Highway Construction Slows Traffic - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

Highway Construction Slows Traffic

October 27, 2005--Posted at 11:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-- Construction along Jonesboro's roadways is all too familiar.

And while transportation projects are beneficial to the area, Region Eight is still wondering what's causing the hold up ...

If you've been traveling on Johnson lately, you've most likely been a part of the wait.

But the State Highway Transportation Department says it will be worth your while.

K-8 News has an update on the department's most recent project.

The highway commission currently has two contracts to widen parts of Dan and Johnson Avenue to four lanes from US Highway 63 to US Highway 49 which is Stadium.

"There are segments that are under construction now that are congested because of work that has to be done under traffic," District 10 Engineer of Arkansas Highway Transportation Department Joe Barnett says.

The main cause for congestion has been a segment of the project just off Johnson where they've opened the new Burlington-Northern crossing near Gee Street on Dan Avenue.

In order to do that they had to do some paving that required flagging traffic to one lane.

"Delays more than four to five minutes are unavoidable doing stuff like this," Barnett says.

Barnett says that segment of the project has now been opened to two way traffic and will soon be open to four lanes.

But the wait isn't over, there will be other parts of the project that will cause congestion.

"We're going to have to have detours or one lane traffic most notably near Main Street for the relocation of a railroad spur line," Barnett says.

He says the construction of that phase should occur within the next few weeks ...

"Through construction zones we would encourage people to look for the traffic controls signs and obey the flaggers ... Slow down because it's a dangerous area, it's a congested area," Barnett says.

He says the end product will be most beneficial for the Jonesboro area.

However, the best things come to those who wait ...

"If they'll pay attention and follow the traffic control they can get through there as quickly as they can and everybody will be safe. And if they'll bear with us, in a few months it will be much better," Barnett says.

The completion date is, roughly, late 2006.

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