Two major, multi-million dollar road projects that will better connect Northeast Arkansas to the central part of the state and vice-versa are nearing completion, according to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
Arkansas 226 from Jonesboro to Swifton is now four-laned and taking traffic, AHTD district 10 engineer Walter McMillan told Talk Business and Politics. The highway , which has been under renovation since 2010 at a cost of $83 million, connects Jonesboro with U.S. 67, the primary route to Little Rock and other points south. That cost total includes the construction of the right away along the highway, McMillan said.
The last 16 mile stretch of U.S. 67 from Swifton to Walnut Ridge is on the verge of completion, but traffic is not using the last section of the highway yet, McMillan said. Construction on the U.S. 67 bypass has been ongoing since 2012 at total cost of $76.4. Officials are hopeful that the new U.S. 67 will be open for traffic Aug. 11, and dedication ceremonies for both highways are planned for that day.
Drive times to and from Jonesboro to Little Rock will be reduced by almost 30 minutes once the highway projects are complete, according to estimates.