The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) announced Friday (Sept. 17) the Bella Vista Bypass, or Missouri-Arkansas Connector, will open to traffic on Oct. 1. The completed highway will become a part of Interstate 49.
At 10 a.m. on Sept. 30, a ribbon-cutting celebration will take place to mark the completion of the 18.9-mile project. According to a news release, the new I-49 segment consisted of six projects totaling more than $220 million beginning in February 2011. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will join state officials and legislators at the Arkansas-Missouri state line for the celebration.
According to the release, state and federal officials have discussed the necessity of the bypass for more than 25 years. The completion of the project will link 265 miles of interstate from Fort Smith to Kansas City, Mo., the release shows.
Emery Sapp & Sons of Columbia, Mo., was hired to complete the final two segments of the project in Arkansas, including the $66.59 million interchange at U.S. Highway 71B in northern Bentonville and the $35.52 million highway segment from Benton County Road 34 to the state line. Emery Sapp & Sons also was hired to complete the final segment of the project in Missouri. The company started on the $70.3 million project in April 2020.