Since last year, Northwest Arkansas’s roads and highways have been at the center of an infrastructure boom aimed to reduce traffic congestion and make a number of important improvements.
For the area’s residents, future citizens and businesses, these improvements are not only welcome, but necessary.
In particular, the state’s highway system was top-of-mind with voters in 2012, when they approved a half-cent sales tax to fund new highway construction in addition to approving a bond program for interstate repairs in 2011.
Since that time, the state’s highway commission have ramped up efforts to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the quality of existing roadways.
“Making highways safe and improving infrastructure helps everybody—that’s individuals, families, industry, commerce and tourism,” said Dick Trammel, Arkansas Highway Commission chairman. “Good highways are good for everybody.”
Statistics report that Northwest Arkansas residents waste more than $103 million in gas and time each year sitting in traffic. That number was reached through a study conducted by the Northwest Arkansas Council, a group comprised of local business leaders. With this statistic in mind, the council decided to recommend the state complete the Bella Vista bypass and widen I-49, which would reduce traffic around Springdale.
This isn’t the only project scheduled on I-49. In total, 17 projects are either in the works or have already been completed on the 26-mile stretch between Bentonville and Fayetteville.
Support from voters has been an integral piece in the process of funding projects like the I-49 corridor improvements. Total cost estimates for the construction is approximately $370 million, which will be covered by the sales tax, bonds and matching donations from local sources in addition to some federal funding.
A great deal of progress has been made but a considerable amount remains: Two additional lanes on the Bella Vista bypass are currently under construction, with permission being sought for another two in the near future; a connection road between Benton County 34 and the Missouri state line is on hold until Missouri finds the funding, however officials are optimistic that the project will be completed around mid-2016.
Bailey & Oliver Law Firm is excited to be a part of our community as it grows so rapidly.
We look forward to seeing these projects evolve and our economy thrive in the coming years!