Construction continues at GCT, traffic light going in

The red line indicates where road will be widened.
The red line indicates where road will be widened.

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – The city of Paragould has been working to widen East Greene County Road in southern Paragould. Mayor Mike Gaskill said the city is working to improve the roadways in the area since the opening of the new Greene County Tech High School is less than two months away. After the road is widened, the school is expected to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 49.

Residents who live in the Carriage Hills subdivision as well as 28th Street told Region 8 News they expect traffic to pick up at the beginning of the year, especially in the morning and afternoon hours.

"First of all, there's going to be an increased amount of traffic out there because of the school and I think we all realize that. And the school is going to put a traffic signal there at that intersection," said Gaskill. "We realize that there was going to be a need for turning lanes and things like that, so we had used the engineers plan that the school had used to look at the road and we decided we'd make it a little bit longer, and then we got with tech and we partnered to increase the size of the street all the way down to their main entrance."

According to Gaskill, the city will spend approximately $175,000 to widen East Greene County Road. Gaskill said the school is paying for the traffic light.

"Depending on traffic, the light could very well be red when you get there. It's going to be based on traffic as far as there will be little sensors that will be put in the road. We call them loops," said Gaskill. "There's a good possibility that if you're coming in at 7:45, you could very well get caught at that red light."

Gaskill said the project should be completed within the next two weeks.

"If you take 40 cars and half of them want to turn right or half of them want to turn left or go straight, then what you'd have is 20 in each lane as opposed to having 40 lined up all the way down the road," said Gaskill. "A lot of them will be kids driving. It won't be as many parents dropping off. That's going to kind of divide up the traffic that we already have."

Residents like Ruby Bolt, who lives on 28th Street with her husband and son, told Region 8 News Friday they expect some problems at the intersection, but not that many. Bolt said the stop light will be a good thing for her family.

"We've already had some accidents down at that road down there and one gentleman got killed and it's just going to be real congestive getting in and out of there I think," said Bolt. "It gives me a little bit of comfort, because kids in general, some of them don't watch and this cell phone thing that they've got going on anyway, a lot of them talk on phones and stuff."

"A lot of times when you're pulling out onto the road, the traffic is just coming through there so fast and people don't watch what they're doing. They'll try to get around you even if you gave them plenty of time, they'll try to get around you and then cut right back in front of you," said Bolt.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.