PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Construction that has started on phase two of the Paragould bypass project is trucking along.
According to Brad Smithee, district engineer with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, this is a continuation of the bypass they started years ago.
"In the recent years they have completed the east side of the bypass which goes from Highway 412 east to Highway 49 south of town," said Smithee. "Now we're working on the western part of the project."
Smithee said this would add another five miles of road to the bypass which would connect Highway 49 south to Highway 412 west.
"Getting people from east to west to and from Missouri would be easier and would help with the traffic congestion," said Smithee.
Smithee said they are just excited to move forward with the $12.7 million project.
"A lot of utility work has taken place so far with this phase and depending on the weather, we anticipate a large amount of work to continue through this year," said Smithee.
Currently, workers are still clearing right-of-way passage. They are also still doing utility work as well as installing drainage structure like pipes and reinforced concrete box culverts.
Smithee said he hopes to have the project completed sometime in 2018 but in the meantime, he wants people to be aware of possible traffic changes.
"While most of the workers and most of the construction will take place off the existing highways, at the crossings, I would just ask that people approach those locations safely and be aware of the construction that is going on," said Smithee.
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