The Arkansas Department of Transportation is moving ahead with projects to improve Highway 412 between the Oklahoma and Missouri state line. That road work stretches through Paragould, Walnut ridge and neighboring communities.
“Existing Highway 412 and 63 across the top of the state, [are] windy, curvy, hilly roads. They’re not the most efficient transportation system. That doesn’t make them bad roads…that doesn’t make them dangerous roads. But something of an improvement, could provide a new transportation corridor,” said Brad Smithee, ARDOT engineer.
That corridor could possibly include another bypass. or a bridge. The goal is to help accommodate a significant growth in truck traffic that’s taken place along 67.
ARDOT officials say that their big goal is to keep traffic moving. The next big project is taking intersections of 412 and Highway 141 and converting two lanes to five lanes all the way to Highway 67, going towards Walnut Ridge. That road project is slated to begin in September.
Smithee says that the layouts for the Highway 412 improvements are currently in the idea phase. The department is hosting public meetings this month for residents to voice their thoughts and concerns about the projects.
“This is the right opportunity to see what’s available. Hear what’s available. Ask questions and make your comments that can be incorporated into the future of these designs.” “What this does, is it gives us a look at our planning for the projects for 2019 through 2022.”
There are currently about fifteen miles of road along Highway 412 that has five lanes. Making those improvements, cost the state between fifty and seventy-five million dollars so far.
Public input is accepted through July 25th.
For dates and times of the public meetings, visit www,arkansashighways.com.