Friday, August 15, 2014

TOP STORY >> Lengthy Hwy. 67/167 work begins

Construction to widen Hwy. 67/167 in Jacksonville got underway this week as part of a multi-year project to widen the aging highway and improve traffic flow between Jacksonville and Cabot and beyond.

The James Construction Group of Baton Rouge, La., is working to replace the Main Street and Redmond Road overpasses for $42 million. The new ones will be wider, with three lanes of traffic north and south, along with a substantial shoulder at Main Street.

The company will also build new approaches and ramps for the Main Street and Redmond Road overpasses as well as a new stretch of highway between them.

The work will cause delays for thousands of drivers every day, and about 5,000 vehicles a day will have to find alternative routes off the highway on Municipal Drive past city hall and the community center.

Hwy. 161 to or from I-40, by using Hwy. 440, may provide an alternative route.

The widening will continue from Main Street to Vandenberg Boulevard for $61 million starting in 2016.

By 2019, the highway from Jacksonville to Hwy. 5 in Cabot should be complete at a cost of $70 million. A $20 million north interchange between Cabot and Austin is expected to improve traffic and economic development in the area. It should be complete in 2018.

Before the widening starts, two lanes deep in each direction will be resurfaced by Chester Bross Construction of Hannibal, Mo., for $2.69 million.

Work to widen the highway from Main Street to Vandenberg will begin in two years, when the work will be completed on the Redmond Road-Main Street section.

The highway is already six lanes from North Little Rock to Redmond Road and will eventually have six lanes to Searcy and beyond.