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Author Topic: I-540 in NWA  (Read 8358 times)

M86

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I-540 in NWA
« on: September 11, 2011, 04:42:41 AM »

Why is AHTD (Arkansas DOT) neglecting I-540 in Northwest Arkansas?  They are now putting in a cable-median barrier between Bentonville and Fayetteville.  A cable median barrier is nice, but won't prevent accidents along this accident-prone stretch... Not to mention, it won't improve capacity.. which is what's needed.  I have never seen worse planning than I-540 in NWA. 
There are stretches with 60,000+ AADT (90,000 is projected within a few years).  And it's all 2 lane, with basic diamond interchanges.  I'm ready to go crazy here!
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ShawnP

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 07:03:31 AM »

Heard they had studies and they look pretty. But what is needing is concrete and asphalt. Sorry to say it's only gonna get worse as the Bella Vista Bypass comes online.
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 05:57:00 PM »

Long story on 540. It was built circa 1970 as a 2-Lane bypass of Fayetteville. It was expanded to 4 Lanes in the name of safety after too many accidents. It later got tied into I-540 which had been in the planning stages since the 1960's.

There have been some recent improvements on 540:

The US 62 Interchange is in the final stages of bring rebuilt, Porter Road was recently rebuilt as was Wedington Dr (AR 16) and New Hope Rd/Pinnacle Parkway. Most of this applies to the side roads, though, and not 540 itself.


Part of the problem is the area surrounding 540 is commercially overbuilt . I have seen plans for 6-Laning 540, but it's a matter of $$, which they don't have. IIRC, at least 2 motels could be affected and knowing the owners (and I DO), they will want a lot of money for their land.

John Paul Hammerschmidt delivered the pork that built 540 from Alma to Bentonville, but he's no longer in office.  And 540 isn't on John Boozman's radar at all unless he's complaining about government deficits.
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ShawnP

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 10:07:49 PM »

Shame on Arkansas if they let people build so close.........Lived in Springdale in the 70's and even then you knew it would grow.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 10:19:44 PM »

US 71 Looked at your photo stream. On one pic in Liberty Mo you just missed the original founders sign which is on the south side of the bridge to the west.
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 06:35:08 PM »

Shame on Arkansas if they let people build so close.........Lived in Springdale in the 70's and even then you knew it would grow.

Arkansas isn't known for foresight when it comes to highways.
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 01:27:28 PM »

At 90,000 AADT, six lanes isn't going to be enough.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 03:49:59 PM »

It's amazing to see the growth right now...I'm seeing new homes going in all over the place, and this is with an economy that's in trouble compared to in 2002-04 when I first moved here when there was also rapid residential construction.  I live in Bella Vista, and cringe at what the U.S. 71 bottlenecks may be in the future (knowing that the BV I-540/I-49 bypass won't be finished any time soon).  And with I-49 slated to be official (going all the way up the Winni(peg)-Minne(apolis-St. Paul) corridor) in just a few months, starting (and emptying) just a few miles above us?   :wow:
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 11:34:18 PM »

It's amazing to see the growth right now...I'm seeing new homes going in all over the place, and this is with an economy that's in trouble compared to in 2002-04 when I first moved here when there was also rapid residential construction.  I live in Bella Vista, and cringe at what the U.S. 71 bottlenecks may be in the future (knowing that the BV I-540/I-49 bypass won't be finished any time soon).  And with I-49 slated to be official (going all the way up the Winni(peg)-Minne(apolis-St. Paul) corridor) in just a few months, starting (and emptying) just a few miles above us?   :wow:

Actually 49 will end at KC, but you can take I-29 or I-35 if you want to go futher north ;)

NWA has always been a fast growing region between the U of A, Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt. The growth in housing surprises me, though, considering several developers have declared bankruptcy.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 08:06:04 AM »

It's amazing to see the growth right now...I'm seeing new homes going in all over the place, and this is with an economy that's in trouble compared to in 2002-04 when I first moved here when there was also rapid residential construction.  I live in Bella Vista, and cringe at what the U.S. 71 bottlenecks may be in the future (knowing that the BV I-540/I-49 bypass won't be finished any time soon).  And with I-49 slated to be official (going all the way up the Winni(peg)-Minne(apolis-St. Paul) corridor) in just a few months, starting (and emptying) just a few miles above us?   :wow:

Actually 49 will end at KC, but you can take I-29 or I-35 if you want to go futher north ;)

NWA has always been a fast growing region between the U of A, Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt. The growth in housing surprises me, though, considering several developers have declared bankruptcy.

Heh, I knew that (two separate interstates north of KC).  Got carried away.  :spin:

With traffic counts of 90,000 predicted in some places currently at 60,000+, that's a dramatic prediction.  Part of it could be from I-49-induced traffic, but part would be from growth...and BOY is the latter happening.  (BTW, this isn't highway-related, but Bentonville by this time next year will be ready to have an instant "one of the busiest junctions in the city"...and it's a brand new roundabout.  (Bright and Gator streets, right between the new middle school and the new junior high southwest of town in the "Central Park at Morning Star" area.  Just discovered it not long ago.))
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 08:53:04 AM »

It's amazing to see the growth right now...I'm seeing new homes going in all over the place, and this is with an economy that's in trouble compared to in 2002-04 when I first moved here when there was also rapid residential construction.  I live in Bella Vista, and cringe at what the U.S. 71 bottlenecks may be in the future (knowing that the BV I-540/I-49 bypass won't be finished any time soon).  And with I-49 slated to be official (going all the way up the Winni(peg)-Minne(apolis-St. Paul) corridor) in just a few months, starting (and emptying) just a few miles above us?   :wow:

Actually 49 will end at KC, but you can take I-29 or I-35 if you want to go futher north ;)

NWA has always been a fast growing region between the U of A, Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt. The growth in housing surprises me, though, considering several developers have declared bankruptcy.

Heh, I knew that (two separate interstates north of KC).  Got carried away.  :spin:

With traffic counts of 90,000 predicted in some places currently at 60,000+, that's a dramatic prediction.  Part of it could be from I-49-induced traffic, but part would be from growth...and BOY is the latter happening.  (BTW, this isn't highway-related, but Bentonville by this time next year will be ready to have an instant "one of the busiest junctions in the city"...and it's a brand new roundabout.  (Bright and Gator streets, right between the new middle school and the new junior high southwest of town in the "Central Park at Morning Star" area.  Just discovered it not long ago.))

Well, that helps explain the I Street extension (which I noticed about 3 weeks ago).  Again off on a tangent, I don't see how 112 will handle things. It's close enough to be affected by the school, but it's ziggy-zaggy, narrow lane goodness could present a problem.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 02:20:21 PM »

I saw that the combined populations of Benton and Washington Counties have already passed Pulaski County (Little Rock). That's a HUGE milestone, even though Little Rock's metro will still be bigger for some time.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 12:27:10 PM »

It Still Baffles Me as to why there is no Overhead Street lights in the Median of 540???

And I havent been to Springdale in 4 years, what is the status of the 540/412 Bottleneck??? and has there been any development near Arvest Ballpark?
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 01:38:37 PM »

It Still Baffles Me as to why there is no Overhead Street lights in the Median of 540???

And I havent been to Springdale in 4 years, what is the status of the 540/412 Bottleneck??? and has there been any development near Arvest Ballpark?

Lights are kind of a moot point now with the cable barriers going in with crews tearing up half the median to do it.

There are still plans to build an interchange at Oaklawn (now Don Tyson Parkway) and 540 as an access to Arvest Park, but as with many projects, there is no money unless the city pays for it.

There have been *some* improvements at 540/412, but not many. NB 540 has a double left turn lane onto West 412 . Also a double left from SB 540 to 48th St, then from 48th to EB 412.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2012, 06:10:34 PM »

412 through Springdale is an abortion of a "highway."  The bypass cannot come quickly enough.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2012, 09:50:16 PM »

412 through Springdale is an abortion of a "highway."  The bypass cannot come quickly enough.

It was never intended for that much traffic.  I think Springdale &/or AHTD fumbled the ball when they created AR 68 (what's now US 412). At the very least, there should have been a better connection to Robinson (East 412) than there is
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 05:17:32 PM »

Update as of 6 August:

Cable barriers are almost finished with the exception of a small section just south of US 412 and parts of Fayetteville. Looks like they've already been hit once or twice near Rogers.

Between Exit 62 (US 62 West)  and Exit 64 (AR 16 West) the cable barriers are being replaced with a concrete divider, in preparation of making that section of I-540 6 lanes.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2012, 07:34:47 AM »

Its gonna take a long time if they ever wanted to carry 6 lanes past SR 16...the next interchange to the north(The Below Grade Interchange at Mt. Comfort?) would probably have to be redone altogether?

They Should install overhead lighting on that Jersey Barrier, That stretch of 540 between US 62 and Wedington Dr gets really dark at night....
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US71

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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »

Its gonna take a long time if they ever wanted to carry 6 lanes past SR 16...the next interchange to the north(The Below Grade Interchange at Mt. Comfort?) would probably have to be redone altogether?

They Should install overhead lighting on that Jersey Barrier, That stretch of 540 between US 62 and Wedington Dr gets really dark at night....

They won't. A quick glance as I was driving by didn't seem to indicate any electrical conduit being built into the barrier for power poles.
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Re: I-540 in NWA
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2012, 05:31:38 PM »

Quick Update:

Cable Barriers are finished, but AHTD is still installing guardrail around the bridge columns.  Looks like one section of barrier near Exit 60 has already had a "visitor".

The Six-Lane project is a joke! Looks like the existing lanes of 540 will be narrowed to accommodate the extra lane. North-South traffic will be separated by a Jersey Barrier. The extra lane NB appears to end abruptly at the middle bridge column for the Wedington Road bridge. I wonder how long it will be before someone wraps themselves around that bridge column, or will AHTD install Crash Barrels? The extra lane SB ends approx 1000 feet before the bridge at Exit 62 (MLK Blvd)

Before 540 (or 49) can be widened any further, many of the bridge will need to be replaced/renovated to eliminate the central bridge column in the median. The "twin" bridges over Porter Rd will also need to be widened or replaced, as likely will the bridge over MLK Blvd.

Once again, AHTD has failed to plan ahead.  :banghead:
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