$20.9 Million Dollar Project for Arkansas Highway 412

July 27, 2004 -- Posted at 3:33 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD -- The warm weather means plenty of work for highway construction crews building new roads.  Workers were busy in Region 8 with an expansion project that has been a long time coming.  The earth is moving...the traffic is slower and the Arkansas Department of Highway Transportation is pretty busy.

Joe Barnett of the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department said, "In 1991, there was a highway program passed by the state legislature which included some additional funding for some programs in Arkansas. This project is one of those. This project is warranted based on the volume of traffic."

The project is to expand a stretch of Highway 412 from Paragould West to Highway 141.  The $20.9 million dollar project should be completed by the end of 2006.  Barnett says at the rate they're going, the project should be right on schedule.

"Considering the rain we've had, it's going well. The contractor is about 10% complete. We anticipate it will take more than two years, probably close to three years to complete that," said Barnett.

The new four-lane road will also have a turning lane.

"There's not many passing zones out there and those that are there are short and heavy trucks have to slow down to get up the hills and so this is going to make is more convenient and safer too," said Barnett.

The speed limit has also been lowered on this stretch of road, so if you're traveling through there, be sure to slow down.