Residents fear bypass will shut out small town

George Moore (Source: KAIT)
George Moore (Source: KAIT)

MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - Some people in Monette are fearful that the Highway 18 Bypass project will hurt their small town.

The new bypass will run through several Region 8 towns.

According to Monette Mayor Jerry Qualls, the portion of the bypass near Monette should be complete by December.

Qualls hopes an increase in traffic on Highway 18 on the new bypass will mean financial gain and growth for the small town.

The mayor said one man is working to place a possible convenience store near the bypass in city limits.

Qualls said he believes bringing business near the bypass where thousands of semi-trucks and vehicles pass through will benefit the city financially.

In the midst of the project, Qualls said one man is building more apartments in town and, in the future, the mayor hopes for more housing.

However, some people like George Moore feel the bypass is going to hurt the town.

"Local business is going to hurt," Moore said. "It'll be good for people traveling but not for our city."

Moore has called Monette home for more than 20 years. He said it is hard for him to imagine how the city could grow because of the bypass, much less, survive.

"I really don't think it's going to bring in business," Moore said. "I really don't. That's just my personal opinion. People are going to leave here because they are shut off. That's basically what it is."

Mayor Qualls said it could be more than a year before the entire Highway 18 bypass is complete.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android