Lanes at bypass set to open this month - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lanes at bypass set to open this month

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)

Nearly two miles of newly made lanes at the Manila bypass are set to open and officials ask people to be careful when driving through the area. 

The lanes will be opened April 25, weather permitting, officials said Thursday. The opening will allow motorists to travel near the southeast part of Manila at the bypass.

The work will also allow contractors to finish the four-lane and shoulders of the bypass section, officials said. 

Earlier this year, ?the Arkansas Department of Transportation asked drivers to use extreme caution as it plans to open a portion of the Highway 18 bypass in Manila.

According to ARDOT Field Engineer Bryce Reeks, the traffic pattern will change for drivers traveling on Highway 77.

“Drivers coming into Manila on Highway 77 North will now be directed onto our new bypass,” Reeks said. “Now we won’t open the entire bypass for a few weeks, but we want drivers to get started getting used to the changes, so what we are doing, we’ll have them come up to this stop sign off the new ramp, they’ll be forced to make a left hand turn instead of driving straight into Manila on Highway 77.”

Drivers going out of town on Highway 77 will access the portion of the bypass also.

They’ll make a right turn onto the ramp to access the highway.

Reeks said ARDOT has placed numerous traffic signs in the area, he urges drivers to pay close attention to them to avoid crashes.

“They are not use to stopping at these intersections,” he said. “We are putting up brand new stop signs that people are used to just blowing through this area. We want people to exercise extreme caution in this area because they aren't used to seeing traffic here.”

This pattern change does not impact travelers coming in and out of Manila on Highway 18.

However, once the entire bypass opens, more traffic pattern changes will come.

Reeks said weather permitting, the project should be complete by July.

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