MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - The city of Monette hopes to profit off the new Highway 18 bypass that opens Tuesday.
Arkansas Department of Transportation celebrated the bypass Monday by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Monette Mayor Jerry Qualls said while the bypass will reduce traffic buildup in the city, he does not want to lose revenue to it; instead, he hopes to profit.
"It's been a long time coming," Qualls said. "But, I think this is going to be good for the city of Monette."
City council members have discussed expanding water lines to the bypass, which Qualls said will hopefully attract businesses.
"I think we will have businesses build down here," he said. "We've already had people inquiring. We've had a quick shop and we have had a chemical company or two show interest. The city expects to expand our water and sewer facilities for people who [are] coming and wanting to build."
Despite Monday's ceremony, Brad Smithee, ARDoT district engineer, said the bypass will not officially open until Tuesday morning.
He urges drivers to be cautious of the signs in place.
"Folks that are traveling through Monette won't be doing that anymore, they will be going around," Smithee said. "Folks that go to and from Monette for a few days will only be able to access Monette from this intersection at Highway 139 and the new Highway 18 bypass."
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