Street and Highway Projects

NOVEMBER 6, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:45 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- As Jonesboro grows, transportation has become a concern. K8 news was there Monday afternoon as council members addressed the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce about our streets and highways. The meeting is just one of many public meetings the council is planning to hold as they launch million dollar projects for the city. They say they want to make sure the public is satisfied with the future plans and how their money is being spent.

"We felt that it was time as a city council to go ahead and get a project list to the community and let them inform us of what the priorities are," says City Alderman Alec Farmer.

Farmer spoke to members of the chamber of commerce about the city's future plans for street and highway projects, something that continues to be a big item on the council's agenda. Over 27 million dollars in street projects were presented, along with 9 million dollars of drainage projects and 17 million dollars for municipal building projects.

"Obviously we don't have all the money in a 5 year period to pay for all those project so we're going to have to set priorities of what's important for the citizens. Where do they want to see that money go? That's what this process is right here, that's where we're starting," says Farmer.

Other projects were discussed with the chamber as well, including the status of Interstate 555, something Chamber Member Henry Jones says is vital for economic growth in this area.

"The industries want to be in a community that's on an interstate. Not an interstate type highway, but one that has a red white and blue sign that says interstate," says Jones.

The council also gave an update on the construction of a 4-lane divided highway from Little Rock into Jonesboro.

"We're the only city of over 50 thousand in Arkansas that doesn't have an interstate grade highway all the way from the state capitol to our city. So this connector from U.S. 67 on into Jonesboro, the 226 connector is a very important project," says Jones.

Both projects I-555 and the expansion of Highway 226 are currently under construction and the city is hoping to soon get started on their list of other projects. The council says a public hearing will soon be held for citizens in the community to provide their input on the future projects.