PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The 412 Bypass in Paragould has been open since January, but plans are already in place to extend and widen the highway.
Wednesday afternoon the Paragould Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department celebrated the opening of the 412 Bypass.
City officials joined the 2 groups at the Paragould Community Center to discuss future plans.
Scott Bennett, director of AHTD, said the next step is constructing the west part of the 412 Bypass, adding 2 lanes to make all of the bypass 4 lanes, and connecting the 412 Bypass to U.S. 67.
"This has helped us not just catch up but stay a little ahead of the growth in Jonesboro and Paragould," Bennett said. "So we think this is not just a Paragould project, we think this is a Northeast Arkansas regional project that's going to be good for everyone."
Bennett said the construction on the west end should start by the end of 2016 and then the other items will follow.
A business owner was at the luncheon and voiced his praise for the bypass, saying it has really helped traffic flow.
Mayor Mike Gaskill was also in attendance and praised the highway department for their diligence and willingness to work with the city.
Bennett said all of these projects are based on funding and the AHTD is facing several setbacks with the federal funding they normally receive.
However, everyone at the luncheon Wednesday made it clear the 412 Bypass project and Northeast Arkansas is a priority
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