Interstate 49 in Arkansas
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Open sections of I-49 in red as of June 2015[update]
|Existed:||March 28, 2014 – present|
|Southern Arkansas segment|
|South end:||I-49 at the Louisiana state line|
|North end:||US 71 / US 59 in Texarkana|
|Northern Arkansas segment|
|South end:||I-40 / US 71 in Alma|
|North end:||US 71 / AR 549 near Bella Vista|
|Fort Smith Area segment|
|South end:||US 71|
|North end:||AR 22 / AR 255 in Barling, AR|
Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway in the state of Arkansas. There are two main sections of the highway, split by construction. The northern section begins at I-40 and at U.S. Highway 71 (US 71) in Alma, Arkansas and runs north to Bella Vista, Arkansas, where the freeway terminates, awaiting completion of the Bella Vista Bypass. The second, southern section starts at the Louisiana state line, then runs to Texarkana, at the Texas state line.
Interstate 49 enters the state from Louisiana between Ida and Doddridge. The first interchange in Arkansas is with U.S. Route 71 at exit 4. The interstate passes near the town of Fouke, where it has another interchange with US 71. The interstate enters Texarkana and has an interchange with Highway 151 and runs along the eastern portion of the Texarkana Loop. Between U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 67, I-49 passes near the Texarkana Regional Airport. The interstate has an interchange with Interstate 30 before leaving Texarkana. I-49 turns to the west near the Sanderson Lane exit. The interstate crosses the state line into Texas before terminating at US 59/US 71. In the Texarkana area, I-49 is known as the Hickerson Freeway, named after Prissy Hickerson.
The interstate begins again at exit 12 along I-40, one mile (1.6 km) west of Alma, Arkansas, continuing for over 65 miles (105 km) through the Crawford, Washington, and Benton counties. Just north of the Crawford-Washington county line is the Bobby Hopper Tunnel which is the only large highway tunnel in Arkansas. Notable cities along the route are Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. From I-40 north to Fayetteville, I-49 runs roughly parallel to Highway 71. Just south of Fayetteville, I-49 combines with Highways 71 and 62, forming the major expressway through the northwest Arkansas metro area. I-49 ends where the expressway also ends, just north of Bentonville, where it becomes US 71 and the main street of Bella Vista, Bella Vista Way.
The first portion of I-49 was completed in the late 1990s and was opened to Mountainburg, Arkansas as AR 540. On January 8, 1999, the road was fully opened to traffic and was re-designated I-540 and also was designated as "John Paul Hammerschmidt Highway" in honor of a former U.S. Representative from Arkansas. Having been planned since the early 1970s, it created a bypass for the older US Highway 71.
The state of Arkansas originally asked AASHTO to allow the interstate segment between Fort Smith and Bentonville to be named I-49, to emphasize plans to extend the route from Shreveport, Louisiana through Arkansas to Kansas City, Missouri. AASHTO refused, and the route opened in 1999 as a northern extension of I-540. AHTD conducted a feasibility study of adding an interchange at Highway 162 in Van Buren in 1991, with the results adopted by the Arkansas State Highway Commission in 1992. The Arkansas State Highway Commission (ASHC) studied a designation for I-540 between Mountainburg and Fayetteville as an Arkansas Scenic Byway in a meeting on November 17, 1998. One of the requirements of designation is "an active organization composed of various private and governmental groups, businesses, and agencies who are interested in preservation, enhancement, marketing, and development of the route's scenic, cultural, recreational, and historic qualities,". The ASHC deemed that since the highway was a new location route, it did not have sufficient businesses to satisfy the requirement, so the ASHC deemed itself a partner organization and proceeded with a designation study. The route was added to the scenic byway system the following year.
As of June 2014, Interstate 540 is now Interstate 49 between I-40 in Alma and US-71B in Bentonville just south of the Missouri border.
The plan for I-49 became official on December 12, 2012. It was decided that it would follow Arkansas Highway 549 as the latter route was being eliminated. The north extension from I-30 to US 71 / US 59 was finished on May 15, 2013. The route to the Louisiana border was completed and opened on November 10, 2014.
Eventually, I-49 will cross the entire state. It will cross into Texas for about 5 to 10 miles (8.0 to 16.1 km) and then cross over a currently unbuilt bridge across the Red River into Arkansas. It will eventually reach De Queen, Arkansas in the near future. It will then run near the western border of the state from De Queen to Fort Smith. A bypass of Bella Vista will connect the longest stretch of I-49 to Arkansas Highway 549 as well as to the completed road in Missouri.
This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions.
|Arkansas||Miller||||0.00||0.00||I-49 south – Shreveport||Louisiana state line|
|||4.32||6.95||4||US 71 – Doddridge|
|||16.46||26.49||16||US 71 – Fouke|
|||18.17||29.24||18||North Fouke Road|
|Ferguson||23.77||38.25||24||CR 10 – Ferguson|
|Texarkana||28.87||46.46||29A||US 71 – Texarkana||Signed as exit 29 southbound|
|29.49||47.46||29B||To US 59 (via AR 151 south) – Dallas, Houston||No exit number southbound|
|30.9||49.7||31||AR 196 (Genoa Road)|
|32.2||51.8||32||US 82 (9th Street) / 19th Street|
|US 67 – Texarkana, Airport||Former interchange|
|34.4||55.4||35||Four States Fair Parkway / Arkansas Boulevard||Former AR 245 north|
|36.3||58.4||37||I-30 – Texarkana, Dallas, Hope, Little Rock||Signed as exits 37A (east) and 37B (west); I-30 exit 3|
|||41.6||66.9||42||US 71 (US 59) – Texarkana, Ashdown, Fort Smith||Temporary north end; exit number not signed|
|Texas||Bowie||||44||I-369 south – Houston||Proposed|
|||46||CR 2320 (Hush Puppy Road)||Proposed|
|Red River||Bridge over Texas-Arkansas line|
|Arkansas||Little River||||51||CR 23||Proposed|
|||55||AR 32B – Ashdown||Proposed|
|Wilton||60||AR 234 – Wilton||Proposed|
|Sevier||||84||US 59 / US 70 / US 71 / US 371 – De Queen||Proposed|
|||93||CR 41 (Tower Road) – Gillham||Proposed|
|Polk||Grannis||98||CR 3 – Grannis||Proposed|
|||102||US 278 – Wickes||Proposed|
|||108||AR 246 – Vandervoort||Proposed|
|||126||AR 88 – Mena||Proposed|
|Scott||||143||US 71 / US 270||Proposed|
|||157||AR 80 – Waldron||Proposed|
|Mansfield||171||US 71 – Mansfield||Proposed|
|Sebastian||||175||US 71 – Huntington||Proposed|
|||183||AR 10 – Greenwood||Proposed|
|||187||US 71 – Fort Smith||Opened on July 14, 2015; Temporary south end of AR 549|
|Fort Smith||190||Massard Road||Opened on July 14, 2015|
|191||Roberts Boulevard||Opened on July 14, 2015|
|Barling||193||AR 22 (Fort St) – Barling||Opened on July 14, 2015; Temporary north end of AR 549|
|Crawford||||196||To AR 59 / Gun Club Road||Proposed|
|||202||Clear Creek Road – Kibler||Proposed|
|||204||AR 162 – Alma||Proposed|
|||19.23||30.95||20||I-40 (US 71) – Van Buren, Fort Smith, Alma, Little Rock||I-40 exit 12; temporary southern end. From here northward, exit signs retain the same exit numbers from its previous designation as I-540.|
|||23.67||38.09||24||AR 282 – Rudy|
|||29.10||46.83||29||AR 282 – Mountainburg|
|||33.53||53.96||34||AR 282 – Chester|
|Bobby Hopper Tunnel|
|||44.99||72.40||45||AR 74 – Winslow|
|West Fork||52.78||84.94||53||AR 170 – West Fork|
|Fayetteville||60.50||97.37||60||AR 112 (Razorback Road) / AR 265 (Cato Springs Road)|
|61.98||99.75||61||US 71 south – Fayetteville||Southern end of US 71 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|61.98||99.75||62||US 62 west / AR 180 east (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard / AR 16 east)||Southern end of US 62 / AR 16 concurrency|
|63.79||102.66||64||AR 16 west / AR 112S east (Wedington Drive)||Northern end of AR 16 concurrency|
|66.01||106.23||66||AR 112 (Garland Avenue) – University of Arkansas|
|66.48||106.99||67||US 71B – Fayetteville Business District|
|Johnson||68.93||110.93||69||Johnson Mill Boulevard|
|Springdale||70||Don Tyson Parkway||Opened July 7, 2014|
|71.50||115.07||72||US 412 (Sunset Avenue)|
|72.91||117.34||73||Elm Springs Road|
|Benton||||76||Wagon Wheel Road|
|||77||US 412 (Springdale Northern Bypass)||Construction started on April 15, 2015|
|Lowell||78||AR 264 (West Monroe Avenue) – Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport|
|Rogers||81||Pleasant Grove Road|
|82||Promenade Boulevard/West Pauline Whittaker Parkway|
|82-83||South Belleview Road||proposed|
|83||Pinnacle Hills Parkway/West New Hope Road|
|Rogers–Bentonville line||85||US 71B / AR 12 west (Southeast Walton Boulevard / West Walnut Street) – Airport||Southern end of AR 12 concurrency|
|Bentonville||86||US 62 east / AR 12 east / AR 102 west (Southeast 14th Street / Hudson Road)||Northern end of US 62 / AR 12 concurrency|
|87||8th Street||Under construction as of August 2017|
|88A||AR 72 east (E.Central Avenue)|
|88B||W.East Central Avenue||Northbound only|
|93||US 71B south (North Walton Boulevard)||Temporary northern end; roadway continues north as US 71 into Bella Vista; north end of US 71 concurrency; northbound continuation to County Road 34/Rocky Dell Hollow Road opened as AR 549 on May 10, 2017 via a temporary roundabout, with full interchange to come sometime in 2018.|
|||284||AR 72||Exit number not signed|
|||287||AR 72||Exit number not signed|
|||289||CR 34 (Rocky Dell Hollow Road)||Temporary northern end of AR 549; exit number not signed; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Gap in route|
|||I-49 north – Joplin||Missouri state line|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Loop 245 Named For Prissy Hickerson". KTBS-TV. July 23, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- Gerhardt, Kara (January 8, 1999). "Secretary Slater Joins in Dedication of Final Segment of Arkansas' I-540" (Press release). United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 2, 2009 – via The Crittenden Automotive Library.
- Arkansas State Highway Commission (January 22, 1991). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. pp. 199, 868. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1998). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1205. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1999). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1411. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Planning and Research Division (2014). State Highway Map (Map) (2014–15 ed.). Little Rock: Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. §§ A2–D2, H2–J2.
- Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (n.d.). Map of Proposed I-49 (Map). Little Rock: Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. Sheets 1, 2, and 3 (PDF). Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Johnson, Kelly (July 14, 2015). "New Section of I-49 Opened". Fort Smith, AR: KHBS-TV. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- Caraway, Steve (July 3, 2014). "Springdale's Tyson Interchange to Open Month Early: Work Will Create Easy Access to Ballpark Development Area". Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Gilker, Kathryn (May 10, 2017). "New Portion Of I-49 Bypass Complete In Bella Vista". 5 News Online. Fort Smith, AR: KFSM-TV. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
Route map: Google
- Media related to Interstate 49 in Arkansas at Wikimedia Commons