Overpass at Highland Dr. and Nettleton planned

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The city of Jonesboro plans to build an overpass at the intersection of Highland Dr. and Nettleton to help with the flow of traffic, according to the City of Jonesboro Engineering Department.

You might notice a long line of cars at any given hour at the intersection of Highland and Nettleton. According to a traffic engineer with the city of Jonesboro, that crossing has about 25 This problem has caused the city to ask the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to look into adding an overpass.

Michael Perry and his wife owns the Pinkabella Party studio on Nettleton and said an overpass would be very beneficial to this part of town.

"That is something that should have been done 20 years ago. That is really a safety hazard because if someone has a wreck out there and has to get to the hospital, they gotta go all the way around," Perry said.

We asked Perry how he thinks the overpass could impact his business.

"I don't think it would hurt it, it might help it the way traffic moves through here but I don't think it would hurt it," he said.

And Perry is not alone, there are many people who feel an overpass at this intersection is necessary.

"I think that would be great, a lot of times I'm late for work on account of trains always there on the tracks," said Stephen Griffin.

"I stay over this way so we get stopped by trains a lot over here, I think it will be great," said Wendell Golatt.

A stopped train could also be a problem in the morning when kids are trying to get to school.

"Kids going to the junior high and high school, if you don't get across the railroad tracks before 7:30, every morning there is a train coming by and they're going to be late," said Virginia Keesling.

Mark Nichols is a traffic operations engineer with the City of Jonesboro and says this overpass project is in the making. He says they are working with the  Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to study the intersection.

"We have documented the impact on traffic through video cameras and our traffic management system and we also provided the highway department with that study, he said.

Nichols says it could take up to a year just to secure enough funding.

"A project of this nature generally costs about 10 to 14 million, there are a lot of factors such as right away and utility relocation," Nichols said.

Although this project could take years to complete, some drivers are getting impatient.

"I just hope they hurry up and get it done," said Keesling.

Nichols said on average this intersection is blocked by trains over 2 hours a day. He said  if the project was approved today, it would be several years before the environmental, design process and  the construction was complete.

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