BENTON COUNT (KFSM) - McMillan Road on the outskirts of Bentonville will be closed permanently starting Friday so crews can begin construction on the next phase of the Bella Vista Bypass, according to State Highway officials.
Resident Jim Wyatt said he's lived on the county dirt road for over 40 years, and said he's not surprised by the development.
"You know this is a nice place to live, and people want to come and live here and I don't blame them, so we are going to have to do some of the things necessary to handle the traffic," Wyatt said.
He said usually the road is used by people on their morning commute to avoid traffic on U.S. 71-Business.
"I'm glad it will be closed because most of the people that are coming down here don't live here anyways, so there's no real reason for them to come down here expect as a shortcut," He said.
Stu Todd lives on the corner of McMillan and Howland Roads, and said he uses the road daily to get anywhere in Bentonville. He said his 30 acre property reaches to the edge of where construction is happening.
"Really there's three ways to get here," Todd said, "When the weather is bad, when there's ice and snow on the roads, there's really only two ways to get here and this is one of them...so it doesn't completely isolate us."
Officials with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said the closure of McMillan road is necessary for crews to work on embankments for the new bypass. They said the project is part of six miles of construction extending U.S. 71-B to U.S. 72 South.
Highway officials said they advise drivers to use Miller Church Road as a way to go around McMillan between the Howland Road and Punkin Hollow Road intersections.