Public meeting set for road extension proposal

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A meeting is scheduled to get the public's take on a proposed road extension project by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

In a news release, AHTD stated a public meeting will take place concerning plans to extend Commerce Drive from Interstate 555 to Highway 49 in Jonesboro. It will connect near the Farville Curve.

Those attending will be able to view displays, ask questions, and offer comments in an open house format.

Arkansas Department of Transportation District 10 Engineer Brad Smithee said this project will help alleviate traffic, especially truck traffic, on main roads through Jonesboro.

He said the material at next week's meeting will not be very detailed or specific but will have the corridor the highway department is looking at.

"It won't tell you exact points on the ground, whether the right of way is encroaching your property or something like that, but it's a corridor view of the project," Smithee said. "So it's that initial phase of here's our idea, here's the corridor that we're looking at, and what are your thoughts, what are your comments, what are your concerns from the environmental side of it."

Smithee said the meetings also help engineers learn about any localized issues like unmarked cemeteries or animal habitats that might be in the path.

"It's not that it changes because someone does or doesn't like it necessarily, but when we get those comments we hear concerns that maybe we didn't understand or maybe we didn't think about and it might allow some adjustment," Smithee said.

The meeting is scheduled for July 11 in the presentation room at Nettleton High School, 4201 Chieftan Lane, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m.

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