ArDOT wants comments on $116 million Highway 612 extension

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 4,359 views 

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) is seeking feedback on plans to build a new segment of Arkansas Highway 612 from Interstate 49 to Arkansas Highway 265. A public meeting on the proposed $116.2 million highway project is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 21).

The planned 3.3-mile highway segment would extend the existing Highway 612, or U.S. Highway 412 bypass, to the east from I-49 to Highway 265. The project would include new interchanges at I-49, U.S. Highway 71B and Highway 265. Like the existing Highway 612 segment between Arkansas Highway 112 and I-49, the new segment would be an interstate-type road or a divided four-lane fully controlled access highway.

According to ArDOT, the project’s purpose is to “address the existing and forecasted travel delays and congestion and increase safety, resiliency and economic competitiveness.”

The public meeting will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Lowell in the Fellowship Hall at 209A Washington St. in Lowell. Project exhibits and information will be available at the meeting. Attendees can make comments on the project.

Link here for meeting materials and exhibits. An online comment form is also expected to become available on the linked website. The deadline to make comments is 4:30 p.m. March 8. According to ArDOT, all exhibits and information presented on the website will also be available at the meeting on Tuesday.

ArDOT project information shows the construction cost estimate is $105 million, and the right-of-way cost estimate is $11.2 million, including utility relocation costs. The project would comprise 201.8 acres of right of way. It would require eight residential and eight business relocations and one farm relocation.

According to 2021 ArDOT traffic data, the most recent available, 93,000 vehicles per day travel along I-49 at Arkansas 612. In 2020, the traffic volume there was 76,000, down from 79,000 in 2019. Between 2016 and 2018, the traffic volume there was 78,000 vehicles per day.