JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For decades, students and motorists have been frustrated by trains blocking Caraway road as it enters Arkansas State University.
Those days are numbered as work progresses on the new overpasses.
Standing on top of the new overpass you can see the Caraway Road crossings. This particular morning Union Pacific had run three trains through in less than half an hour.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe also blocks the North Crossing from time to time. But to use a railroad analogy here. There is light, a faint gleam at the end of the tunnel.
The overpass over Burlington's tracks is Phase 1.
Carty, "Phase 1 is about 90 percent complete. The contractor is planning on beginning paving later on this week or the beginning of next week."
Over on Matthews a lot of dirt is being moved around for Phase 2.
"The contractor is placing the select fill in order to get the fill in place so he can start construction on the overpass over the Union Pacific Railroad."
When I was in college in the 80's these overpasses were being discussed then, however Carty said this massive project has been in the works for a long, long time.
Carty "The first thought of that started in the late 60's early 70's. The first inception was to put overpasses directly on Caraway Road."
Now the overpasses will connect University Loop to Matthews and Washington.
Carty said former ASU President Les Wyatt and Congressman Marion Berry were the essentials in getting this project funded.
So is the project ahead, behind or on schedule?
"He's on schedule to complete the project in January of 2011, Phase 1."
Carty said Phase 2 is just a little behind but if the weather holds out the project can forge ahead.
"Quality of works good. We'd like to see him move a little faster but with the equipment he has and the forces he has in the field he's making good progress. We're hopeful that the work will progress and we can finish fall of next year or early February of 2012."