JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Crews have begun construction on the Parker Road extension along Interstate 555 that is expected to improve traffic flow from southwest Jonesboro into the city.
Mayor Harold Perrin made that announcement Tuesday.
The extension will connect Southwest Drive to Washington Avenue alongside the newly designated interstate, which is a section of U.S. 63.
The project should be finished in six months, so the connection could be finished by early September.
"This is a project we've been working on for three years," Perrin said. "Highway 226 goes out to Ridgepoint and a huge population southwest of town who are currently forced to meander through residential neighborhoods or go to Southwest Drive to get downtown. Now they'll be able to travel on Parker and go to Washington Avenue, where there's very little traffic, and arrive downtown."
The $2.2 million project will be funded with $1.267 million in federal money through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, and $960,000 from the City of Jonesboro.
The federal share was funding designated to improve traffic at intersections along U.S. 63.
The Parker Road extension began as a plan by the city to relieve traffic congestion at its intersection with Southwest Drive, as well as decrease traffic on the Southwest Drive corridor, city engineer Craig Light said.
"We had to do a traffic study to show we would be decreasing traffic on the Southwest Drive interchange, and once that was satisfied, we were released to start acquiring properties," Light said.
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