Sunday, December 06, 2009

New & Improved

For nearly 2 years now, AHTD (Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department) has been upgrading signage along Interstate 40 between the Oklahoma State Line and I-30 near Little Rock. Gone is the old 60's era button copy, replaced with shiny new signs in Clearview. The first signs to be replaced were near AR 23 at Ozark

Button Copy AR 23

Clearview AR 23

As of this past Summer, almost everything had been replaced... except at I-540 south. I knew there were improvements planned because I saw bits & pieces of gantry along the side of the road, but nothing was being done. Finally, around the first of November, the new signs started to appear

First Westbound

40-540-71 Overhead

Then Eastbound

Finally Got It Right

These new signs are larger than their predecessors, plus they are on an overhead gantry, something that has been rare along I-40 except around Little Rock and West Memphis. Also, US 71 is now shown as running concurrent with East I-40 and North I-540... something that has been missing ever since 71 got rerouted along I-40 in the 1980's. One other major change is the diagrammatic arrows showing the lane configuration at the exit.

There is still something missing, however: Eastbound I-40 is not co-signed with I-540 or US 71. I-40 and I-540 are co-signed Westbound, but not US 71.  This is, to say the least, annoying. AHTD has a bad habit of not co-signing routes... especially if one route is an Interstate and the other a US or State route (such as I-40/ US 63 near Hazen or I-530/US 65 at Pine Bluff).  But I'll save that commentary for another day. 

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