Planes, Trains, & Automobiles - Bella Vista Bypass

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Bella Vista Bypass - Interstate 49 Project Connecting New Orleans to Winnipeg

Last summer, the groundbreaking of the long-awaited Bella Vista Bypass kicked off.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Director Dan Flowers and other state highway officials broke ground on the first project of the Bella Vista Bypass that will link freight routes and open the region to economic growth.

Bella Vista roadsThe Bella Vista Bypass is a multi-state project (including Arkansas and Missouri) that will become part of future Interstate 49. Total cost of the bypass is expected to be $350 million, with Arkansas’ portion at $280 million. A federal grant of $10 million got the project kick-started. The first phase is a $20 million project for a three-mile segment between Highway 72, north of Hiwasse, and Highway 72, south of Hiwasse.

The TIGER grant program promotes innovative, multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.

The Bella Vista Bypass project will construct a three-mile two-lane segment between two interchanges as well as an access road near the city of Bella Vista, Ark. When the 19-mile bypass is fully constructed, it will complete a link in the Interstate 49 corridor, connecting the Port of New Orleans with a number of interstates and improving the movement of goods to the Great Lakes and Canada. The new bypass also will separate commercial traffic from local traffic, improving the safety of the existing route through downtown.

“The economic benefits of the bypass will positively impact the entire region and allow those who live in the area to spend less time in their cars and more time doing things they enjoy,” says Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “In addition, it will be safer for local traffic because critical freight shipments will move through the area on a separate route.”

Bella Vista bypassIn May, State highway officials had a bid in hand to build a second section of the Bella Vista Bypass.

Kolb Grading LLC of St. Charles, Mo., was the apparent low bidder for the 2.4 mile, phase two of the project at $13.5 million. The section is 2.4 miles and will connect with County Road 34.  The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department opened bids Wednesday in Little Rock.  The 18.9 mile project is designed to relieve traffic congestion on U.S. 71 through Bella Vista. It will reconnect with the highway in Missouri.
Construction on the first, three-mile section around Hiwasse began last summer. The bid for that section was $19.8 million.
Last modified onTuesday, 15 March 2016 13:25