Interstate 49 in Arkansas

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Interstate 49 marker

Interstate 49
Open sections of I-49 in red as of June 2015
Route information
Existed: March 28, 2014 – present
Southern Arkansas segment
South end: I-49 at the Louisiana state line
Major
junctions:
North end: US 71 / US 59 in Texarkana
Northern Arkansas segment
South end: I-40 / US 71 in Alma
Major
junctions:
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
Highway system
AR 48 US 49

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.

Route description[edit]

What is now I-49 north of the US 71 junction

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.[1]

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.

History[edit]

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.[2] Having been planned since the early 1970s, it created a bypass for the older US Highway 71.

Two bridges carry I-49 over a valley in the Boston Mountains

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.[3] AASHTO refused, and the route opened in 1999 as a northern extension of I-540.[3] 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.[3] 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.[4] The route was added to the scenic byway system the following year.[5]

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.

Future[edit]

I-49 in Northwest Arkansas

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.

Exit list[edit]

State County Location mi km Exit[6][7] Destinations Notes
Arkansas Miller 0.00 0.00 I-49 south – Shreveport Louisiana state line
4.32 6.95 4 US 71 – Doddridge
7.01 11.28 6 CR 197
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
26.35 42.41 26 AR 237
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
39.8 64.1 41 Sanderson Lane
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
57 AR 108 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
121 Mena Proposed
126 AR 88 – Mena Proposed
132 CR 70 Proposed
Scott 143 US 71 / US 270 Proposed
157 AR 80 – Waldron Proposed
160 AR 28 Proposed
165 AR 378 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;[8] Temporary south end of AR 549
Fort Smith 190 Massard Road Opened on July 14, 2015[8]
191 Roberts Boulevard Opened on July 14, 2015[8]
Barling 193 AR 22 (Fort St) – Barling Opened on July 14, 2015;[8] Temporary north end of AR 549
Arkansas River Bridge
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.
Alma 20.31 32.69 21 Collum Lane
23.67 38.09 24 AR 282 – Rudy
29.10 46.83 29 AR 282 – Mountainburg
33.53 53.96 34 AR 282 – Chester
Washington 41.14–
41.44
66.21–
66.69
Bobby Hopper Tunnel
44.99 72.40 45 AR 74 – Winslow
West Fork 52.78 84.94 53 AR 170 – West Fork
Greenland 57.88 93.15 58 Greenland
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
65 Porter Road
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[9]
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
RogersBentonville 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.[10]
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Loop 245 Named For Prissy Hickerson". KTBS-TV. July 23, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1998). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1205. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1999). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1411. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c d Johnson, Kelly (July 14, 2015). "New Section of I-49 Opened". Fort Smith, AR: KHBS-TV. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 49
Previous state:
Louisiana
Arkansas Next state:
Texas
Previous state:
Texas
Next state:
Missouri