JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Improvements to the intersection of Highland Drive and Southwest Drive in Jonesboro could be coming sooner than first thought.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department initially had the project slated for their State Transportation Improvement Plan in 2019.
However, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said changes need to happen before then as four major projects are under construction at that intersection right now.
A CVS and Dairy Queen are going in on one side of Southwest Drive.
On the other side, construction is underway on a new Starbucks and McDonald's.
Mayor Perrin said in speaking with the highway department, they agreed on advancing the construction project to an earlier date.
Mayor Perrin said there are many improvements they'd like to make to that intersection.
"We're going to widen the street, have a dedicated right turn lane all the way back to KFC," Mayor Perrin said. "There will be two straight lanes going straight to Main, rather than one taking up the candlesticks there.
"The way this works is that we will pay for the engineering. Once it is done, we get reimbursed back from the Highway Department for that. Then the Highway Department will pick it up and start doing the right of way acquisition and all of that."
Mayor Perrin said they've been in touch with an engineering firm for the project.
The intersection was one of 26 road projects that would have been partially funded through a proposed one cent sales tax increase.
The sales tax failed in a special election last year.
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