Officials suggest adding extra traffic light, following a second study

Officials suggest adding extra traffic light, following a second study

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A road project that city officials started working on two years ago is expecting another change in design before we see those orange traffic barrels.

We’re talking about the Harrisburg Road widening plan, where ARDOT and the city of Jonesboro will make Harrisburg Road from Parker Road to Forest Hill five lanes.

But after another traffic study was completed, there's a new addition to the plan.

It's a spot known for heavy traffic, especially during rush hour.

“I think it’s pretty bad,” Jonesboro resident Nicholas Warren said. “Everyday getting off work, it takes me about 15 to 20 minutes.”

And it hasn't gone unnoticed by officials.

"We're looking at safety number one and the flow of traffic," Mayor Harold Perrin said.

A traffic study two years ago prompted a widening project that would make the section five lanes.

At that time, the number of cars passing through didn't warrant a new traffic signal.

But after a public hearing and suggestions from people living in the area, ARDOT checked back earlier this year.

"The second time, it was over the magic number that would allow them to put a stop light there," Perrin said.

The new light would be at Forest Hill Road, where the road will transition back to two lanes.

But it's not just a quick fix, because an engineering firm will have to redesign the plan adding the new light.

"It'll cost about $17,000," Perrin said.

Because of the original contract, saying the city will commit $400,000, the change order does not mean the city will owe more money.

"I went down to Little Rock this week and made sure of that," Perrin said. "Our cost is always going to be just the $400,000."

What it does cost is more time, in a spot where people living in Jonesboro are already pushing for improvements.

"I think it will help a lot giving two lanes," Warren said. "It'd be a lot less traffic than the one lane."

If everything goes as planned, Mayor Perrin said residents should start seeing construction there in early 2020.

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