CENTERTON (KFSM) – The City of Centerton has pledged $1.4 million to repair and create roads around the new high school in 2014. An additional $1 million in funding is coming from state agencies and local developers to fix local roads.
“That’s why you pay your taxes,” Centerton Street Superintendent Ricky Hudson said, “If we used it for other things, it would be amiss. We’re putting it to good use, we hope.”
Hudson said the streets Gamble, Seba, and Kimmel will all be repaved, along with parts of Arkansas 72. Sections of A, B and C streets will also be repaired. The street superintendent said the main issue with Kimmel is it was built on a flood plain. Every time it rains, the street is washed out.
“We’ve come to the point where we’ve grown enough that we can afford a lot of improvements on our own now,” Hudson said.
The multi-million-dollar projects are set to start in the next 30 days. Hudson said the city Streets Department is also working with the Arkansas Highway Department to put in four more traffic lights along Gamble and other streets to prepare for congestion near the high school.
“I mean when you’re adding a school, that’s another 2,500 students coming to a town like ours,” Hudson said, “That is a tremendous thing, and our goal is to make sure they get here safely.”
The Bentonville School District is set to open a new high school on Gamble Road called Bentonville West High School. Locals who live near the construction site of the new school said while nearby road construction can be a headache, it is a positive for the town.
“It’s a growing area, and we love it up here,” Jane Manning said.
Jane and her husband Ron moved to Centerton from southern Arkansas.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing,” Ron Manning said. “It’ll probably also increase traffic flow, and I’m sure especially with the school and the Walmart coming, but overall anytime you can repair the streets, I think that’s a good thing.”
Hudson said the town also has a Walmart Supercenter and three subdivisions scheduled to be built, meaning more traffic is expected. He said in the past three years, the asphalt budget has been around $250,000, and this year, it’s a lot more.
“We went to the council, and I was telling them this is going to be an exciting year, because this is more money than we’ve ever had,” Hudson said.
The big project of 2013 was the widening of Arkansas 102 to four lanes. City officials said the city spent $2 million and a federal agency put in $6 million.
City officials are currently working on a traffic study to see if the projects they have planned with alleviate any future road problems. The study will set up a two-year, ten-year and twenty-year plan.