In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner went to find out when the rest of the Springdale Northern Bypass will be completed.
The first section of the Springdale Northern Bypass was finished in 2018. It stretches from Interstate 49 to State Highway 112. It was the single largest construction project the highway commission ever led.
“It’s a four lane fully functional freeway style roadway that has already started to cut travel time down for motorists that have used it to get to the airport or from the western part of the county over to Interstate 49,” said Danny Straessle, Spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. “Unfortunately, that was the only piece we could do at one time. It was over $100 million.”
Straessle said the department is looking ahead to the next part of the project.
“We are looking at project development for extending this from the interchange at State Highway 112, continuing to the west and intersecting with the current U.S. Highway 412 just west of Tontitown.”
There is no timeline for that piece of the project. There’s also no money for it at this time.
“What we have done is put some money into our planning budget for the next five years to start what we call project development on that,” said Straessle. “What it takes to get it to where it needs to go and so we just creep along incrementally until we bring it ready for construction.”
There is a third section of the project. Straessle said that will be the final piece.
“It also has a component on the east side of I-49 into the east side of Springdale there on U.S. Highway 412,” said Straessle. “That’s probably not going to be constructed any time soon due to some right of way challenges we anticipate over there and other costs associated with that. That’s why we turned our attention to the next logical section.”
Straessle said the first section of the Springdale Northern Bypass as it stands is the most expensive project ever led to contract. There are other projects going on in the state that are set to exceed it. Both of them are in Central Arkansas. One of them is a $200 million project. The other one is a $630 million project.
Is there something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com.