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Springdale Northern Bypass (Highway 412) Environmental Studies

Highway 412 Sign
Springdale City Street

Project History 


A Major Investment Study (MIS) was initiated in 1996 within the urbanized area of northwest Arkansas to evaluate the various concepts available to alleviate existing traffic congestions on Highway 412.  A working group was developed to consider several construction and non-construction strategies to implement an improved transportation system.  This group ultimately concluded that a new location alignment north of Springdale best met the overall project purpose and need as developed by the working group, as well as numerous local objectives.  This conclusion was adopted by the local Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee.

An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to determine the location of the proposed bypass began in 1998 with a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  This DEIS studied four new location alignments along with the No-Action Alternative and improvements along the existing highway corridor.  The AHTD and the FHWA completed the DEIS in January 2002.

DEIS Location Public Hearings were held in April 2002 to display DEIS study information and maps of the alignments, and to receive comments on the DEIS.  Comments received at the public hearing suggested two additional alignments for consideration that were not documented in the DEIS.  These additions were a "split interchange" alignment that uses an existing segment of I-540 as a part of the proposed bypass, and a "northern" alignment. 

The split interchange concept was not considered feasible by FHWA. However, a decision was made to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to evaluate the "northern" alignment. Four alignments were studied and compared within the center portion of the proposed project.  The SDEIS was finalized in May of 2004 and SDEIS Location Public Hearings were held in June 2004.

The AHTD and FHWA evaluated the alignments in the SDEIS for social, economic and environmental impacts, traffic analysis, and conceptual design. This information was used in the decision making process along with the comments received from resource agencies, public officials, and the public for the identification of Line 5 as the Preferred Line through Segment B-E. The Preferred Segments previously established and shown at the SDEIS Location Public Hearings within Segments A-B and E-F were also confirmed to carry forward into the FEIS.

Revisions to Preferred Segment A-B were made in the western interchange with existing Highway 412 as a result of comments made at the DEIS Location Public Hearings, and to the alignment south of Brush Creek Road because of electrical transmission lines. Comments received at a public meeting held in September 2004 indicated that most residents were in favor of these proposed revisions, which were then adopted and analyzed in the FEIS as a part of the Preferred Line.

An in-depth analysis of the Preferred Line was conducted by AHTD in cooperation with the FHWA and the results of this analysis are also documented in the FEIS issued October 6, 2005.

After a review of the FEIS and the comments received, the FHWA issued a Record of Decision on February 15, 2006 that approved a Selected Alignment Alternative for the proposed bypass.  Click here to see a map of the Selected Alignment Alternative. Design Public Hearings were held in June 2008 to received public comment on the preliminary design of the project.




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