Scenic Hot Springs Bypass Extension Opens to Public 

GARLAND COUNTY | September 18, 2023 The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) is opening the newly constructed extension of the Hot Springs Bypass to traffic Monday, September 18.  

This portion of the Hot Springs Bypass consists of 5.8 miles of new location in Garland County, connecting Highway 70 East to Highway 7 North. The new portion of the bypass will be signed as Highway 5. It will reduce delays and improve safety by removing through traffic from Highway 7.  

The Arkansas State Legislature designated the bypass as a scenic highway due to its beautiful, steep, tree-lined views through the Ouachita Mountains.  

“This new bypass will significantly reduce the travel time to and from Hot Springs Village, Fountain Lake, and other areas north of Hot Springs,” said ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor. “There are a number of challenges when it comes to constructing new location roads, especially in the middle of the Ouachita Mountains; we were able to overcome those challenges and complete this important arterial connection for the growing population of Garland County.”   

The project was awarded to McGeorge Contracting Co., Inc. for $75.2 million. Garland County contributed $30 million toward the project cost as part of a partnering agreement with ARDOT. Work began in December 2019.   

ARDOT plans to host a ribbon-cutting celebration Tuesday, October 24. Those event details will be announced at a later date.  

Contact: Ellen Coulter

NR 23-314

September ?, 2023