MANILA, AR - The state Highway and Transportation Department says Arkansas 18 will become a four or five-lane highway over about a third of its route between Jonesboro and Blytheville. The agency announced yesterday its preferred route for the highway upgrade from the St. Francis River bridge east of Lake City in Craighead County to just west of Dell in Mississippi County.
The preferred route will take the improved highway on a loop that carries traffic to the north around Monette's downtown area. On the south side of Manila, the highway will follow a new route further to the south of the town's developed areas.
The agency said newly constructed sections of the highway will be four lanes with a median, while rural sections that follow the current route will be upgraded to five lanes with shoulders.