Let's see if I can do a Readers Digest of some of the news:
- AR 220 is still being
destroyedupgraded between Lee Creek and Devil's Den State Park. Almost everything in Crawford County is finished, but Washington County still has a ways to go. The dirt work is finished, but the road is mostly gravel with a couple bridges still under construction. I'm guessing they will finish sometime this Summer.
- Nearby. the AR 59 bridge over Lee Creek at Natural Dam is in the process of being replaced. The old bridge will be moved to Fort Chaffee for use as a pedestrian bridge.
- AR 549 (Future I-49) is expected to open at Bella Vista sometime in April. It will only be two lanes for now and will connect to current I-49 via a Roundabout. IMO, that's going to be a major headache, but what do I know? Eventually, it will be rebuilt as a full interchange after MoDOT starts working on their section of I-49 maybe in 2020
- The new US 70 Broadway Bridge has opened over the Arkansas River about a month ahead of time. The contractor will receive a hefty bonus for finishing early. I hope he didn't cut any corners.
- In the meantime, US 71 continues to slowly wash away near Artist's Point north of Mountainburg. The pavement is badly cracked and parts of the roadbed have shifted. Of course, AHTD has no money to fix things, but has just enough to build new roads (like the 412 Bypass at Sprigdale).
- I-49 is being widened to 3-lanes between Fayetteville and Bella Vista, but many drivers don't seem to know they can use the far left lane
for speedingas a fast lane.
- AHTD is in the process of rebuilding the I-49/Business 71/AR 112 interchanges in Fayetteville, eliminating the harsh corves (which they should have done 30 years ago when they first built it. Never enough money to do it right the first time.
- ODOT has eliminated the Tri-State signage at the AR-OK state line norht of Maysville. Now it's simply OK 20, except if you're coming from Arkansas where thsi is still no signage beyond a stop sign.
Well, I seem to out of news right now. Oh wait! I've been approached by Encyclopedia of Arkansas to do an article on the history of US 71 in Arkansas. I thought I knew everything until i got deeper into it.