Drivers See Relief on I-540 in Fayetteville
If you drive through Fayetteville on Interstate 540, you might have seen the construction, orange cones and of course, the traffic backed up; but starting Monday drivers will finally see some relief.
For the last several months, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has been working on a widening project on I-540 at the intersection of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Wedington Dr.
Now, drivers will be allowed to start using the new lanes for the very first time.
The $5.8 million construction project added an additional lane on each side of the interstate.
Joe Shipman, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department District Engineer said drivers now have three lanes headed north and three lanes headed south for about a mile and a half near the MLK Blvd. and Wedington Dr. interchange.
“This project should assist motorists in this area between these two interchanges and hopefully in the future we will be able to do more widening of this nature,” Shipman said.
Those who travel the road daily are ready.
“’I`m really excited, I think the commute to work will be a lot easier now with the extra lane,” said University of Arkansas student, Kelly Ryan.
Shipman said the widening project MLK Blvd. and Wedington Dr. is just one of several in Northwest Arkansas.
“We have projects on Highway 265,” said Shipman. “One is underway; another one was recently awarded that will widen Highway 265 from Highway 45 North and also from Highway 412 South.
“I think that it`s a good idea especially during games,” Ryan said. “There`s a lot of traffic. If it helps, then that`s good.”
Shipman said this project should provide some assistance to motorists and he hopes the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will be able to do more widening of this nature in the near future.
In the River Valley, a project on I-540 in Fort Smith at Old Greenwood Rd. will be complete within the next few weeks.
Also, maintenance operations are going on this week on the Arkansas River relief bridge. That project will require a lane closure during the day.