Volunteers needed for Steel Bridge Judging

Volunteers needed to Judge Steel Bridge at Student Conference

The UA Student Chapter of ASCE is hosting the Mid-Continent Competition in Fayetteville this year. This is a monumental undertaking, and they are currently seeking volunteers to judge the steel bridge event on campus on April 20 & 21. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Student Branch Steel Bridge Correspondent Tanner Gibbs at tpgibbs@uark.edu.

NWA Secretary Position Vacancy

In accordance with Article 6 of the Branch bylaws, the ASCE NWA board elected Zach Morehart to fill an unexpired term as Treasurer on February 1. This action created a vacancy at Secretary, with the unexpired term lasting until elections in December 2017. This vacancy will be filled by a majority vote of the Board. The Board is currently seeking to fill this role before March 3, and hoping the incoming Secretary can assist in this year's Day of Training effort. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact ascenwa@gmail.com or any Board Member prior to that date for consideration to fill the vacancy. Reminder that ASCE National, State, and Branch membership must be current to hold an officer position (i.e., dues must be paid).

Highway 112 to be decommissioned in Fayetteville

Highway 112 to be decommissioned in Fayetteville

Arkansas Highway 112, one of the original Arkansas state highways, will be decommissioned in Fayetteville city limits south of I-49 exit 66 following action by the Fayetteville City Council on January 3. The highway will become a city street following the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) providing funding for widening along Maple Street (between Razorback Road and Garland Ave). AHTD will also widen Highway 112 between Poplar Street and Van Asche Boulevard, but the City will manage the project's design. Read the full resolution at the Fayetteville Flyer.

Over the past several years, segments of the roadway have been widened and improved through and near the campus, through a series of partnerships between the City, the UA, and the AHTD.  The UA has planted and maintained the landscaping and trees on segments through campus and to the south of the campus since the completion of the widening and improvements.

The impetus of this deal was two series of public bids far exceeding the City's responsibility ($3,358,600) for AHTD Job 040582. AHTD will fill the funding gap to get the project moving.

AHTD has relinquished state highways to cities in Northwest Arkansas before, most recently a deal was announced for portions of US 71B to be turned over to Bentonville and Rogers maintenance. The AHTD currently has a project underway in Siloam Springs, after which a portion of Highway 43 (Cheri Whitlock Drive) will be turned over to city maintenance. In Fayetteville, the most recent turnback was when AHTD widened Township Street, Gregg Avenue, and Drake Street in exchange for turnback to City maintenance (similar to the Highway 112 swap) in 2008.  

AHTD Director Scott Bennett and other employees of the Department have actively discussed the high overall mileage of the Arkansas State Highway System (over 16,000 miles) for years. He has worked to reduce the overall mileage AHTD maintains whenever feasible and prudent.

Highway 112 was one of the original state highways created on April 1, 1926. Running between Highway 265 in south Fayetteville and Highway 12 in Bentonville, the route had run north to Highway 72 in Bentonville until being truncated in 2012.

It is currently unclear how Highway 112 Spur (Wedington Drive) will be renumbered following the rerouting.

Construction continues on US 412 Bypass

Highway 412 Bypass main lanes under construction through the Spring Creek Park subdivision

Construction Continues on US 412 Bypass

One of the largest projects in Arkansas highway history continues toawrd its Mid-2019 completion date in Benton County. The US 412 Bypass (CA0907 in AHTD parlance), a new terrain, controlled access roadway facility of 4.5 miles was bid December 22, 2014. The low bidder was Eutaw Construction Co. of Aberdeen, MS with a bid of $100 million. Bid tabulation available here.

Construction began on the project in March 2015, including roadway embankment with bridge structures for a four lane divided segment of Hwy. 412 and a full freeway interchange with I-49 just south of the Lowell exit. The project includes 2250 tons of structural steel and over 240,000 tons of concrete.

Vicinity map showing current highway construction in southern Benton and northern Washington counties. US 412 bypass highlighted in red. Map Source: AHTD via idrivearkansas.com

The US 412 bypass is a part of the long-term plan for a freeway facility to bypass the Northwest Arkansas cities. The ultimate goal is to connect existing freeway segments at US 412 in Tontitown and the Beaver Lake bridge east of Springdale.

CA0907 is part of the Connecting Arkansas Program, a voter approved temporary half-cent sales tax to fund continued construction of four-lane highways to connect all four corners of the state. For more information on CAP, see idrivearkansas.com.

Springdale pulls Contractor's bond for Turnbow Park

Photo Credit: Downtown Springdale Alliance

Springdale pulls Contractor's bond for Turnbow Park

The City of Springdale has announced the removal of JLA Construction of Battlefield, Missouri from the Walter Turnbow Park project in downtown Springdale. The Contractor failed to achieve substantial completion by August 31, 2016 per the contract. The Contractor's surety, United Fire & Casualty Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was notified on August 29.

A press release from the city stated "Although the City has been consistently working with the contractor in an effort to expedite the completion of the park, the contractor was not able to perform at the level that was expected. Since the contractor has not reached substantial completion, the City of Springdale has called in the bond and removed the contractor from the project. The contractor was given every opportunity to complete this project in a timely manner; they were not able to do so." Read the full press release here. JLA Construction is also currently under contract with the City of Springdale on the nearby Murphy Park improvements.

Construction has taken place throughout downtown Springdale in 2016, including the renovation of Tyson JTL building, ongoing restoration of the original Tyson Headquarters, utility relocations by Springdale Water Utilities, and the installation of stop signs at intersections with Shiloh St, Main St, and Holcomb, St.