Work on Arkansas highways progressing
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has completed 203 projects on northwest Arkansas highways since 2005, and officials promise that more are on the way.
The lion’s share of the work happened in Benton and Washington counties, The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that.
District engineer Chad Adams says 25 projects are currently underway and 68 more projects covering more than 140 miles are scheduled between now and 2022.
According to Adams, most of the work is along the Interstate 49 corridor to widen the highway to three lanes in each direction. Interchanges are also being improved. Work on Interstate 49 is expected to be completed or well under way by 2020.
Construction work is being funded by interstate rehabilitation bonds, a sales tax, new federal highway money and state and local matches.
Arkansas Highway Commission chairman Dick Trammel said work on the interstate would not have been possible if voters had not passed the sales tax twice.
One of the biggest remaining projects for the interstate is the widening and reconfiguring of the interchange where Arkansas 112 and the Fulbright Expressway converge with the interstate in northwest Fayetteville. The commission is currently accepting bids for the project and is expected to award the project contract on Aug. 10.
The project is expected to begin in early 2017 and could take up to four years to complete.