Officials hope to secure grant funding for road widening project

Officials hope to secure grant funding for road widening project

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Officials are hoping to widen a congested road in Jonesboro.

The purpose is to improve traffic flow, but first they have to secure funding for the project.

The widening project would start at Parker Road and continue as five lanes down South Caraway until you hit the Links apartment complex.

Then it would transition to three lanes from the Links apartments to Fox Meadow Lane.

The plan also includes sidewalks to accommodate the number of pedestrians we see down South Caraway.

The whole purpose is to alleviate a lot of congestion in the area and improve safety.

However, it’s estimated as a more than $7 million project.

So, city leaders hope to compete for funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program with the U.S Department of Transportation.

"Whenever you apply for these grants, you really want to make sure it's an attractive project from their perspective," Traffic Operations Engineer Mark Nichols said. "Another important perspective is economic growth, the traffic in that area has prohibited some economic growth because of the safety and the congestion."

City council will vote Tuesday night on whether to allow the city to even apply for the grant.

If they secure the BUILD grant funding, the U.S. Department of Transportation would pay about $6 million, leaving the city with about $1 million.

But if the city can't get this grant, Nichols doesn't know if the project will be possible.

Applications are due in July and the city won’t know the outcome until 2020.

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