AHTD continues to work on Hwy 49 at Otwell - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AHTD continues to work on Hwy 49 at Otwell

Scene of Otwell crash from June 5 Scene of Otwell crash from June 5

WEINER, AR (KAIT) - The train derailment caused by a powerful wind storm last Thursday became an inconvenience for surrounding towns. Highway 49 at Otwell has been blocked off for over a week. The train has been removed and the Highway and Transportation department started working on the road Friday to get it reopened.

Brad Lowery co-owns the City Grocery and Deli in Weiner and said this past week they've experienced a major decrease in sales without the traffic.

"It cut down at least 50 to 75 percent," he said. "All we're getting is local traffic and nothing more."

Salon owner, Deanna Berryhill said some of her clients who live in Jonesboro have had to travel much longer than usual.

"They are making an hour trip to get here that usually only takes 25 minutes," she said.

Berryhill said there are a lot of people who travel to and from Jonesboro daily, especially for work and appointments.

"We're already out here in the middle of nowhere and then we have to travel several minutes out of the way," she said. "We have a lot of elderly people who make trips back and forth."

The inconvenience has been the talk of the town.

"It's one complaint after the next," said Lowery. "They understand that the highway department needs to work on the road but it is a severe hindrance."

The highway department said the road should reopen Saturday night

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