Environmental

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 14.4 miles.

This section was originally 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. The proposed I-49 Corridor is part of a congressionally designated High Priority Corridor (HPC) running from Shreveport, Louisiana to Kansas City, Missouri. A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared and a Record of Decision was issued in December 1997, which screened multiple corridors, evaluated multiple alignments within a preferred corridor, and ultimately identified and approved a Selected Alignment for 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.

In 2018, an I-49 Alternative Delivery Study was conducted which evaluated alternative project delivery methods and toll feasibility for the project. The study was adopted by the Arkansas State Highway Commission in November 2018 and determined that tolling was not a viable option. A public meeting was held in April 2018. Materials presented included the project location, schedule, potential environmental impacts, tolling, and project schematics. Overall, there were 201 attendees at this meeting and 63 comments received. An additional Public Meeting was held in March 2022. Materials presented included the project location, schedule, environmental constraints, and project schematics. There were 244 attendees and 33 comments were received after this public meeting. ARDOT reviewed comments received during both public meeting comment periods from citizens, public officials, and public agencies, and the majority of comments from each meeting support this section of I-49. Since the review of public feedback, the project team has been working on more detailed design and environmental studies for the Selected Alignment. Continued 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
Preliminary Design (Updated 30% Complete – Presented at September 29, 2022 Public Meeting)

Planning Activities

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
FEIS
Appendix
ROD