ArDOT looks to put turning lanes on Hwy. 351, hears from residents at meeting

ArDOT looks to put turning lanes on Hwy. 351, hears from residents at meeting

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Transportation held a public meeting to present proposed plans to widen State Highways 49 and 351.

The plans include widening 0.98 miles of Hwy. 49 to six lanes, and 0.5 miles of Hwy. 351 to five lanes. They also include improving the highways’ intersection in Jonesboro.

“We’re looking at some intersection improvements," said ArDot engineer Brad Smithee. "For some time, congestion along Highway 49 and on those entrance highways, we’ve developed some plans proposed to the public.”
“We’re looking at some intersection improvements," said ArDot engineer Brad Smithee. "For some time, congestion along Highway 49 and on those entrance highways, we’ve developed some plans proposed to the public.” (Source: KAIT-TV)

Citizens had the opportunity to view displays of the proposed projects, ask questions and offer comments.

Lifetime resident Rick Cheshier attended the meeting because he has a property on Highway 351. After viewing the renderings, he was very concerned.

“I really hate to see them spend kind of money they will be spending on just widening as a temporary fix for 351. I think that money will be well spent instead to go head and complete relocate like they had in there plan back then," Chesier said.

ArDOT engineer Brad Smithee said they’re looking to add turning lanes to either side of Highway 351 to help with traffic issues. Multiple engineers were on standby in the meeting to offer clarity.

They’re proposing adding turning lanes to the left and right sides of Highway 351
They’re proposing adding turning lanes to the left and right sides of Highway 351 (Source: Source; KAIT-TV)

Lynn Beasley, who currently lives in Jonesboro, said the traffic has gotten worse over the years. He is in favor of the turning lanes.

“I think it would be a good idea," he said. "We are congested all the time. We need at least two. Yes, good idea.”

ARDot is holding a public information hearing on July 18th at the Family Fellowship Baptist Church in Jonesboro from 4-7 to hear your thoughts and the public’s input
ARDot is holding a public information hearing on July 18th at the Family Fellowship Baptist Church in Jonesboro from 4-7 to hear your thoughts and the public’s input (Source: KAIT-TV)

None of the plans for the project are set in stone. For those who didn’t get the chance to stop by the meeting, ARDOT will upload those renderings online.

You have 15 days to leave comments, concerns and questions on their website.

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