ELKINS (KFSM) – A stretch of road between Elkins and Fayetteville is getting a face lift to help cut down on traffic crashes.
Arkansas 16 has been home to a traffic crash an average of every other week since 2009, according to the Elkins Police Department.
“In the last five or 10 years, it’s really gotten bad,” said Angela Eiland, who has lived in the area for 34 years.
Business owners along the road, like Manmohen Singh, said the two-lane highway is not made for heavy traffic.
“Traffic is too bad.” Singh said. “A lot of accidents, because traffic is too much.”
The Elkins police chief agrees, telling 5NEWS that much of the congestion is caused by the recent growth of population.
“I’ve seen so much growth and expansion,” Eiland said. “When school starts, the buses are starting to stop on this road, and it backs up traffic.”
Some said the congestion has slowly added time to their daily commute.
“What should take us 20 minutes to get home, sometimes takes 35 to 40,” Eiland said.
Elkins police said there are plans to make the speed limit consistent on the four-and-a-half-mile stretch from Fayetteville to Elkins, doing away with the six current speed limit changes.
Police say the addition of turn lanes and road expansions should help fix the problem.
Some locals agree.
“Everybody will be happy. And maybe there will be less wrecks” Singh said.
Police said about 90 percent of the crashes on Arkansas 16 have happened between Arkansas 74 and the Fayetteville city limits.