|Citing the recent report out of Arkansas that higher construction costs and lower toll estimates create a $139 million gap in their funding, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced last week the indefinite postponement of the Missouri portion of the Bella Vista bypass project.
"There are too many good projects and too many pressing needs to devote Missouri tax payer money to a project that appears to not have a chance of being completed," said Becky Baltz, Southwest District Engineer.
Phone calls were made and letters sent to property owners previously contacted for right of way acquisition of their land. The letters stated, "...it would be irresponsible for us (MoDOT) to proceed with the Missouri project with no connection into Arkansas."
"It's unfortunate the project won't work now," said Sean Matlock, project manager. "The attendances at the public meetings were some of the largest groups we've seen. This was definitely a roadway with a great deal of public interest."
The bypass would have served as the future I-49 corridor, connecting southwest Missouri to northwest Arkansas, allowing large trucks and "passing through" motorists an alternative route to the often-congested Bella Vista traffic.