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Author Topic: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)  (Read 144839 times)

bjrush

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #125 on: May 22, 2014, 08:17:35 PM »

Yes and I am not sure why that is not happening. I saw an estimate of $300 million to complete the so called I-69 connector
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #126 on: May 23, 2014, 12:23:10 AM »

It's cheaper to build highways in the flat Delta region than it is in the rugged Ouachita Mountains, and we all know how AHTD likes to be cheap (except for sign replacement).
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #127 on: May 23, 2014, 02:27:50 PM »

Unfortunately I-69 in Southern Arkansas will be a dead end route as long as the Great River Bridge has no time line for funding and Mississippi has no time line for building their section of I-69. Those are two huge variables beyond the control of Arkansas' government. If Arkansas DOT went ahead and completed their section of I-69 and the extension of I-530 all it would do is link Pine Bluff with Shreveport. But then again, Louisiana DOT has to build their section of I-69 to make that happen. So, add yet another variable to that situation.

Completion of I-49 is far more within the control of Arkansas DOT. Missouri DOT at least has real plans to build their last section of I-49 down to the Arkansas border. Texas DOT intends to build their sliver of I-49, partly as a means to connect I-369 and the I-69 corridor into it.

Even though it will be more expensive for Arkansas DOT to build I-49 between Fort Smith & Texarkana it will be money far better spent. IMHO, I-69 in Arkansas deserves to be put on the proverbial back burner with projects like the US 67 connection between Walnut Ridge and Poplar Bluff.
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #128 on: May 23, 2014, 02:35:19 PM »

The US 67 freeway (Future I-30) between Little Rock and the I-55/57 junction is basically redundant to I-40/55 through West Memphis.  It will only save about 50 miles between NLR and Sikeston.  I-49 is a far more important corridor both locally and nationally.  The current US 67 in northeastern Arkansas is mostly a straight, flat highway, while US 71 is curvy, hilly, and dangerous (much of it is on a pre-1920s alignment).  Of course, AHTD takes the cheapie way out again and builds the road that is easier to build rather than the one that is really needed.
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #129 on: May 23, 2014, 06:42:42 PM »

The US 67 freeway (Future I-30) between Little Rock and the I-55/57 junction is basically redundant to I-40/55 through West Memphis.  It will only save about 50 miles between NLR and Sikeston.  I-49 is a far more important corridor both locally and nationally.  The current US 67 in northeastern Arkansas is mostly a straight, flat highway, while US 71 is curvy, hilly, and dangerous (much of it is on a pre-1920s alignment).  Of course, AHTD takes the cheapie way out again and builds the road that is easier to build rather than the one that is really needed.

You have forgotten where the former Legislator and Current Gov. is from.  :biggrin:

Quite Frankly, we could use some functional redundancy.  I hate the I-69 alignment in Miss, It has Trent Lott all over it. Can't for the life of me think it shouldn't have ran to Helena/West Helena and the Bridge there be used. The spur was the Jay Dickey compromise on that right?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 06:47:37 PM by Wayward Memphian »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #130 on: June 05, 2014, 05:41:55 PM »

AHTD's June 4, 2014 Presentation to the Highway Commission includes an interesting slide showing how I-69 fits into the Arkansas four-lane grid system page 42/83 of pdf):





It's cheaper to build highways in the flat Delta region than it is in the rugged Ouachita Mountains, and we all know how AHTD likes to be cheap (except for sign replacement).

I was surprised by another slide that estimates it will cost more to complete I-69 in Arkansas ($3.5 billion) than it will cost to complete I-49 in Arkansas ($2.7 billion) (page 43/83 of pdf):



I suppose the bridge over the Mississippi River is a major factor; that said, I'm still surprised.  The cost differential seems to be another argument in support of prioritizing I-49 over I-69.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 02:13:18 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 #131 on: June 18, 2014, 03:32:17 PM »

This May 2, 2014 article (including a video of the quorum Court's discussion) reports that AHTD closed Bordeaux Road to through traffic several months ago because of I-69 Monticello Bypass construction and that the county has given the northern end of the road to the few residents who live along it:

Quote
Due to the construction of the I-69 bypass, the Arkansas Highway Department closed Bordeaux Road to through traffic several months ago.
The north end of the road only has a few residents on it, and has become a site for illegal dumping.
The quorum Court, at last weeks meeting, approved giving that section of the road to the residents, who plan to put a gate across what is now basically a long driveway.
This action will also end the counties responsibility for maintenance on that road.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 04:30:45 PM by Grzrd »
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2014, 04:13:10 PM »

Quote from: Grzrd
I was surprised by another slide that estimates it will cost more to complete I-69 in Arkansas ($3.5 billion) than it will cost to complete I-49 in Arkansas ($2.7 billion)

It's not cheap to build a super highway into mountains (Lord forbid you have to build any tunnels with construction costs being what they are these days). At the same time, it's not cheap to build a super highway across big stretches of flood plain either. Just looking around Mississippi valley areas in Arkansas where I-69 is proposed it's a good bet those portions of I-69 would have to be built upon some pretty significant berms to avoid flooding. Some parts may have to be build on elevated bridges, just like those big chunks of I-10 in Louisiana.

Nevertheless, the Great River Bridge crossing is probably takes up a few hundred million of that $3.5 billion total. I'm sure AHTD expects Mississippi to pick up a fair share of the cost for building that bridge. Seeing as how Mississippi has no plans to fund that bridge anytime soon it would leave I-69 in Arkansas hitting a dead end in Monticello (or McGehee if they bother building it that far).
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #133 on: June 26, 2014, 05:02:03 PM »

members of our congressional delegation have begun somewhat of a renewed effort to promote the corridor. We developed this document for them to use in that effort:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/grb-update.pdf
Quote from: Grzrd
I was surprised by another slide that estimates it will cost more to complete I-69 in Arkansas ($3.5 billion) than it will cost to complete I-49 in Arkansas ($2.7 billion)
... it's not cheap to build a super highway across big stretches of flood plain either. Just looking around Mississippi valley areas in Arkansas where I-69 is proposed it's a good bet those portions of I-69 would have to be built upon some pretty significant berms to avoid flooding. Some parts may have to be build on elevated bridges ....
the Great River Bridge crossing is probably takes up a few hundred million of that $3.5 billion total. I'm sure AHTD expects Mississippi to pick up a fair share of the cost for building that bridge.

The document that AHTD developed for the congressional delegation estimates that, in regard to the entirety of Segment of Independent Utility 12 ("SIU 12"), it would currently cost Arkansas $910 million to build 12.6 miles of roadway approaches, 3.1 miles of approach spans, and the 0.3 mile for the Arkansas half of the Great River Bridge main river span (Mississippi is estimated to have similar current costs of $390 million) (page 2/4 of pdf):



The 3.1 miles of approach spans alone are estimated to currently cost $560 million*.  Nevertheless, excluding SIU 12 from the calculations still leaves a rough estimated cost of $2.6 billion for the remainder of I-69 from the Louisiana state line to McGehee.  Considering I-49's financial needs as well, it all seems like a daunting, if not impossible, task.

edit

*
Compare this estimate for the approach spans alone to AHTD's estimate of $350 million to $400 million to build thirteen miles of I-49 from I-40 to AR 22, including the Arkansas River crossing:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3324.msg308272#msg308272
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 05:25:35 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 #134 on: July 10, 2014, 06:06:48 PM »

This Sept. 7 article (behind paywall) reports on a Sept. 6 dedication ceremony in Star City for an eighteen-mile section of AR 530, and further reports that it will open to traffic on Sept. 12 and that the current estimated cost for AR 530 is now $608 million
AHTD's Nov. 21 Presentation at the Legislative Joint Transportation Committee Meeting indicates that the anticipated opening for the section of AR 530 from Highway 212 to the Highways 11/425 Connector has been pushed back from late 2013 to late 2014 (page 26/51 of pdf) ....
The map from the presentation also indicates that the anticipated completion date for the current project on the eastern half of the I-69 Monticello Bypass has been pushed back from September 2014 to "Mid 2015".

Small progress. This snip from the 2014-15 Arkansas Highway Tourist Map shows the recently opened section of AR 530:



AHTD, is the section of AR 530 from from Highway 114 to the Highways 11/425 Connector still on track to be opened to traffic by the end of the year? Similarly, is the current Monticello Bypass project still on track to be completed by mid-2015?
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AHTD

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #135 on: July 10, 2014, 06:14:14 PM »

This Sept. 7 article (behind paywall) reports on a Sept. 6 dedication ceremony in Star City for an eighteen-mile section of AR 530, and further reports that it will open to traffic on Sept. 12 and that the current estimated cost for AR 530 is now $608 million
AHTD's Nov. 21 Presentation at the Legislative Joint Transportation Committee Meeting indicates that the anticipated opening for the section of AR 530 from Highway 212 to the Highways 11/425 Connector has been pushed back from late 2013 to late 2014 (page 26/51 of pdf) ....
The map from the presentation also indicates that the anticipated completion date for the current project on the eastern half of the I-69 Monticello Bypass has been pushed back from September 2014 to "Mid 2015".

Small progress. This snip from the 2014-15 Arkansas Highway Tourist Map shows the recently opened section of AR 530:



AHTD, is the section of AR 530 from from Highway 114 to the Highways 11/425 Connector still on track to be opened to traffic by the end of the year? Similarly, is the current Monticello Bypass project still on track to be completed by mid-2015?

Check our travel and construction information site: www.idrivearkansas.com. Click on the orange lines (they mark where our projects are located) and a dialog box will appear. The estimated completion date is updated regularly by our Construction Division. Consider this the most accurate and updated information.
 
 
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #136 on: July 11, 2014, 03:44:46 AM »

Small progress. This snip from the 2014-15 Arkansas Highway Tourist Map shows the recently opened section of AR 530:



It's interesting how that short section of 4 lane US 425 between Yorktown and Nebo is basically a waste of money now because I-530 will be the through route.
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #137 on: July 11, 2014, 03:45:40 AM »

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

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #138 on: July 11, 2014, 03:38:45 PM »

Small progress. This snip from the 2014-15 Arkansas Highway Tourist Map shows the recently opened section of AR 530:



It's interesting how that short section of 4 lane US 425 between Yorktown and Nebo is basically a waste of money now because I-530 will be the through route.

BEFORE I-69 gained momentum, our original plan was to improve U.S. 425 from Pine Bluff to the Louisiana state line as an alternating four and five-lane facility. Among the first steps was a replacement of the Bayou Bartholomew bridge. Shortly after this project was underway/completed, members of the state congressional delegation obtained earmark funding for the I-69 Connector.
 
The earmark required this to be a four-lane, controlled access facility and as a result, we scrapped the plans for improving U.S. 425 as stated above. All of the right of way has been acquired for the I-69 Connector. At this time we only have enough money to build the first two lanes of the ultimate four.
 
 
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RBBrittain

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #139 on: July 12, 2014, 12:30:25 AM »

What will the Monticello bypass be signed as?  AR 569 would be a leading contender, I would think.
I always thought US 278 would be rerouted onto the bypass, especially after the west half is completed.
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #140 on: July 12, 2014, 09:38:02 AM »

What will the Monticello bypass be signed as?  AR 569 would be a leading contender, I would think.
I always thought US 278 would be rerouted onto the bypass, especially after the west half is completed.

I'm talking about when the eastern half is opened.
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US 41

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #141 on: July 14, 2014, 09:07:46 PM »

It would have made more sense to extend I-155 west via Jonesboro to US 67 and run I-69 down US 67 to Little Rock. Then have I-69 head south at Texarkana along US 59 (future I-369). I-69 in southern Arkansas is just a waste of money. The interstate wouldn't have went to Memphis if it went on that route. Although if you cross the river on 155, you can take 55 south to Memphis. US 51 is already multilaned in Tennessee. So I guess it could have been upgraded and became I-569. Except now I'm getting into fictional ideas.
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AHTD

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #142 on: July 15, 2014, 09:45:00 AM »

Folks, the Delta is about to explode with growth and a realized I-69 might just be the catalyst.
 
Much investment is already being made for intermodal facilities along the eastern corridor, and why not give a good shot in the arm for an area of the south that could really use it?
 
Although we are committed to completing projects toward this end as we can (Monticello bypass and I-69 Extender), we're likely to see I-49 completed before I-69. HOWEVER... keep an eye on the state congressional delegation - we have recently brought them up to speed on what it would take to see this corridor realized in Arkansas.
 
First things first, though....  gotta get that Highway Trust Fund thing figured out!
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #143 on: July 15, 2014, 10:51:50 AM »

What makes you think the delta is going to have an increase in population?  It has been stagnant or worse for a long time.  I can understand why NWA has exploded because it's a nice area and has scenic beauty.  The delta is flat and miserable in comparison.  I don't think the population is going to change for a long time.  I can't think of many advantages of the delta over the northwestern half of the state.
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #144 on: July 15, 2014, 03:52:28 PM »

The Memphis area just lost out on a 2 million square foot UnderArmor distribution center. Gotta think a completed I-69 corridor woulda made a difference.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #145 on: July 19, 2014, 04:56:32 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.

There is also April 2014 Street View imagery along the recently opened section of AR 530, including the AR 212 intersection.
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bjrush

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #146 on: July 19, 2014, 05:15:06 PM »

Are the future lanes going to the west? I can't tell which side they would go on based on the sections I looked at

Did AHTD acquire the full interstate right-of-way? Surely they did
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #147 on: July 19, 2014, 05:48:33 PM »

Are the future lanes going to the west?

Based on this southward looking view from just south of the I-530/AR 530 interchange, it looks like the future lanes will be on the western side.
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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #148 on: July 19, 2014, 09:09:43 PM »

Are the future lanes going to the west?

Based on this southward looking view from just south of the I-530/AR 530 interchange, it looks like the future lanes will be on the western side.

Something tells me either that two-way traffic sign or the keep right sign will be eventual victims of a smartphone user or a drunk driver.  I know they're temporary, but with the $$$$ situation, 'temporary' could be a while.
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bugo

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Re: I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530)
« Reply #149 on: July 21, 2014, 07:42:10 AM »

I'm surprised to see US 65 signed at the I-530/AR 530 (that has the potential to be confusing) interchange on NB AR 530.  I'm also surprised to see state name shields at the north end of AR 530.  They look a lot better than those atrocities on I-49.
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