Residents, businesses and road construction crews are now breathing a sigh of relief after the $3.4 million dollar Garland Avenue widening project is complete.
David Walton is member of the Trinity United Methodist Church on the corner of Sycamore and Garland. He said Sunday mornings just got a whole lot easier.
"Getting up and down Garland was such a traffic problem," Walton said, "And we can't turn left without backing up clear past the church, so having this new stoplight has really made a difference to us."
He said the new stoplight has allowed people to get in and out of the church's parking lot with ease.
"My pastor is convinced that we need to expand our parking back into our empty lot now because we'll have more people attending because of the new construction," Walton said.
Officials with the State Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said the project began on December 14, 2012 and was slated to end in May of 2014. Engineer Jeff Stroud said the snowy winter and wet spring pushed back the timeline to August. Stroud said the biggest issue was turning left onto Garland.
We've added some signals at the intersection of Holly Street, there will be a fifth lane and a turn lane, and at Deane and Sycamore there will be a turn lane there now to make those turning movements protected by the left turn signal," Stroud said.
Stroud said federal money paid for 80% of the project. He said the remainder was paid for with state funds.