Springdale shows plans for I-49 overpass, Har-Ber Avenue extension

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 1,741 views 

Springdale residents look at maps showing the alignment for the Har-Ber Avenue extension during a public meeting Thursday (Oct. 24). The 1.1-mile project is expected to cost $14.33 million and include an Interstate 49 overpass.

Springdale residents saw the proposed alignment for the extension of Har-Ber Avenue and gave feedback on the project that spans Interstate 49 in the northwest part of the city.

The city of Springdale hosted Thursday (Oct. 24) a public meeting to hear from residents on the project. The 1.1-mile project is expected to cost $14.33 million and will include an I-49 overpass. Construction is expected to start in summer 2020, and the road should open in fall 2021. Design work started in May and should be completed in April 2020. The city hired engineering firm Garver to complete the design.

Har-Ber Avenue will be extended from 48th Street to Gutensohn Road. The extension will run parallel with Elm Springs Road to the north and U.S. Highway 412 to the south. The I-49 overpass as part of the project is planned to be built just north of Sam’s Furniture and will not provide direct access to the interstate.

A traffic study, which Garver completed recently, was used to determine the number of lanes that would be required for the road, said Brad Baldwin, director of the engineering department for the city. The segment of the road between 48th and 40th streets will be two lanes. This segment will include the overpass that will have a 12-foot-wide trail and a 6.5-foot-wide sidewalk, and a concrete barrier will separate the roadway on the overpass and the trail, plans show. The road will be two lanes with a center turn lane, between 40th Street and Gutensohn Road.

By 2040, the road is projected to have 12,000 vehicles per day on the segment between 48th and 40th streets and 9,000 vehicles per day on the segment between 40th Street and Gutensohn Road, according to the traffic study. By 2040, the road would almost quadruple the number of vehicles on Emma Avenue, which is where the project ends at its east side, the study shows. If the road isn’t built, Emma Avenue would have about 1,500 vehicles per day by 2040. With the road, more than 5,000 vehicles per day are projected to be on Emma Avenue by 2040.

Residents used tablets and paper forms to provide feedback on the project. Link here for an online survey.

Milo Myers, who lives on Paradise Lane in Springdale, praised the project. He said that any traffic relief at the Highway 412 and Elm Springs Road interchanges with I-49 would be welcome. He expects the road should help ease traffic there. Myers also said his home, which is toward the eastern end of the project, doesn’t have good water pressure and hoped the city would look into improving the water line to improve the pressure.

Kari Canoy, who also lives on Paradise Lane, said she would like the alignment of the road to be pushed further north away from her property. She explained she moved there seven years ago because it’s secluded and was concerned the new road might change this. Canoy was worried Paradise Lane might be connected to the new road and lead to increased traffic by her house.

Neighbors on Angela Street expressed a similar concern that the street would be connected to the new road and lead to increased traffic, Baldwin said. However, plans show only emergency responders will be able to access Angela Street from the new road. A locked gate will block the intersection with the new street, and only emergency responders will have access to the key unlocking the gate, he said.

Along the west side of the project near 48th Street, residents were concerned about the alignment of the road and how it will impact their property. With the existing plan, one home must be removed to make way for the new road.

Baldwin explained that resident feedback could impact the alignment of the road, and the city and Garver are expected to review every comment. He said the concerns that were discussed at the meeting must be put into writing if residents want them addressed. The deadline to submit comments is Oct. 31. Residents can also provide comments at city hall.

The project will be paid for with proceeds of the $224.7 million bond issue voters approved Feb. 13, 2018, with 84% of the vote.

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