/southeast of "Hiwasse" has been open for months.

This new bridge will allow the two current "under construction" segments of the BV bypass on the Arkansas side to be connected to one another.  A berm had been plowed north of the old highway right next to where this bridge was built.  They're now removing the pavement of the old highway section, and will later push down the berm and start connecting the segment of I-49 that's being plowed north from the bridge to the road (forget its name) just west of Bella Vista near where the B.V. gun range has been.

(EDIT: BTW, the article in the paper that Grzrd cited was very nice.  They also had a map, though on the map they only designated where the "(current)I-49" segments are going to be along (I-540, the route from Texarkana to the Louisiana line).)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 03:47:57 PM by O Tamandua »
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #507 on: October 28, 2013, 08:52:32 AM »

BTW, I've been out of state the past three weeks, but another key part of the Bella Vista bypass is now in place - they've opened the new west 102 bridge between Gravette and the community formerly known as "Hiwasse".  The new east bridge east/southeast of "Hiwasse" has been open for months.

This new bridge will allow the two current "under construction" segments of the BV bypass on the Arkansas side to be connected to one another.  A berm had been plowed north of the old highway right next to where this bridge was built.  They're now removing the pavement of the old highway section, and will later push down the berm and start connecting the segment of I-49 that's being plowed north from the bridge to the road (forget its name) just west of Bella Vista near where the B.V. gun range has been.

102?? "formerly Hiwassee"  :confused:  I thought the road to Gravette was AR72. If the name is no longer Hiwassee, then what is it?
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #508 on: October 28, 2013, 09:39:40 AM »

rte66man, Hiwasse agreed to be annexed by Gravette because they didn't want to be annexed by Bella Vista.

Sorry, I meant to say that the east and west new bridges over future I-49 are over Hwy. 72...I get it and 102 mixed up in name sometimes.  Apologies.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #509 on: October 28, 2013, 01:24:19 PM »

The bridge on Howard Hill Rd south of Fort Smith is now open, as well.  Paving looks to be at least started to just past Rye Hill Rd. Past that, construction crews are still lowering the grade for 49.
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O Tamandua

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #510 on: October 29, 2013, 09:45:14 AM »

In their quest to be intuitive, google does some odd things.  Today when looking to see what other media outlets are reporting on Grzrd's news, I typed in "Arkansas I-49".  Atop the results was this, which is a map that shows exactly where construction has taken place so far on the Bella Vista bypass.  Where the green arrow is denotes where the new bridge I wrote about has just been opened on west Hwy. 72 toward Gravette.  The area below the bridge is significantly more built than the area above:

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #511 on: October 29, 2013, 10:42:40 AM »

* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #512 on: October 29, 2013, 11:02:35 AM »

* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.


There is precedence: when AR 68 became US 412, there was a transition period. Also when AR 471 became US 71B.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #513 on: October 29, 2013, 07:14:55 PM »

* AHTD asked for redesignations of I-540 ("as Interstate 49") and part of US 71 (I assume "as Interstate 49") in NWA.  I had thought that they were going to ask for concurrent designations in order to allow for a transition period.

They might do it the same way PennDOT did when they changed a segment of I-279 into I-376.  For a few weeks, have both I-279 & I-376 shields posted along the side of the road (not @ the exit on-ramps, just the mainline) and then remove the I-279 shields when they updated the BGS's.


There is precedence: when AR 68 became US 412, there was a transition period. Also when AR 471 became US 71B.

Arkansas likes to remove the old highway sign, replace it with a sign with the new number on it, and haphazardly put the old sign underneath the new sign, sometimes with one bolt:




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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #514 on: November 05, 2013, 10:05:27 AM »

In their quest to be intuitive, google does some odd things.  Today when looking to see what other media outlets are reporting on Grzrd's news, I typed in "Arkansas I-49".  Atop the results was this, which is a map that shows exactly where construction has taken place so far on the Bella Vista bypass.  Where the green arrow is denotes where the new bridge I wrote about has just been opened on west Hwy. 72 toward Gravette.  The area below the bridge is significantly more built than the area above:



This is what it looked like in March. Wonder what took them so long to finish.....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rte66man/8594356450/in/set-72157633097063219
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #515 on: November 25, 2013, 03:31:58 PM »

As previously discussed in a post in the Texarkana thread, the President of the I-49 International Coalition, Curt Green, recently justified the construction of I-49 through Arkansas as being a logical corridor for goods coming from Louisiana and Texas ports and as being a much safer road than the current US 71.

This article is inked in the other post: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Head-of-I-49-coalition-says-road-needed-soon-5009881.php

Quote
The head of a coalition that supports the construction of a controlled access highway through western Arkansas says the roadway should be built soon so travelers can be safer and the region can enjoy greater economic development.
Curt Green ....
said that current work on Interstate 69 and U.S. 59 in Texas will turn Texarkana into more of an economic hub and that I-49 is needed to move goods farther north.
"Having 69 ending right here in Texarkana will mean cargo coming in from Harlingen and Corpus Christi," he said. "This will mean that we are going to be dumping a tremendous amount of traffic and cargo to Texarkana."
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #516 on: November 29, 2013, 10:39:55 AM »

Who says Arkansas doesn't have something like Missouri's system, where minor state highways get less maintenance (despite having numbers rather than letters)?
To my knowledge, they don't, and quite frankly, AHTD is miles behind MoDOT.  But that was my point, minor state highways could have letters.  I really like MO's system. 

I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally. Re-signing a ton of state highways with letters when people don't really care just for roadgeek purposes doesn't really sounds like a cost-effective project.

I'm not sure why you say AHTD is miles behind MoDOT, because currently it is MoDOT that is holding up the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass since they lost their funding they promised to Arkansas. Missouri needs to get their house in order, Arkansas is moving forward (despite your comments about Arkansas's "intelligence"...)

Completed as promised!! Not so much, MoDOT...

http://swtimes.com/news/highway-commission-postpones-part-bella-vista-bypass-project
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #517 on: November 29, 2013, 10:47:40 AM »

I spoke with Scott Bennett, AHTD Director, about this issue directly. He is well aware of the size of the system and says they basically have an informal primary-secondary network internally.
Probably a rough continuation of the old federal aid primary/secondary systems.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #518 on: November 29, 2013, 11:01:40 AM »

I asked him about the size of the network; he knows that much of the system is glorified driveways and roads that connect ghost towns. However, he said that taking people's state highways would be such a bad move politically that they wouldn't be able to get anything else done

He said the secondary roads basically are at minimum maintenance, which is the same they would be if they were officially in a secondary network (Missouri) or administrated by a county organization (Iowa). Low volume rural routes are a problem in almost every state, not just Arkansas.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #519 on: November 29, 2013, 11:17:16 AM »


I'm not sure why you say AHTD is miles behind MoDOT, because currently it is MoDOT that is holding up the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass since they lost their funding they promised to Arkansas. Missouri needs to get their house in order, Arkansas is moving forward (despite your comments about Arkansas's "intelligence"...)


MoDOT had the money when Arkansas didn't, so moved on to other projects instead of sitting around wanking until Arkansas was ready.

This is just so much finger pointing, though. Just get the furshlugginer road done and quit playing the "blame game".
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #520 on: November 29, 2013, 11:22:17 AM »

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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #521 on: November 29, 2013, 11:25:36 AM »

What does he think about 159? http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1714635

Don't forget AR 74 ;)

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #522 on: November 29, 2013, 11:33:41 AM »

Don't forget AR 74 ;)
Eh, that one could be a continuous route if the gaps were filled: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1715519
Not the case for 159 at McGehee.

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
I see 3 likely old alignments (Lake Village, McGehee, Dumas) and 5 that are probably not.
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #523 on: November 29, 2013, 11:53:00 AM »

Don't forget AR 74 ;)
Eh, that one could be a continuous route if the gaps were filled: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=1715519
Not the case for 159 at McGehee.

FWIW, my research seems to indicate these 159's  are mostly (if not all) old alignments of US 65.
I see 3 likely old alignments (Lake Village, McGehee, Dumas) and 5 that are probably not.

They may also be old AR 59 (there was a 59 in southern Arkansas before US 59 was formed).
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Re: I-49 in Arkansas
« Reply #524 on: November 29, 2013, 12:48:17 PM »

They cocked it up in 1973:
Quote
73-226 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of State Highway 4 west of McGehee, thence running south and east to the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Masonville, a length of approximately 3.2 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 5.
73-227 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of State Highway 4 west of McGehee, thence running north through Sections 29 and 20, T12S, R3W, to a county road junction on the north line of Section 20, T12S, R3W, a length of approximately 1.5 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 6.
73-228 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of U. S. 65 north of McGehee, thence westerly across the Missouri Pacific Railroad to old U. S. 65, thence southerly along old U. S. 65 to the north corporate limits of McGehee, a length of approximately 0.8 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No.159, Section 7.
73-229 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road known as the Griff Leek Road beginning at the junction of State Highway 138 in Section 31, T10S, R3W, thence running northerly to the west side of Canal No. 19 in Section 19, T10S, R3W, a length of approximately 2.4 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 8.
73-230 IN DESHA COUNTY, in accordance with the provisions of Act 9 of 1973, IT IS ORDERED that the county road beginning at the junction of U.S. 65 at the northwest corner of Mitchellville, thence running south along the west corporate limits of Mitchellville to old U. S. 65, thence running southeasterly along old U. S. 65 to the north corporate limits of Dumas at East Dante Street, a length of approximately 1.2 miles, as shown on the attached map, is hereby made a part of the State Highway System, to be designated as State Highway No. 159, Section 9.

Only the one south of Eudora is old 59 (and was the first segment of 159, renumbered in 1935). Anyway, looks like the one from McGehee to Halley is also old US 65 (and, along with the one at Lake Village, was around before 1973). That still leaves two segments west of McGehee (226 and 227) and one east of Winchester (229) that are not old anything (except east of Masonville was US 165) - and the ones at McGehee don't form any sort of logical route when combined with the others.
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