Jonesboro announces new bypass from I-555 to Highway 49

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:23 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Traffic changes are coming to Jonesboro; the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the city of Jonesboro are working together to build a bypass from Interstate 555 to U.S. Highway 49.

The bypass would start the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and catch U.S. Highway 49 at the Farville curve.

Aaron Vowell, a Resident Engineer with ARDOT, said this has been in the works for some time and hopes to alleviate traffic around town.

“The traffic congestion that people, have been dealing with on a daily basis it just going to relieve some of that on Highway 49 and Red Wolf Blvd. on hilltop,” Vowell said.

Vowell said the bypass would have many new features to speed up how long it takes to get from I-555 to Highway 49.

A look at the blueprints from ARDOT show where the new bypass would stretch through.
A look at the blueprints from ARDOT show where the new bypass would stretch through.(KAIT)

“We are going to be constructing a new bridge overpass at over the Union Pacific railroad over at Kathleen Drive, and we are putting in new traffic signals,” Vowell said.

It’s a project that totals more than $60 million, and with that kind of investment, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver is excited about the possibilities the bypass brings.

“Highway 49 will be an integral part not only for redirecting traffic flow in northeast Arkansas in Jonesboro but a huge asset when it comes to regional capabilities,” Copenhaver said.

Copenhaver hopes the traffic improvements will invite more industry to the area to continue to improve the growing economy.

ARDOT projects will take just over three years to complete everything.