Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Alignment Plans Finalized for U. S. Hwy. 412 Bypass

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department unveiled June 4 the proposed final alignment for the U. S. Hwy. 412 northern bypass around Springdale. This project has been talked about since 1996 and may now be one step closer to reality. The bypass would begin west of Tontitown and end east of Sonora (west of the White River bridge). An entrance/exit at U.S. 71B would be the only other access.

While the alignment seems closer to finalization, the subject of financing is far from solved. Current estimates are $415 million to build the bypass – and that doesn’t include an estimated $80 million to purchase land for right of way.

In summer of 2007, estimates were $310 million for construction and $60 million for right-of-way acquisitions. The increase costs are due to inflation, increased constructions costs the fact that some of the land has been developed recently.

The Highway Department has a total of $27 million available to begin purchasing right of way and expects to start that phase before the end of this year.

Who knows when and where the rest of the money will come from. Requests to the state legislature have fallen on deaf ears.

Anyone driving the section of U. S. Hwy 412 (Sunset Avenue) in Springdale is cognizant of the fact that a bypass is sorely needed. Tractor-trailer rigs are bumper to bumper alongside cars trying to access the many businesses lining the road. There are all kinds of businesses lining the road; motels and restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, pizzerias, second-hand stores, car lots, shoe stores, ice cream parlors, movie rental stores, and lots and lots of traffic lights. Delays and frustration are the norm.

The need for the bypass exists – the money doesn’t.

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