Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Western By-Pass? Great Idea!

Planners and elected officials in Northwest Arkansas are eyeing a four-lane highway to cut through western Benton and Washington counties and avoid additional gridlock on Interstate 540. It doesn’t have an exact location, nor money to pay for it--yet.

The Northwest Arkansas Council, which includes some of the region’s wealthiest and most influential people, has placed the proposed highway on its list of road projects it deems important to the region’s future. And a committee of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission has included the highway, known as the western bypass, in the draft of a 2030 long-range transportation plan the commission will hand over to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department next month.

The proposed highway wouldn’t be constructed until after a western bypass of the Bella Vista stretch of I-540 and a U.S. 412 bypass north of Springdale are completed, according to John McLarty, the transportation planner for the regional planning commission. “But it’s not too early to begin planning the road.”

The western freeway is a great idea, and it’s encouraging to note that planners are starting to think in longer terms. It takes years to go from identifying the need to completing the project, and it is essential to get this project in place while there is still sufficient, undeveloped land available. The 412 bypass has been delayed again and again by impact studies while the areas where the original three proposed routes might have been built have been filled up with new homes. And since the 412 bypass won’t be built for many years due to funding deficits, maybe these planners can begin getting their proposal to legislators so that when the project is ready, the funding will be there.

In the meantime, there will have to be improvements and additions to I-540. Twenty-five years is a long time for the western bypass to become a reality. But knowing that planners are even thinking about it is a start.

For more information: http://nwanews.com/adg/News/147123/

No comments: