New construction coming to Red Wolf, I-555, eliminating left turn into Jonesboro
JONESBORO, Ark- Additional construction is coming to Jonesboro.
Construction will soon be coming to Red Wolf Boulevard and I-555.
As the Arkansas Department of Transportation will add, two loop ramps connecting the interstate to the boulevard.
Eliminating the left turn as you enter Jonesboro.
“If I take the exit to get onto red wolf boulevard. If I wish to turn south and go to Harrisburg or south in Jonesboro or Wynn that direction a left turn, there is very difficult. At peak hours of the day, it just doesn’t happen,” says ARDOT District Engineer Brad Smithee.
Crews will start construction to build the ramps in February.
Koss Construction Company of Kansas will handle the $3.1 million dollar project.
This will increase efficiency in the area and cut down on traffic congestion.
Smithee explains how drivers will exit onto red wolf once the new ramps are complete.
“For that northbound exit, you’ll exit, and instead of taking the exit ramp that’s currently there, you’ll pass under the bridge you’ll come around the circular ramp, and you’ll just blend into traffic and head south. The other side is the opposite ramp. So, if you’re heading from Bono crossing Jonesboro and you take the exit again, you’ll go under red wolf and take a circular ramp and be able to merge into traffic,” he says.
Planning for the project started in 2020.
But due to flexible start dates, ARDOTs been finalizing contractual details over the past few months.
It will also include drainage improvements and new traffic signals.
With eliminating the left turn, the project is being recognize as a safety issue.
“[Drivers] they’re kind enough to let you go, but then you can’t see the other drivers. You get a lot of those- fortunately their mostly minor accidents like that, I guess," he says. "But that’s what this is all about. It will prevent that motion from being necessary.”
For everyone worried about delays and traffic from this project, Smithee says that all should be minimal.
“Traffic for this- it’s gonna blend right in. We don’t really expect this to cause any heartburn or any further delays,” according to Smithee.
Smithee says they plan for the project to be complete by mid-summer.
As I-555’s current project, involving widening each lane of the interstate should also finish at the same time.