June 16th, 2020

$58 million Bella Vista Bypass project will complete Interstate 49

A five-mile four-lane roadway relocation project in southwest Missouri will soon connect Interstate 49 across the Missouri-Arkansas state line, and Bartlett & West is proudly serving as the lead design firm.

Teamed with Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS), a heavy-highway contractor, Bartlett & West provided design support and expertise to ESS through a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) procurement process known as Alternative Technical Concepts. The goal of the process is to provide innovative design options, allowing ESS to reduce their overall project bid amount, while still fulfilling the original goals of the project. These project savings also lowered the cost for MoDOT, bringing the project back within budget and freeing funds to construct additional projects. The original project design was completed several years earlier, and the project was postponed due to a lack of necessary funding at the time.

The design innovations save MoDOT more than $6 million and address unique project challenges like:

  • Constructing a new interstate facility through open, undeveloped ground in a remote location.
  • Rugged terrain requiring deep rock cuts and roadway embankments, with elevation changes equivalent to a 20-story building.
  • Expedited schedule of 18 months, approximately half the time required under normal circumstances.

A $25 million U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant secured by the NW Arkansas Regional Planning Commission is helping to fund the project. Completion is expected in September 2021, at which point Interstate 49 will run a continuous 290 miles between Kansas City, Missouri, and Fort Smith, Arkansas.