Friday, August 05, 2011

Progress Comes to Hiwasse

Looks like there is finally some progress on Future I-49 in Northwest Arkansas. Work has finally begun to build I-49 from Bella Vista, AR to the Missouri State Line. The first project will upgrade AR 72 to Interstate standards around Hiwasse (Pop 497)... a Hiwasse Bypass, if you will. ;)

According to AHTD, this segment will be built as a "Super 2" (2 Lanes with fully controlled access) with Right of Way to upgrade to a full 4-Lane highway as funding permits. But don't expect to drive this anytime soon: this construction only includes grading and structures... no paving.

One this project has been completed, work will begin on building I-49 from Hiwasse to the Missouri State Line, followed by construction from Hiwasse to Bella Vista.

Personally, I don't expect completion for at least another 10 years: AHTD doesn't have the funding and the federal government is hesitant to provide funding since Arkansas wants to build it as a toll road. But at least some progress is being made, such as it is.

That reminds me: I really need to go check on it's progress one of these days, if I can find the time and gas money.

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