Eastern Arkansas into Louisiana
Rationale: A much more realistic and logical route alignment through eastern Arkansas than what currently exists, although this proposal would involve a fair amount of new construction and reconstruction.
The US 49 realignment provides a much more direct routing for US 49 between Jonesboro and Helena. It would also connect to larger cities than along existing US 49, including Marianna, Forrest City, and Wynne. Furthermore, the AR 1 corridor between Jonesboro and Walnut Corner is on the NHS system, while parallel US 49 is only NHS south of I-40. While this rerouting adds a turn down in Walnut Corner, it eliminates 2 turns up on the Jonesboro end, and about 1/2 mile worth of construction would drop the turn in Walnut Corner.
The relatively-recent US 63 extension in Arkansas has me wondering just what AHTD is smoking. The routing makes no sense whatsoever, nor does the rationale behind the routing (supposedly to tie the given cities together under one route number). It also seems that, like other extensions in recent years, this was primarily the work of AHTD and other Arkansas interests, as it seems Louisiana didn't have quite as much enthusiasm about extending US 63 into their state.
This proposal would require a fair amount of construction and reconstruction in order to bring lesser roads up to standards, but would provide for the more logical route locations suggested here. As part of the proposal, the real-life plan to create I-555 between I-55 and Jonesboro would continue, but would be extended up to near Bono. A new west Jonesboro bypass would be next, from near Bono south to existing US 49 near Gibson. US 63 would be rerouted onto this western bypass and existing US 49 between Gibson and Jonesboro could become a Business or Spur route, or even an extension of AR 18 or AR 141.
Additional construction involved with rerouting US 63 down to De Witt would include some minor construction to eliminate a double-turn at US 64, and a lot of new construction and reconstruction of existing roadways between US 79 and US 165.
US 63 would then replace US 165 south of De Witt. This gives the benefit of tying two similar corridors together under one number, which is something AHTD *TRIED* with their existing US 63 extension (but failed, IMHO). US 165 could then be saved for future use.
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