BELLA VISTA, Ark. ( KNWA ) — Crews with the Arkansas department of transportation blasted rock along interstate 49 Thursday. Several lanes were closed during the blasting to keep drivers safe. It’s the first step in getting the new Bella Vista bypass interchange built that will connect Arkansas and Missouri.
Crews worked in two areas to open up the hillside on I-49. One is from north of slaughter pen road to state highway 549. The second blasting happened at state highway 549 from the roundabout to peach orchard road.Arkansas state police handled the traffic. It was stopped for at least 15 minutes for crews to clear debris from the road.
Construction Project Coordinator Brian Powell said the rock blasting is necessary to make it suitable for road construction. Drivers can expect several blasts and traffic delays through Friday. “The whole blasting operation is probably going to be around 40. They will have about 40 blast to go on, some days they will have one blast and some days they will have about 2 blasts.” said Powell.
The $66.6 million project includes nearly 3 miles of a two-lane road, bridges, and the Bella Vista bypass interchange on U.S. Highway 549. Two more blastings happen Friday between 10am and 2pm.