Big plans are in the works for a new flyover bridge, also known as an overpass, in Fayetteville; the bridge will make it easier to get to Interstate 540.
It will ease traffic congestion and provide better access to restaurants and stores near the Northwest Arkansas Mall, City Engineer Chris Brown said.
“The bridge will take off, there will be a ramp, you`ll exit to the left and be able to essentially go over all of the traffic that is on 71B southbound and then the Fulbright Expressway lanes, get onto the Fulbright Expressway,” Brown said.
The flyover bridge will provide an alternative way for drivers on northbound College Ave. who normally make a U-turn at Joyce Blvd. to access the Fulbright Expressway.
Instead of a U-turn, drivers will be able to take a left lane bridge that extends over southbound College Avenue traffic.
Drivers can then head west on the Fulbright Expressway or exit onto the Mall Ave. and Shiloh Dr. area.
Brown said drivers can expect lane closures during construction.
“We will most likely have to close a lane of Highway 71B and it will have to be closed for a period of months,” Brown said. “Also, on the Fulbright Expressway where we will tie in with this ramp, we will have to close a ramp of the Expressway.”
Grant Gullet, the Grub’s Uptown Grill General Manager, said better access to his restaurant will be good for business.
“It will be a good thing for everybody that’s over in this area because it’s just so hard right now to get on and off of 540 and with them putting this in, I think it will help just bring more business and more people to this general area,” Gullet said.
Construction could begin as early as January, if the contract is approved by the city council and the mayor at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The project is expected to cost $7.7 million, 80 percent of that will be covered by federal money, the rest by the City of Fayetteville.