ArDOT Holding Online Meeting on Interstate Path
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) is holding a virtual public involvement meeting to obtain input on the proposed Walnut Ridge to Missouri state line (Future I-57) connection in Clay, Greene, Lawrence and Randolph counties.
The public is invited and encouraged to visit the online meeting website anytime during the scheduled dates to view meeting exhibits and offer comments about the project. The meeting opened on Friday, Aug. 14, and will run through Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The proposed route of the highway, which is currently U.S. 67, has been a matter of great discussion for decades. In 1993 the state decided to widen the highway between Walnut Ridge and Pocahontas, and in 1996 a study recommended a separate four lane freeway through the area. A reevaluation of the project was ordered in 2012, and in 2015 the study was released with several options, including the widening of the existing highway. In 2018 legislation was approved that would mandate that the highway stretch from I-40 to the Arkansas-Missouri state line that would be designated as part of I-57.
Four plans are being considered, including one to make no improvements. The proposed routes include one which would follow the existing highway to Pocahontas, then turn east, but carries an expected price tag of some $536 million for 44 miles. Another calls for the route to be more centralized, south of the current highway and north of the Dave Donaldson WMA, and would cost some $453 million for 41 miles. The other route runs along the current State Highway 34, and would cost some $490 million for the 44 mile route. All of the proposed routes by-pass the city of Corning to the west.
Those wanting to view the plans, or make comments, may visit the site at https://future57.transportationplanroom.com/
Anyone with limited internet access or has general questions or comments regarding the project or virtual public meeting may call (501) 823-0730 to request a phone conversation or email PublicInvolvement@GarverUSA.com
Anyone needing special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is encouraged to write to Jon Hetzel, 4701 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, Ark., 72118, call (501) 823-0730, or email PublicInvolvement@GarverUSA.com Hearing or speech impaired, please contact the Arkansas Relay System at (Voice/TTY 711). Requests should be made at least four days prior to the public meeting end date.