To effectively and efficiently provide interdisciplinary support and assistance to ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and policies in the planning, construction, and operation of a safe, efficient, and environmentally sensitive intermodal transportation system. 

I-49 Project

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (Department), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is progressing to the next phase of project development for the construction of Interstate 49 (I-49) from Highway (Hwy) 22 in Sebastian County to I-40 in Crawford County, a length of approximately 13.6 miles. 

This section was originally part of a larger corridor environmental study known as the “U.S. 71 Relocation.” This study extended from Highway 70 in DeQueen, Arkansas to I-40 near Alma, Arkansas, encompassing approximately 125 miles.  The relocation of U.S. 71 in Arkansas is part of Congressionally-designated High Priority Corridor 1, running from Shreveport, Louisiana to Kansas City, Missouri.   A FEIS was prepared, and a Record of Decision was issued in December 1997 that approved the general alignment of a new location, four-lane highway in western Arkansas.

The next phase of project development will include completing and obtaining agency approvals for the  re-evaluation of the 1997 FEIS, preparing required agency construction permits, and developing final design and construction plans for a non-tolled facility from Hwy 22 to I-40, as shown in the project map located below under “links”. Due to funding constraints, a phased construction approach may be used where two of the ultimate four lanes of the facility may be constructed in the first phase. Final determination of this phased construction approach will be determined during this next phase of project development.

The Department developed a more detailed preliminary roadway schematic design, and conducted public involvement meetings in 2018.  An Interstate 49 Alternative Delivery Study was developed which evaluated alternative project delivery methods and toll feasibility for the project, but ultimately determined that a public-private partnership based on tolling this section is not a viable option. The study was adopted by the Arkansas State Highway Commission during their November 14, 2018 meeting. Outreach, including public involvement meetings and agency coordination, will be part of the ongoing activities. 

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Project Documents

Fact Sheet
Project Map
Public Involvement (PI) Plan (in development)
Preliminary Design (30% Complete – Presented at Public Meeting)

Planning Activities

March 17, 2022:
Public Meeting (Job 040748)
Public Meeting Synopsis (in development)

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

April 26, 2018:
Public Meeting
Stakeholder Working Groups

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