I-49 Project

I-49 Project

The Arkansas Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is progressing to the next phase of project development in the construction of Interstate 49 (I-49) from Highway (Hwy) 22 in Sebastian County to I-40 in Crawford County. This segment of I-49, a length of approximately 14.4 miles, is part of a congressionally designated High Priority Corridor running from Shreveport, Louisiana to Kansas City, Missouri.

The Project section of I-49 was originally included in a part of a larger corridor environmental study. The study extended from Highway 70 in DeQueen, Arkansas to I-40 near Alma, Arkansas, encompassing approximately 125 miles. A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared screening multiple corridors. A preferred corridor was identified, and a selected alignment approved for a new location four-lane highway in western Arkansas. The FHWA issued a Record of Decision on the FEIS in December 1997.

An I-49 Alternative Delivery Study was conducted to evaluate alternative project delivery methods for the selected alignment and toll feasibility (2018). Tolling was determined to be a nonviable option for the new roadway. A public meeting was held in April 2018, materials presented include the project location map, a draft project completion schedule, potential environmental impacts, tolling information, and project schematics. Overall, there were 201 attendees at this meeting and 63 comments received. An additional public meeting was held in March 2022 to present updated project materials. There were 244 attendees, and 33 comments were received after this public meeting. Tolling was determined not to be feasible.

The project team continues to refine the design in response to community input. Throughout the design process, ARDOT has reflected on comments received from citizens, public officials, and local agencies allowing for a preliminary design informed by the public. Additionally, ARDOT initiated the environmental studies required for the Selected Alignment.

ARDOT has completed Preliminary Design (30% complete) for the I-49 extension project. These plans have been used to facilitate environmental review and will be used to continue public outreach and agency coordination. In November 2023, ARDOT obtained FHWA approval of the NEPA Re-evaluation: U.S. 71 Relocation, DeQueen to I-40, Crawford and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. With approval of the 1997 FEIS Re-evaluation, ARDOT has begun to obtain agency approvals, preparing required agency construction permits, and finalizing the right-of-way acquisition plans

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I-49 Interstate Shield

Project Documents

Fact Sheet
Project Map
Public Involvement (PI) Plan
Preliminary Design (Updated 30% Complete – Presented at September 29, 2022 Public Meeting)

Planning Activities

November 2023
NEPA Re-evaluation

September 29, 2022
Public Meeting (Job 040748)
Public Meeting Synopsis

March 17, 2022
Public Meeting (Job 040748)
Preliminary Design (30% Complete – Presented at Public Meeting)
Public Meeting Synopsis

October 2018 – Stakeholder Working Groups
I-49 Alternative Delivery Study
I-49 Alternative Delivery Study Executive Summary

April 26, 2018 – Stakeholder Working Groups
Public Meeting

March 29, 2018 – Stakeholder Working Groups
PowerPoint Presentation
Constraints Map
Meeting Notes

December 5, 2017 – Stakeholder Working Groups
PowerPoint Presentation
Meeting Notes
Constraints Map

2002 – Innovative Financing Program for Toll Highways
Executive Summary
Summary Report

2001 – Preliminary Toll Feasibility Assessments for:
Arkansas Segmentation Projects
Arkansas Congressionally Designated High Priority Corridors
Arkansas Major Corridor Projects

1997 – US 71 Relocation, DeQueen to Interstate 40