BELLA VISTA (KFSM) – Plans to extend the Bella Vista Bypass have hit a dead end after voters in Missouri defeated a multibillion dollar sales tax hike Tuesday night (Aug. 5). Election results show 59 percent of voters opposed the highway tax, while 41 percent were in favor of it passing. If approved, the highway tax would’ve funded more than 800 highway and transportation projects across Missouri, including the extension of the Bella Vista Bypass across state lines. The 19-mile road project would’ve been built from Bentonville north into Pineville, Missouri, which would then become a section of Interstate 49.
Arkansas voters approved the half cent sales tax to pay for its part of the two lane $150 million Bella Vista Bypass. However, since Missouri voters have rejected the highway tax, the Bella Vista Bypass will now stop about two miles south of the Arkansas-Missouri border on County Road 34, according to John McLarty, transportation study director for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission.
“It’s not a road to nowhere, but it would be a road to a county road up in North Arkansas on the west side of Bella Vista,” McLarty said. “But it would be much nicer to go to Pineville, MO in the Missouri portion of it.”