Interstate 49 in Arkansas

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Interstate 49 marker

Interstate 49
I-49 highlighted in red, future sections in yellow
Route information
ExistedMarch 28, 2014–present
Southern Arkansas segment
South end I-49 at the Louisiana state line
North end US 71 / US 59 in Texarkana
Northern Arkansas segment
South end I-40 / US 71 in Alma
North end US 71 / AR 549 near Bella Vista
Fort Smith Area segment
South end US 71
North end AR 22 / AR 255 in Barling, AR
CountiesMiller; Sebastian; Crawford, Washington, Benton
Highway system
AR 48US 49

Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway in the state of Arkansas. There are two main sections of the highway, split by construction; the northern section begins at I-40 and at U.S. Highway 71 (US 71) in Alma, Arkansas and runs north to Bella Vista, Arkansas, where the freeway terminates, awaiting completion of the Bella Vista Bypass. The second, southern section starts at the Louisiana state line, then runs to Texarkana, at the Texas state line.

Route description[edit]

Interstate 49 enters the state from Louisiana between Ida and Doddridge; the first interchange in Arkansas is with U.S. Route 71 at exit 4. The interstate passes near the town of Fouke, where it has another interchange with US 71; the interstate enters Texarkana and has an interchange with Highway 151 and runs along the eastern portion of the Texarkana Loop. Between U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 67, I-49 passes near the Texarkana Regional Airport. The interstate has an interchange with Interstate 30 before leaving Texarkana. I-49 turns to the west near the Sanderson Lane exit; the interstate crosses the state line into Texas before terminating at US 59/US 71. In the Texarkana area, I-49 is known as the Hickerson Freeway, named after Prissy Hickerson.[1]

The interstate begins again at exit 12 along I-40, one mile (1.6 km) west of Alma, Arkansas, continuing for over 65 miles (105 km) through the Crawford, Washington, and Benton counties. Just north of the Crawford-Washington county line is the Bobby Hopper Tunnel which is the only large highway tunnel in Arkansas. Notable cities along the route are Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. From I-40 north to Fayetteville, I-49 runs roughly parallel to Highway 71. Just south of Fayetteville, I-49 combines with Highways 71 and 62, forming the major expressway through the northwest Arkansas metro area. I-49 ends where the expressway also ends, just north of Bentonville, where it becomes US 71 and the main street of Bella Vista, Bella Vista Way. Interstate 49 through the Ozark Mountains crosses several large gorge bridges.


I-49 in Northwest Arkansas

The first portion of I-49 was completed in the late 1990s and was opened to Mountainburg, Arkansas as AR 540. On January 8, 1999, the road was fully opened to traffic and was re-designated Interstate 540 and also was designated as "John Paul Hammerschmidt Highway" in honor of a former U.S. Representative from Arkansas.[2] Having been planned since the early 1970s, it created a bypass for the older US Highway 71.

The state of Arkansas originally asked AASHTO to allow the interstate segment between Fort Smith and Bentonville to be named I-49, to emphasize plans to extend the route from Shreveport, Louisiana through Arkansas to Kansas City, Missouri.[3] AASHTO refused, and the route opened in 1999 as a northern extension of I-540.[3] AHTD conducted a feasibility study of adding an interchange at Highway 162 in Van Buren in 1991, with the results adopted by the Arkansas State Highway Commission in 1992;[3] the Arkansas State Highway Commission (ASHC) studied a designation for I-540 between Mountainburg and Fayetteville as an Arkansas Scenic Byway in a meeting on November 17, 1998. One of the requirements of designation is "an active organization composed of various private and governmental groups, businesses, and agencies who are interested in preservation, enhancement, marketing, and development of the route's scenic, cultural, recreational, and historic qualities,"; the ASHC deemed that since the highway was a new location route, it did not have sufficient businesses to satisfy the requirement, so the ASHC deemed itself a partner organization and proceeded with a designation study.[4] The route was added to the scenic byway system the following year.[5]

In June 2014, Interstate 540 was re-designated as Interstate 49 between I-40 in Alma and US-71B in Bentonville just south of the Missouri border. I-49 was completed from I-30 to US 71 was finished in May 2013; the route to the Louisiana border was completed and opened on in November 2014.


Eventually, I-49 will cross the entire state, it will cross into Texas for about 5 to 10 miles (8.0 to 16.1 km) and then cross over a currently unbuilt bridge across the Red River into Arkansas. It will eventually reach De Queen, Arkansas in the near future, it will then run near the western border of the state from De Queen to Fort Smith. A bypass of Bella Vista will connect the longest stretch of I-49 to Arkansas Highway 549 as well as to the completed road in Missouri.

Exit list[edit]

ArkansasMiller0.000.00 I-49 south – ShreveportLouisiana state line
4.326.954 US 71 – Doddridge
7.0111.286 CR 197
16.4626.4916 US 71 – Fouke
18.1729.2418North Fouke Road
Ferguson Crossroads23.7738.2524 CR 10 – Ferguson Crossroads
26.3542.4126 AR 237
Texarkana28.8746.4629A US 71 – TexarkanaSigned as exit 29 southbound
29.4947.4629B To US 59 (via AR 151 south) – Dallas, HoustonNo exit number southbound
30.949.731 AR 196 (Genoa Road)
32.251.832 US 82 (9th Street) / 19th Street
US 67 – Texarkana, AirportFormer interchange
34.455.435Four States Fair Parkway / Arkansas BoulevardFormer AR 245 north
36.358.437 I-30 – Texarkana, Dallas, Hope, Little RockSigned as exits 37A (east) and 37B (west); I-30 exit 3
39.864.141Sanderson Lane
41.666.942 US 71 (US 59) – Texarkana, Ashdown, Fort SmithTemporary north end; exit number not signed
TexasBowie44 I-369 south – HoustonProposed
46CR 2320 (Hush Puppy Road)Proposed
ArkansasLittle RiverRed River
51 CR 23Proposed
55 AR 32B – AshdownProposed
57 AR 108Proposed
Wilton60 AR 234 – WiltonProposed
Sevier84 US 59 / US 70 / US 71 / US 371 – De QueenProposed
93 CR 41 (Tower Road) – GillhamProposed
PolkGrannis98 CR 3 – GrannisProposed
102 US 278 – WickesProposed
108 AR 246 – VandervoortProposed
126 AR 88 – MenaProposed
132 CR 70Proposed
Scott143 US 71 / US 270Proposed
157 AR 80 – WaldronProposed
160 AR 28Proposed
165 AR 378Proposed
Mansfield171 US 71 – MansfieldProposed
Sebastian175 US 71 – HuntingtonProposed
183 AR 10 – GreenwoodProposed
0.000.00187 US 71Opened on July 14, 2015;[8] Temporary south end of AR 549
Fort Smith3.014.84190Massard RoadOpened on July 14, 2015[8]
4.457.16191Roberts BoulevardOpened on July 14, 2015[8]
Barling5.909.50193 AR 22 (Fort Street)Opened on July 14, 2015;[8] Temporary north end of AR 549
Arkansas RiverBridge
Crawford196 To AR 59 / Gun Club RoadProposed
Kibler202Clear Creek Road – KiblerProposed
204 AR 162 – AlmaProposed
19.2330.9520 I-40 (US 71) – Van Buren, Fort Smith, Alma, Little RockI-40 exit 12; temporary southern end. From here northward, exit signs retain the same exit numbers from its previous designation as I-540.
Alma20.3132.6921Collum Lane
Rudy23.6738.0924 AR 282 – Rudy
Mountainburg29.1046.8329 AR 282 – Mountainburg
Chester33.5353.9634 AR 282 – Chester
Bobby Hopper Tunnel
Winslow44.9972.4045 AR 74 – Winslow
West Fork52.7884.9453 AR 170 / AR 156 – West Fork
Fayetteville60.5097.3760 AR 265 (Razorback Road) / AR 112 (Cato Springs Road)no northbound entrance
61.9899.7561 US 71 south – FayettevilleSouthern end of US 71 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance
61.9899.7562 US 62 west / AR 16 east (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard / AR 16 east) / AR 180 / AR 45Southern end of US 62 / AR 16 concurrency
63.79102.6664 AR 16 west / AR 112S east (Wedington Drive)Northern end of AR 16 concurrency
64.74104.1965Porter Road
66.96107.7667A AR 112 (Garland Avenue) – University of Arkansas
67.43108.5267B US 71B north / North Fulbright ExpresswayAn interchange was opened around November 2017
Johnson69.88112.4669Johnson Mill Boulevard
Springdale70.97114.2270Don Tyson ParkwayOpened July 7, 2014[9]
72.45116.6072 US 412 (Sunset Avenue)
73.86118.8773Elm Springs Road
Benton76.15122.5576Wagon Wheel Road
Cave Springs77.55124.8077 AR 612 (Springdale Northern Bypass) – Elm Springs, Cave SpringsFirst section opened on April 30, 2018
Lowell78.90126.9878 AR 264 (West Monroe Avenue) – Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
Rogers81.01130.3781Pleasant Grove Road
82.31132.4782ASouth Belleview Roadproposed
82.79133.2482BPromenade Boulevard/West Pauline Whittaker Parkway
83.90135.0283Pinnacle Hills Parkway/West New Hope Road
RogersBentonville line85.30137.2885 US 71B north / AR 12 west (Southeast Walton Boulevard)
US 71B south (W. Walnut Street)
Southern end of AR 12 concurrency
Bentonville86.80139.6986A US 62 / AR 12 east (Hudson Road) / AR 102 west (SE 14th Street)Northern end of US 62 / AR 12 concurrency
87.29140.4886B8th StreetA new interchange at Eighth Street and Interstate 49 is essentially done and expected to open to traffic sometime within the next two weeks.
88.81142.9388 AR 72 east (Central Avenue)Split into exits 88A (east) and 88B (west) northbound
92.49148.8593 US 71B south (North Walton Boulevard)Temporary northern end; roadway continues north as US 71 into Bella Vista; north end of US 71 concurrency; northbound continuation to County Road 34/Rocky Dell Hollow Road opened as AR 549 on May 10, 2017 via a temporary roundabout, with full interchange to come sometime in 2019.[10]
Hiwasse98.28158.17284 AR 72
101.23162.91287 AR 72
103.63166.78289 CR 34 (Rocky Dell Hollow Road)Temporary northern end of AR 549; exit number not signed; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Gap in route
I-49 north – JoplinMissouri state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Loop 245 Named For Prissy Hickerson". KTBS-TV. July 23, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Gerhardt, Kara (January 8, 1999). "Secretary Slater Joins in Dedication of Final Segment of Arkansas' I-540" (Press release). United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 2, 2009 – via The Crittenden Automotive Library.
  3. ^ a b c Arkansas State Highway Commission (January 22, 1991). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. pp. 199, 868. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  4. ^ Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1998). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1205. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  5. ^ Arkansas State Highway Commission (November 17, 1999). "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway Commission. p. 1411. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Planning and Research Division (2014). State Highway Map (Map) (2014–15 ed.). Little Rock: Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. §§ A2–D2, H2–J2.
  7. ^ Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (n.d.). Map of Proposed I-49 (Map). Little Rock: Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. Sheets 1, 2, and 3 (PDF). Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Johnson, Kelly (July 14, 2015). "New Section of I-49 Opened". Fort Smith, AR: KHBS-TV. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  9. ^ Caraway, Steve (July 3, 2014). "Springdale's Tyson Interchange to Open Month Early: Work Will Create Easy Access to Ballpark Development Area". Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Gilker, Kathryn (May 10, 2017). "New Portion Of I-49 Bypass Complete In Bella Vista". 5 News Online. Fort Smith, AR: KFSM-TV. Retrieved May 10, 2017.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

Interstate 49
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