Northwest Arkansas Not Expected To Receive INFRA Grant To Complete I-49 Gap

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BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission is not expected to receive funding from a federal grant program that would have provided the money to complete an 18.9-mile segment of Interstate 49, between Arkansas and Missouri.

In a recent letter to Congress, Secretary Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation, listed the 26 projects to receive funding from the $1.5 billion Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program for fiscal years 2017 and 2018, but no funding was identified for projects in Missouri or Arkansas.

Tim Conklin, transportation programs manager for the commission, was disappointed with the news the region won’t receive the $32.4 million from the federal grant program but hopes the region can move forward and find a means to pay for I-49 gap, referred to as the Arkansas/Missouri Connector or the Bella Vista bypass. Conklin was thankful and encouraged with how the two states worked together leading up to the application for the grant.

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