Tuesday, May 09, 2017

TOP STORY >> Road work on schedule

Leader senior staff writer

Until sometime in August, travelers who would normally get off state Hwy. 67/167 at the northbound Redmond Road exit will continue to exit on a temporary northbound Main Street exit and find their way from there, according to Highway Department spokesman Danny Straessle.

The new Redmond Road overpass is five feet taller than the old one, so the roadbed has been raised and the off-ramp to Redmond must also be raised.

When that ramp reopens, traffic turning left—or west—onto Redmond at the bottom of the ramp will have a stop sign, while right—or east—turning vehicles will yield to through traffic on Redmond.

With the August opening of the Redmond Road exit, the northbound Main Street exit will be closed, according to Straessle, prompting Jim Durham, Jacksonville’s chief operating officer, to propose a temporary northbound off- ramp between Main Street and James Street.

Durham said the Main Street exit closing might be for five weeks.


Durham said such a ramp is not currently in Highway Department plans.

The southbound on-ramp at Redmond Road is now a three-way stop with motorists taking turns, but when the entire Redmond Road and Main Street segment of the Hwy. 67/167 widening is completed, traffic on Redmond Road will be unimpeded while traffic on Municipal Drive will still have a stop sign.

That won’t be until the entire segment is ready to reopen sometime in 2018, according to the timeline explained by Straessle. At that time, the southbound on-ramp at Main Street will open as well, and frontage roads will become one way.

The timeline for the three phases, according to Straessle:

Finish southbound and northbound Main Street Bridge to Redmond Road, including Redmond overpass and ramps, by 2018.

Vandenberg Boulevard to Cabot—mostly a straight forward widening to three lanes each direction done by 2018.

Bid middle section from the Main Street overpass to Vandenberg Boulevard by 2019. Vandenberg crossover will be part of third section, with an anticipated completion date of 2022.


Meanwhile, the Highway Department has announced that lane closures will be in effect through Monday while crews place concrete barriers in the median between northbound and southbound lanes between Vandenberg Boulevard in Jacksonville and Hwy. 5 in Cabot.

Traffic will be controlled using signage and barrels, Straessle said. The public is advised to be cautious when traveling in the work zones.

The inside and outside lanes of northbound Hwy. 67/167 will alternately be closed between 8:00 p.m. and 1 a.m. This closure is from Vandenberg Boulevard to north of Jacks Bayou.

The inside and outside lanes of southbound Hwy. 67/ 167 will alternately be closed between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. This closure is from Hwy. 5 to Vandenberg Boulevard. There will also be intermittent lane closings and construction on portions of T.P. White Drive.


Crews are working on box culvert construction under T.P. White Drive adjacent to Hwy. 67/167 between Vandenberg Boulevard in Jacksonville and Hwy. 5 in Cabot.

The northbound and southbound lanes of T.P. White Drive will alternately be closed in multiple areas within the construction zone. Traffic will be reduced to one open lane and controlled with flagging operations.

The T.P. White lane closures will be in effect through Saturday morning, weather permitting.

This $79.2 million project is part of AHTD’s Connecting Arkansas Program and includes widening 4.6 miles of Hwy. 67/167 from Vandenberg Boulevard in Jacksonville to Hwy. 5 in Cabot.

The highway is being widened to three lanes in each direction, according to the department.