In a Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority board meeting on January 9, 2019, executive director Mat Pitsch told the board the I-49 project is not dead even though a letter from ARDOT director Scott Bennett reports that the HNTB study determined tolling would not support the cost of constructing 13.5 miles of interstate and a new bridge across the Arkansas River between Chaffee Crossing and Alma, Arkansas.
"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.
“No one wanted to commit to a 13-mile section, but by doing it the way he did, he could see who might be interested in a toll contract on the highway without having to commit to starting the entire project,” Pitsch said. “It was a very smart way to do it. We don’t know if any of the (interstate) will be toll, but by using funds for the study, it was a commitment that construction on that section would have to be started within five years.”
Times Record article about Elvis Hair Cut Day 2019.
Read the TUGTA blog article about the annual Elvis Hair Cut Day Celebration here.
Details about the annual celebration of the "haircut heard 'round the world" - Elvis Presley's iconic Army buzz cut on March 25, 1958, in the Fort Chaffee Barbershop, not resurrected as the Chaffee Barbershop Museum.