New interchange expected to increase traffic in Cash

By Keith Boles - biostory feedback

Cash, AR (KAIT)

It's going to be a little easier getting to and from Little Rock.

Highway officials say the Highway 67- 226 interchange will open September First just outside of Cash.

No doubt traffic will increase through Cash. But will it able to handle it?

it's not really a matter of choice right now.

When the four laned 67 opens in September no doubt a lot more cars will be going through Cash either going South to Little Rock or over to Jonesboro and beyond.

When Monday's lightning storm knocked out Cash's one red blinking stop light all traffic had to be controlled by a police officer.

I asked Cash's Mayor Leroy Burden what would it be like after 67 opens in September?

"Increase it, naturally it will. Double it, maybe more than that, sure will. "

According to Highway Department statistics around 1400 vehicles travel 226 every day.

The Eastern end toward Jonesboro is a little narrower than the West end with many bridges.

This road already has seen its share of accidents like this fatal earlier this year.

Highway Department District Engineer Walter Macmillan says he expects more traffic from people not taking 49 South,

"From Jonesboro and Paragould North you know going through Cash instead of going through Waldenburg and across. "

On the West end of 226 construction is underway on a turn lane. So you intersect existing 67 more on a 90 degree angle.

They are making allowances for increased traffic to the West, but at the East end over towards Cash and Jonesboro how are they going to handle the increased load?

Perhaps a bypass around Cash. Mayor Burden says he has been shown a couple of routes. Burden himself would like the route to come through the town. Both to stimulate business and to allow trucks to turn to the seed company. He thinks though, a bypass is inevitable

They have shown us 2 routes that they could take, one is close to town the other is a half mile down South.

One would take some homes. The other, farm land. Neither easy to give up.

Mcmillan from the highway department says it would be faster to make a bypass around cash.

But that day is still a ways off. He says Cash will have to put up with traffic for a few more years.

The Highway Department will hold a public hearing next Thursday the 23rd from 4-7 at the Cash city hall.

The public is invited to come look at the proposals and give their input on what they would like to have done for their area.

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