A section of Interstate 49 will be closed beginning Friday, February 15, for improvements.
Exit 86, in both directions, on Interstate 49 in Bentonville will require ramp closures, according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. (ArDoT).
Weather permitting, crews will close I-49 Northbound off-ramp and I-49 Southbound on-ramp at the U.S. Highway 62/State Highway 102 interchange beginning Friday after 9:00 p.m.
The ramp closures are being put into place so crews can complete work on the interchange. The ramps are estimated to remain closed until late May, according to ArDoT.
“Traffic on I-49 at Exit 86 is approximately 49,000 vehicles daily, said ArDoT Public Information Officer Danny Straessle. “The average daily traffic on 62/102 at I-49 is 37,000.”
Traffic will be controlled with signage and traffic barrels, according to Straessle.
Detours will be clearly marked and are noted below. Traffic on S.E. 14th Street/Hudson Road will not be impacted.
The main campus for Northwest Arkansas Community College is east of Exit 86 and traffic is often heavy right off the interstate. People who work and study at NWACC say it’s a major inconvenience.
“I live in Fayetteville, so that’s the exit that I know to take like mentally, like reflexively, so I’m like get off at that exit, go to school,” student Nathaniel House said.
“Yeah, a little annoying, definitely,” Northwest Arkansas Community College Professor Sean Fitzgibbon said.
Several local businesses are just west of the exit, including the hair salon “Rooted Bentonville.”
The owner said she will now have to notify all of her clients to leave a little earlier.
“We run off of time sensitive schedules. That could impact us a lot if people aren’t aware of the exit closing, and they get here late and have to find a different way. That is a little bit stressful,” Julie Kiehn said.
Other small business owners said they’re not sure how this could impact them because a lot of their customers are local and don’t use the highway.
Here is a list of detours:
- Motorists west of J Street who need access to I-49 North should travel north on J Street to State Highway 72 to Exit 88.
- Motorists east of J Street and west of Dixieland Road who need access to I-49 North should take I-49 South at Exit 86 and travel to Exit 85 and return Northbound on I-49.
- Motorists traveling southbound on I-49 who need access to areas in the vicinity of Exit 86 should travel to Exit 85 and return northbound on I-49.
- Motorists east of Dixieland Road who need to access I-49 North should travel south on Dixieland Road to U.S. 71B (Walnut Street) and continue west to I-49 at Exit 85.
Please use caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones. Additional information can be found here.