I-49 Bella Vista bypass now complete

I-49 interchange at Highway 71 in Bella Vista (looking southeast) / Arkansas Department of Transportation

A 25-year goal to re-route traffic around Bella Vista has finally come to fruition.

Officials on Thursday celebrated the completion of the Interstate 49 Bella Vista Bypass project, a 19-mile stretch of road that included six construction phases totaling over $220 million.

The newly constructed roadway, which links 265 miles of continuous interstate, opens to the public today (Oct. 1).

Officials, including the governors of both Arkansas and Missouri, attend the ribbon-cutting celebrating the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass which helps connect northwest Arkansas to Missouri.

Arkansas Department of Transportation

“It is with great pleasure and pride that we have completed this important project that constructed the final link of I-49 between Fort Smith and Kansas City,” said ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor. “This is an achievement that will benefit everyone in this region of the nation.”

The plan now is to expand I-49 from Fort Smith to Texarkana, including a new bridge across the Arkansas River.

See a map of the bypass project below: