TRAFFIC ALERT: Construction is coming soon to busiest intersection in Harrison, Ark.
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The city of Harrison anticipates widening and surfacing on the U.S. 65 and State Highway 43 intersection to begin sometime in December.
The construction company, Crouse Construction, is ready to proceed with the project. The company admits to some delays with rerouting some utilities through the intersection.
The improvements to the intersection are the first of several projects developed by the Arkansas Department of Transportation to help increase traffic flow along with the highway system in Harrison. Many locals describe it as a ‘bottleneck.’
If anyone dislikes the U.S. 65/43 intersection it is Lauryn Hall. The Harrison native says she has had to wait at the light her entire life for several minutes at a time.
“My car is all bruised up, beat up, all because of this intersection right here,” said Hall. “I actually got in my first wreck right here and traffic was so clogged nobody even stopped to help. They all just wanted to make the light.”
In the middle of town and the intersection of major highways, drivers always see traffic delays. The flow of traffic is not the only concern. According to the Harrison Police Department, there have been 20 crashes at the intersection in 2021. And they do not include minor fender benders.
”As you know, the intersection has kind of been a bottleneck through Harrison for many years,” said Mayor Jerry Jackson. “A couple of years ago the Arkansas Highway Department allocated a lot of funds to improve our whole highway system. Once those projects are completed I think we will see traffic move through Harrison like we never have before!”
This is a project that’s been going on for a while.
”This project actually has been under construction for about two years now, you haven’t noticed it much because of its infrastructure,” Mayor Jackson explained.
With recent purchases in the surrounding area, city leaders believe the need to improve infrastructure is greater than ever.
”With the investment that Johnny Morris is making at the ol’ Dogpatch, yeah, the expectation is we’re going to have a lot more traffic coming through here hitting that destination,” said Wade Phillips, the city engineer.
The project will widen the roads, add new right-hand turn lanes, add five-foot sidewalks, and synchronize the traffic signals. The work at the 65/43 intersection will be followed next by improvements to the U.S. 65 and the Industrial Park Road intersection.
”We’ve got to continue to keep pushing forward, but it’s nice to hear from an outside perspective that we’re set up a lot better than locally we realize,” said Phillips.
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