Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority updates on Greenwood Bypass, I-49 north of Fort Chaffee–Possible Toll Road

Some of the small projects that Pitsch updated the board on Wednesday were the Arkansas 45 South expansion project that will widen a stretch of Highway 45 South in the southern part of Fort Smith near Pernod Ricard and Zero Mountain that connects U.S. 71 to four traffic lanes plus a turning lane at areas; widening and construction to Highway 255/Zero Street through Chaffee Crossing; and a Greenwood Bypass that would include areas of Arkansas 96 east and south of Greenwood. All projects are now on the ARDOT project list for 2019 and 2020. An environmental study is in the works for the Greenwood Bypass and construction on the other two projects is expected to begin in 2019 or 2020, Pitsch said.

Looking at bigger projects, Pitsch told the board that ARDOT Director Scott Bennett had a study done on the feasibility of a bridge and a roughly 13-mile section of I-49 north of Fort Chaffee that would connect Highway 22 in Sebastian County and the I-40/I-49 interchange in Crawford County to be a toll system. The timing for that section of the interstate would have to be started within the next five years, he said.