Thursday, May 11, 2006

US 412 Construction- NW Arkansas

This past Monday, I took a trip along US 412 from Springdale to Alpena to investigate several construction projects along the highway. The largest project is in Washington County from near Nob Hill (where the present 4 Lane section ends) to the Madison County Line, where the roadis being widened to 4 lanes. The new lanes criss-cross the old lanes in 2-3 places and are built up more to eliminate several large dips in the old road. From Nob Hill to the junction of AR 303 North, the Westbound lanes (a combination of new construction and existing lanes) are open to two-way traffic. The Eastbound lanes are currently under construction or re-construction. At Spring Valley, there is a sort of dogleg intersection for Southbound AR Hwy 303. There is an access point from the Westbound lanes to the (future) Eastbound lanes of 412, then east several hundred feet to Hwy 303. The Eastbound lanes here are part of the old road and dip down to intersect 303. Near as I can tell, AHTD plans to realign AR 303 slightly to connect with 412 just east of the current intersection...or so it appears at this time. A map of the area (pre-construction) can be found here (I'll go back later and try to diagram the changes).

The other project I investigated was a series of hill lanes being constructed along US 412 in Madison and Carroll Counties. The first one begins just east of AR Hwy 127 and runs approx 1 mile. A second begins approx 2 miles west of Marble, running approx 1 mile to near Onion Creek . A third section begins at the intersection of US 412 and AR Hwy 21 north and proceeds east approx 1 mile, while a fourth section begins 14 miles east of the Madison-Carroll County Line and also proceeds east for approx 1 mile.

VMS's along US 412 near AR 127 warned that flagging will begin this week along the first segment. The second section has had the right of way secured and preliminary work has begun (clearing trees, mostly). Along the third segment AHTD is still moving fences out of the newly acquired right of way while the fourth segment has areas marked for construction, but no work has begun.

My return trip was along US Highway 62 from Alpena to Fayetteville with some major construction east of Berryville and west of Eureka Springs. I'll post information about those projects in a future posting.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SAC River Bridge

The Springfield (MO) News-Leader reports that demolition has begun on the SAC River Bridge west of Ash Grove Missouri on US 160.

Although the bridge (built in 1926) has been showing its age lately (it's on a blind curve and was never built to handle 2000+ vehicles a day), it's a shame to see yet another piece of history disappear only to be replaced by a UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge).