Springdale residents took another look at plans to extend Don Tyson Parkway in the western part of the city. The parkway, which runs parallel to U.S. Highway 412, is becoming a major east-west corridor, said Melissa Reeves, director of public relations for Springdale.
On Thursday (Sept. 14), residents spoke to city officials, project engineers and environmental consultants working on the $7.2 million project to extend the parkway, from Gene George Boulevard to Arkansas Highway 112.
In July, the city hosted a meeting on the original 0.79 mile route to extend the parkway, and as a result of feedback from that meeting, the city developed three new routes for the parkway. Those routes were presented in the meeting Thursday at the Sam’s Club Community Room at Arvest Ballpark.
“Logistically (route) A looks to be the most direct route,” Roger Brooks said.
He and his wife Takama Statton-Brooks live along Freedom Place, just north of the proposed routes. They moved to the area in April. Route C looked to cause the least disruption as it would partially run along an existing road, Brooks said.
Jason Appel, secretary/treasurer for engineering firm ESI, said routes A and B would require one house to be removed. The original design narrowly missed the home, but the homeowner would rather have the route require the removal of the home than narrowly miss it. Route C would be the longest route and impact four homes.
Thelma Grigg, who lives along Dearing Road, on which route C would run along, said she’s lived there for at least 30 years. She wouldn’t mind if the road were to require the removal of her home and was looking to move into an apartment, but Grigg said she hasn’t decided which route she preferred. The routes would either run north or south of her property.
Marilyn Heifner, who lives along Western Trails Drive, just south of the proposed alignments, said routes A and B will cost more and preferred C, which bends the furthest north of the three routes. Heifner liked the new routes better than the original one.
All the new routes intersect with Highway 112 at Kissinger Avenue in Tontitown. The avenue is part the road planned to be extended to South Barrington Road, according to Tontitown’s 2014 master street plan.
Design on the project in Springdale is expected to start after the city selects an alignment for the parkway. Reeves said design work should be completed in the first quarter of 2018. On Jan. 10, Springdale City Council hired Springdale-based engineering firm ESI to design the project.
City engineering director Brad Baldwin said the design will be paid for with 80% federal funding and a 20% match from the city. Design work for the project to improve 56th Street, between Don Tyson Parkway and Johnson Mill Road, also will receive the similar funding. The city also will seek similar funding to purchase right of way and for construction of the projects. Baldwin doesn’t expect construction on the Don Tyson Parkway extension to start before 2021 or 2022.
When completed, the projects would allow motorists from Tontitown wanting to reach Interstate 49 to travel five-lane roads to the interchange in Johnson.
“We want it done right,” Reeves said. “That’s the goal.”
The deadline to comment on the proposed alignments is Oct. 5. But residents can stop by city hall or call to discuss the project, Reeves said. Comment forms are available online. Click here to complete the form online.