The City of Fayetteville is working with the Arkansas Highway Department to make a busy intersection on the east side of town less hazardous, after police say they have responded to at least five major accidents in the last six months.
City leaders said plans have been in the works since 2010 to put a traffic signal at the intersection of Old Wire Road and Mission Boulevard. City Council members took a tour of the site last week while the city and state highway department work out details.
“The folks who turn left from Old Wire Road onto Mission Boulevard have a hard time seeing when visibility issues arise,” said Chris Brown, city engineer. “There are not many gaps when traffic is heavy.”
Brown said right now ,state highway engineers are working on a new design for Mission Boulevard.
“Basically it’s going to be a two- or three-lane roadway,” he said. “We were going to install sidewalks and bike lanes, but for now we are going to drop those off of the plan.”
Brown said the city will go ahead with the plans to widen Old Wire Road.
“We want to go ahead and get the widening done on that roadway to three lanes,” he said. “We will put in sidewalks on both sides, which will help set us up to do the widening.”
One property owner who lives along Old Wire Road said he does not support the plans.
“We shouldn’t have to lose part of our front yard,” said Steve Baird.
Baird said he does understand that many drivers would benefit from a traffic signal and a third lane.
“It probably would help, because the roadway gets backed up in both directions during rush hour,” he said.
Brown said the project is expected to begin next year. He said construction on the project will cost around $500,000.