More I-540 widening projects coming

Vehicles pass between Wedington Drive and Porter Road on Interstate 540 in Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.

Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The next phase in a series of Interstate 540 widening projects could begin this month in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department recently announced its schedule for group of planned highway projects that will use money generated from a tax increase voters approved in November. The increase raised the sales tax from 6 percent to 6.5 percent to help fund $1.8 billion in highway work throughout the state.

As part of the work, I-540 is set to be widened from Fayetteville to Bentonville. The project began last year when a third lane was added on both sides of I-540 between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Wedington Drive. Up next is widening of the 1.3-mile stretch from Wedington Drive to Porter Road.

The Arkansas Highway Commission opened bids for that project in late July. According to, the low bidder was Pace Construction of St. Louis at $16.6 million.

“Our state’s commitment to widening I-540 is critical to reducing traffic congestion, improving quality of life and enhancing our region’s economic vitality,” said Mike Malone, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “A better I-540 makes Northwest Arkansas a better place.”

I-540 projects in Fayetteville

2013 – Widening from Wedington Drive to Porter Road (Job 040605)
2015 – Interchange improvements at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Job BB0410)
2015 – Interchange improvements at Wedington Drive
2015 – Widening from Porter Road to Garland Avenue/Hwy. 112
2015 – Interchange improvements to Garland Avenue/Hwy. 112
2015 – Widening from Garland Avenue/Hwy. 112 to Hwy. 412 in Springdale