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Arkansas 549 opening in Texarkana postponed

By Arkansas Online

This article was published May 3, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.

The opening of Arkansas 549 in Texarkana has been delayed due to poor weather conditions.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said rainy conditions have not allowed crews to complete the final touches to the highway, which is now scheduled to open the week of May 13.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting was performed Tuesday at the highway with plans to open it to traffic next week. The highway is part of the Interstate 49 corridor project, which is planned to connect the Gulf of Mexico with Canada, according to officials.

The Highway Department said it will later provide more information on the exact date the highway will open.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

RBBrittain says... May 3, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.

Whose bright idea was it at AHTD to dedicate the road BEFORE opening it? If they couldn't open it on Rep. Prissy Hickerson's schedule (she was the guest of honor -- she pushed for it as a highway commissioner before becoming a state representative), they should have just opened it and had her dedicate it later (if at all).

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RBBrittain says... May 3, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

But then there's another boner: Texas has already been all but approved to re-sign most of its half of the Texarkana Loop as I-369 by year's end (it's part of their plan to upgrade US 59 south of Texarkana to connect with I-69) -- yet AHTD has *NOT* applied to put up I-49 signs on AR 549, even though that's what it eventually will be. Some boards claim AASHTO (the state-DOT association that issues interstate numbers with U.S. DOT's blessing) prohibits I-49 signs in Arkansas until US 49 in east Arkansas is renumbered -- but then how come Texas already has I-69 signs in the Houston & Corpus Christi areas when it also has US 69 in North Texas??? I think the I-49/US 49 hangup is more with AHTD than AASHTO. What about US 59 & AR 59? I-440 & AR 440? I-530 & AR 530? (And once upon a time, I-540 & AR 540?) I-49 signs are already up in both Missouri & Louisiana, thus AASHTO *must* waive the duplication here (if not they would have extended I-29 south from Kansas City instead of I-49 north from Shreveport); AHTD just needs to pull its head out of its posterior and ASK for it.

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RBBrittain says... May 3, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.

I should add that AHTD did get a "Future I-130" designation on part of its half of the Loop back in the 1990's -- but that was when (a) it wasn't decided yet which side of Texarkana I-49 would go thru *AND* (b) AHTD was still planning a direct freeway connection at the existing I-30/AR 245 interchange. Now that they've relocated the north end of the Loop in exchange for getting I-49 on the AR side, using the prior I-130 designation is now both doubtful AND inappropriate. It should become I-49 ASAP...

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