SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The first phase of the Springdale Northern Bypass is officially open to traffic.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation held a ribbon cutting for the bypass, also known as U.S. 412, last week. However, last-minute details needed to be completed on the 4.5-mile stretch before it could be opened to traffic.
That official opening took place at 6 a.m. Monday (April 30).
The first phase of the bypass has four lanes that connect U.S. 49 between exits 76 and 78 in west Springdale to Arkansas 112. In the next phase, ARDOT plans to build about a mile of the bypass to the west, which will tie into a new connector to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA).
The completed bypass will stretch from an interchange with the current U.S. 412 west of Tontitown to U.S. 412 east of Sonora and just west of Beaver Lake.
The bypass cost more than $100 million, which was funded through a 10-year, half-cent sales tax generated from a 2012 vote, ARDOT said. It's the single biggest project ARDOT has constructed.
Work on the first phase of the bypass began in April 2015 and was completed about a year earlier than the estimated mid-2019 completion date.