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Author Topic: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)  (Read 144755 times)

MikeSantNY78

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #150 on: August 04, 2014, 02:22:46 PM »

Google Maps has April 2014 Street View imagery of the I-69 Monticello Bypass from the perspective of US 425, featuring a "Road Closed" sign.
Quote

Go north of there, and turn around (while still in SV), and you'll pick up a LGS marked "Future I-69 Corridor (crossing-arrow)"...
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #151 on: August 04, 2014, 02:31:46 PM »

Google Maps has April 2014 Street View imagery of the I-69 Monticello Bypass from the perspective of US 425, featuring a "Road Closed" sign.
Quote

Go north of there, and turn around (while still in SV), and you'll pick up a LGS marked "Future I-69 Corridor (crossing-arrow)"...
I have a similar photo on my Flickr page ;)
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #152 on: August 28, 2014, 12:38:58 PM »

This August 26, 2014 Alliance for I-69 Texas article about the recent I-69W unveiling reports that, at the ceremony, Transportation Commission Member Jeff Austin provided a report about recent I-69 discussions with AHTD:

Quote
Transportation Commission Member Jeff Austin ....
noted that the length of the I-69 route in Texas is greater than the combined mileage on the national I-69 route through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. He reported on recent discussions he has had about the national I-69 route with leaders of the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

AHTD, the article does not provide any details about Commissioner Austin's report on his I-69 discussions with the Department.  Is there anything noteworthy resulting from those discussions that you can share with us?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 10:43:13 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #153 on: September 02, 2014, 02:14:43 PM »

This August 26, 2014 Alliance for I-69 Texas article about the recent I-69W unveiling reports that, at the ceremony, Transportation Commission Member Jeff Austin provided a report about recent I-69 discussions with AHTD:

Quote
Transportation Commission Member Jeff Austin ....
noted that the length of the I-69 route in Texas is greater than the combined mileage on the national I-69 route through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. He reported on recent discussions he has had about the national I-69 route with leaders of the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

AHTD, the article does not provide any details about Commissioner Austin's report on his I-69 discussions with the Department.  Is there anything noteworthy resulting from those discussions that you can share with us?

Sure thing!
 
Commissioner Austin met with AHTD Director of Highways and Transportation Scott Bennett and Arkansas Highway Commissioner Robert S. Moore, Jr. You may know that Commissioner Moore is a BIG proponent for the I-69 Corridor and he was invited by Director Bennett to be part of the meeting requested by Commissioner Austin.
 
AHTD is the administrative agency acting on behalf of the 8-state member I-69 Steering Committee.
 
Commissioner Austin was bringing Director Bennett up to speed on the happenings in Texas - specifically that a group in Texas has started its own I-69 Coalition - dedicated to the effort in the Lone Star State. AHTD brought him up to speed on what's happening in Arkansas.
 
 
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #154 on: October 09, 2014, 02:35:48 PM »

Another milestone for I-69 in Arkansas is approaching: the first paving project. The AHTD website indicates that the March 10, 2015 letting is currently scheduled to include the base and surfacing contract for the eastern part of the Monticello Bypass (page 4/4 of pdf):



edit

What will the Monticello bypass be signed as?  AR 569 would be a leading contender, I would think.

It's interesting that the eastern part of the Bypass is referred to as "I-69" for the letting instead of an alternative designation.



PowerPoint presentation for the May 21 Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition banquet ... (page 11/49 of pdf):
this article (paywall) .... also provides an update on the I-69 Monticello Bypass:
Quote
Straessle said the Monticello bypass project is moving along on schedule.
“The current project on the eastern half of the Monticello bypass is scheduled for completion by September 2014,” Straessle said. “The current work involves construction of two bridges; one over Drew County Road 36 and the other over the Union-Pacific railroad tracks; as well as dirt work and the installation of box culverts. This time next year we plan to let the contract for paving that section.”
Straessle said that work on the western part of the bypass is not expected to begin until sometime in 2016.

As for the western part of the Monticello Bypass ......

AHTD, since the paving contract for the eastern part of the Monticello Bypass looks like it will be let approximately seven months later than the previously anticipated August, 2014 date, is the Department still looking at letting the grading and structures contract for the western part of the Monticello Bypass in 2016?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 04:42:00 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #155 on: November 13, 2014, 01:37:01 PM »

In Arkansas, El Dorado is located where I-69 SIU 14 meets SIU 13. In a Nov. 12 presentation to the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, AHTD focuses on progress that is being made on the I-69 Connector/ AR 530, presumably based on the notion that the I-69 Connector is an initial phase of a direct interstate connection between El Dorado and Little Rock (pp. 23-25/45 of pdf).  As a minor side note, AHTD presented a slide to the El Dorado audience indicating that SIU 14 was still in the Draft EIS phase, even though a Record of Decision was issued in 2012 (page 23/45 of pdf):



Granted, SIU 14 will probably prove to be the lowest I-69 priority for both Arkansas and Louisiana, but it still would have been nice if accurate information had been provided to the El Dorado audience, especially since AHTD has a more current update available:

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #156 on: November 14, 2014, 02:46:49 AM »

In Arkansas, El Dorado is located where I-69 SIU 14 meets SIU 13. In a Nov. 12 presentation to the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, AHTD focuses on progress that is being made on the I-69 Connector/ AR 530, presumably based on the notion that the I-69 Connector is an initial phase of a direct interstate connection between El Dorado and Little Rock (pp. 23-25/45 of pdf). 

Wouldn't US 167 be quicker? It would definitely be shorter. Besides, AHTD is slowly upgrading US 167 into a 4 lane route south of Little Rock.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #157 on: November 14, 2014, 03:47:56 PM »

The I-69 route between Arkansas and Kentucky sure is crooked. I would expect at least some long distance traffic coming from Mexico headed to the Northeast US to bypass some of that by taking other Interstates in the region.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #158 on: November 14, 2014, 07:05:17 PM »

In Arkansas, El Dorado is located where I-69 SIU 14 meets SIU 13. In a Nov. 12 presentation to the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, AHTD focuses on progress that is being made on the I-69 Connector/ AR 530, presumably based on the notion that the I-69 Connector is an initial phase of a direct interstate connection between El Dorado and Little Rock (pp. 23-25/45 of pdf). 

Wouldn't US 167 be quicker? It would definitely be shorter. Besides, AHTD is slowly upgrading US 167 into a 4 lane route south of Little Rock.

I think all that's left to widen is the Saline River area and a segment north of Fordyce.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #159 on: November 21, 2014, 04:54:50 PM »

Another milestone for I-69 in Arkansas is approaching: the first paving project. The AHTD website indicates that the March 10, 2015 letting is currently scheduled to include the base and surfacing contract for the eastern part of the Monticello Bypass:

The AHTD website indicates that the I-69 Monticello Bypass project has been dropped from the March 10 letting and does not appear on the list for the April 21 letting.  I don't know if this means that AHTD is beginning to follow Tennessee's lead in scaling back new projects because of the lack of a multi-year reauthorization.  It is possible that it simply reflects a delay in the completion of the grading and structures contract, for which IDriveArkansas now projects a mid-2015 completion:





In Arkansas, El Dorado is located where I-69 SIU 14 meets SIU 13. In a Nov. 12 presentation to the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, AHTD focuses on progress that is being made on the I-69 Connector/ AR 530, presumably based on the notion that the I-69 Connector is an initial phase of a direct interstate connection between El Dorado and Little Rock (pp. 23-25/45 of pdf). 
Wouldn't US 167 be quicker? It would definitely be shorter. Besides, AHTD is slowly upgrading US 167 into a 4 lane route south of Little Rock.
I think all that's left to widen is the Saline River area and a segment north of Fordyce.

Pages 18-19/45 of the Nov. 12 presentation pdf show the widening schedule for US 167.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 05:21:50 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #160 on: December 19, 2014, 11:18:35 AM »

The AHTD website indicates that the I-69 Monticello Bypass project has been dropped from the March 10 letting and does not appear on the list for the April 21 letting.

Effective December 18, the I-69 Monticello Bypass project is back to being scheduled for the March 10 letting:



edit

Also, Google Maps recently updated its aerial imagery of the construction, which in particular provides an improved perspective of where I-69 will intersect with US 278.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 03:49:14 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #161 on: February 10, 2015, 10:55:20 AM »

IDriveArkansas now projects a mid-2015 completion
Effective December 18, the I-69 Monticello Bypass project is back to being scheduled for the March 10 letting

In a February 3 presentation to the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, AHTD lists five "no go" projects for the March 10 letting due to uncertainties related to the Highway Trust Fund (page 28/52 of pdf); the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project is not included in that list.  However, the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project is not one of the projects included in the March 10 letting*.  In addition, IDriveArkansas now projects a mid-2016 completion for the grading and structures contract, which represents a one year delay from the November, 2014 estimate:



AHTD, is it correct to assume that the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project was removed from the March 10 letting because of delays arising in the grading and structures contract?  If so, what are the issues that continue to delay the grading and structures contract?

edit

*
  It also does not appear as a scheduled project in the April, June and July lettings.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 07:04:50 AM by Grzrd »
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AHTD

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #162 on: February 14, 2015, 09:52:41 PM »

IDriveArkansas now projects a mid-2015 completion
Effective December 18, the I-69 Monticello Bypass project is back to being scheduled for the March 10 letting

In a February 3 presentation to the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, AHTD lists five "no go" projects for the March 10 letting due to uncertainties related to the Highway Trust Fund (page 28/52 of pdf); the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project is not included in that list.  However, the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project is not one of the projects included in the March 10 letting*.  In addition, IDriveArkansas now projects a mid-2016 completion for the grading and structures contract, which represents a one year delay from the November, 2014 estimate:



AHTD, is it correct to assume that the I-69 Monticello Bypass paving project was removed from the March 10 letting because of delays arising in the grading and structures contract?  If so, what are the issues that continue to delay the grading and structures contract?

edit

*
  It also does not appear as a scheduled project in the April, June and July lettings.


Your assumptions are correct. Not sure of the exact circumstances, but if memory serves the contractor is behind schedule. Not sure if we're into damages yet or not.

The Department is committed to completing the first two lanes of the I-69 Connector (AR 530) from Pine Bluff to the Monticello Bypass. It is also committed to completing the first two lanes of the Monticello Bypass.

Again, if memory serves, funding is Congressional earmark.

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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #163 on: March 24, 2015, 12:51:12 PM »

As for the western part of the Monticello Bypass ......
AHTD, since the paving contract for the eastern part of the Monticello Bypass looks like it will be let approximately seven months later than the previously anticipated August, 2014 date, is the Department still looking at letting the grading and structures contract for the western part of the Monticello Bypass in 2016?

This article reports that there will be a public hearing in Monticello on April 9 to present and discuss the proposed design of the 11.3 mile western portion of the Monticello Bypass:

Quote
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) will conduct a design public hearing to present and discuss the proposed design of the western portion of the Monticello Bypass, from Highway 278 West to Highway 425.
The proposed 11.3 mile project will be located in Drew County and consists of constructing a two lane highway on new location. The project will be a part of the future four lane divided highway that will connect to I-530.

It looks like a 2016 letting is still possible.  This section of Future I-69 is interesting because it will be the eventual site of the I-69/ I-530 interchange (assuming I-69 will be built in Arkansas).
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #164 on: April 10, 2015, 09:08:42 PM »

PowerPoint presentation for the May 21 Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition banquet ... (page 11/49 of pdf):
This article reports that there will be a public hearing in Monticello on April 9 to present and discuss the proposed design of the 11.3 mile western portion of the Monticello Bypass:
Quote
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) will conduct a design public hearing to present and discuss the proposed design of the western portion of the Monticello Bypass, from Highway 278 West to Highway 425.
The proposed 11.3 mile project will be located in Drew County and consists of constructing a two lane highway on new location. The project will be a part of the future four lane divided highway that will connect to I-530.

AHTD has posted the Environmental GIS map that was on display at the meeting:



AHTD has also posted a Hearing Packet that provides general information about the project:

Quote
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will conduct an open forum Design Public Hearing to discuss the proposed design for the western portion of the Monticello Bypass, from Hwy. 278 West to Hwy. 425. The proposed 11.3 mile project will be located in Drew County and consists of constructing a highway on new location. The project consists of constructing a two lane highway that will be a part of the future four lane divided highway that will connect to I-530 ....
The information presented at this hearing is preliminary and is the best indication of what the Department is proposing at this time. The Department is sensitive to the concerns of the citizenry and final plans will be developed after the comments from this public hearing are received and an evaluation of all impacts of the project can be completed.

As best as I can tell from the Environmental GIS map and the Hearing Packet's project description, it looks like AHTD intends to purchase ROW for both the western segment of the I-69 Monticello Bypass and the short segment of AR 530 between US 278 and the western segment of the I-69 Monticello Bypass , but that construction on the AR 530 section is planned to occur at a separate, later time.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 02:09:22 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #165 on: April 14, 2015, 12:45:43 PM »

AHTD has posted the Environmental GIS map that was on display at the meeting ....
As best as I can tell from the Environmental GIS map and the Hearing Packet's project description, it looks like AHTD intends to purchase ROW for both the western segment of the I-69 Monticello Bypass and the short segment of AR 530 between US 278 and the western segment of the I-69 Monticello Bypass , but that construction on the AR 530 section is planned to occur at a separate, later time.

I recently had an email Q & A with AHTD about the scope of the project and received a clarification that the I-69 and AR 530 construction will occur at the same time, including some type of intersection at the site of the future interchange at the western end of the project:



Here is the Q & A with AHTD, which, in addition to providing the clarification, also states that the grading and structures contract should be let in mid-2016 and includes some interesting comments about the pavement that will be used on the future paving project:

Quote
Q: It looks like AHTD intends to purchase ROW for the western part of the bypass, the short piece of AR 530 between US 278 and the bypass, and an interchange that will link the bypass to US 278 on the west end.  Does AHTD intend to construct the short piece of AR 530 and the 278 interchange (or even the short new road that would be needed to link US 278 to the bypass) at the same that the western part of the bypass would be constructed?

A: Yes, this is all one project.
We are purchasing all ROW for the entire future four-lane divided Interstate facility, however you may remember we are only constructing two lanes at this time.
We anticipate letting a contract in mid-2016 for the grading and structures. As soon as that project is done, we’ll let a contract for the base and surfacing (paving).
At this time, the full (final) interchanges are not being constructed. They will exist as at-grade crossings with stop signs, maybe traffic lights ....
The curious part about this Monticello Bypass is that the pavement we are putting down now for the two lane highway is not the final pavement for what will be the future eastbound lanes.
In short, we are paving a two-lane asphalt highway whose geometry is a little different than what the final concrete section will look like. So eventually this two-lane asphalt highway will be removed and the final pavement will be installed.

But I don’t think that will be anytime soon.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #166 on: April 14, 2015, 01:26:48 PM »

I would what designation these segments of future I-69 will receive? AR 569?
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #167 on: April 14, 2015, 09:09:28 PM »

Remove ashpalt to later replace it with the final pavement surface...well now how much more does that add to the project versus going ahead and putting down concrete and finishing off half of the new 4-lane road the first time??  :pan: What a waste of tax payer money.  :banghead:
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #168 on: April 15, 2015, 01:59:24 AM »

I would what designation these segments of future I-69 will receive? AR 569?

I wonder the same thing. AR 569 would make sense and has precedent but knowing AHTD they'll give it some ridiculous number. Another possibility is SPUR US 278 which also has precedent because the western half of I-530 around Pine Bluff was originally SPUR US 65.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 02:54:44 AM by bugo »
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #169 on: April 15, 2015, 02:01:49 PM »

This link has a "Video Tour" of diagrams showing the future portion of the Monticello bypass.  Basically just some guy from the local paper videoing the diagrams with a shakey camera while talking to the Arkansas DOT person there

http://www.monticellolive.com/video-tour-of-proposed-i-69-west-from-425-south-to-278-near-wilmar/
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #170 on: April 22, 2015, 10:32:51 PM »

Remove ashpalt to later replace it with the final pavement surface...well now how much more does that add to the project versus going ahead and putting down concrete and finishing off half of the new 4-lane road the first time??  :pan: What a waste of tax payer money.  :banghead:

On the contrary. Our estimates are that I-69 won't be realized within the next 25 years, which is the design life of the pavement we are putting down. So why not go ahead and provide a useable segment for the locals and help improve things in and around Monticello?
 
Hey, if we find ourselves in a windfall situation and funding is found for I-69, not just in Arkansas but in surrounding states, who would argue with pulling up the asphalt (with two-lane highway geometry design) and replacing it with pavement (concrete) with a geometry design for a four-lane divided Interstate?
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #171 on: April 22, 2015, 11:27:44 PM »

Remove ashpalt to later replace it with the final pavement surface...well now how much more does that add to the project versus going ahead and putting down concrete and finishing off half of the new 4-lane road the first time??  :pan: What a waste of tax payer money.  :banghead:

On the contrary. Our estimates are that I-69 won't be realized within the next 25 years, which is the design life of the pavement we are putting down. So why not go ahead and provide a useable segment for the locals and help improve things in and around Monticello?
 
Hey, if we find ourselves in a windfall situation and funding is found for I-69, not just in Arkansas but in surrounding states, who would argue with pulling up the asphalt (with two-lane highway geometry design) and replacing it with pavement (concrete) with a geometry design for a four-lane divided Interstate?

I agree that the people should have a usable road.  My argument was against putting down pavement just to pull it right back up.  But if it is going to be that long before the interstate is created, then it's not as bad as I originally thought.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #172 on: August 10, 2015, 01:59:25 PM »

AHTD has issued an August 10 Information Release stating that AHTD tentatively has scheduled the opening of the next section of Hwy. 530 south of Hwy. 114 and the new Hwy. 11 for Tuesday, August 18th, 2015:

Quote
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department tentatively has scheduled the opening of the next section of Hwy. 530 south of Hwy. 114 and the new Hwy. 11 for Tuesday, August 18th, 2015.
The newly constructed Hwy. 11 begins at Newton Chapel and extends across to Hwy. 425. The section of Hwy. 530 that is being opened will extend from Hwy. 114 to the Hwy. 11 Connector. These two new sections of roadway will allow the traveling public to travel to Hwy. 425 via Hwy. 530 without having to detour through Star City. Once the new sections are open to traffic, drivers should be aware that the crossing of Hwy. 530 at Hwy. 114 will become a stop condition for the traffic traveling on Hwy. 114 and the traffic traveling on Hwy. 530 will have the right-of-way. Drivers should also be aware that a new stop condition will be installed on the old section of Hwy. 11 at Newton Chapel.

The 2015-16 Arkansas Highway Map already shows this project as a completed project:



Also, this September 17, 2013 Minute Order explains the AR 11S designation on the above snip: in short, AR 11S is a spur:



Here is a snip from the Minute Order's map illustrating the redesignation of part of AR 11 as AR 11S:

« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 12:35:39 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #173 on: August 10, 2015, 02:23:23 PM »

I would what designation these segments of future I-69 will receive? AR 569?

I wonder the same thing. AR 569 would make sense and has precedent but knowing AHTD they'll give it some ridiculous number. Another possibility is SPUR US 278 which also has precedent because the western half of I-530 around Pine Bluff was originally SPUR US 65.
I also believe that AR 569 would be used to balance out the AR 549 (Future I-49) on the other side of the state.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #174 on: August 10, 2015, 04:01:53 PM »

Arkansas home to AR 549 and AR 569? What's the obsession with future Interstate Highways with state designations starting with a 5?
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