ROGERS – A $540 million east-west Springdale bypass may have to be constructed as a toll road, Mike Malone, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Council, said Tuesday.
“Nobody loves tolls, but I think we’re worse off not having the road,” Malone told a group of about 70 people attending an economic summit Tuesday in Rogers.
“Just thinking through how you’re going to get $500 million, it’s going to be multiple sources, including tolls,” Malone said after the summit. “It’s probably going to be part of how we get that project done.”
The Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority also is considering tolls to help pay for the building of the northsouth Bella Vista bypass, which could become the second toll road in Arkansas history.
The 18-mile Springdale bypass would take traffic off U.S. 412, which Malone said has more than 20 stoplights between Tontitown and Sonora.
About 35,500 vehicles per day travel U.S. 412 east of Interstate 540, said David Nilles, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. That compares with 65,000 vehicles per day on I-540 and 30,000 vehicles per day on U.S. 71 Business in Springdale.