Fayetteville School Makes Changes After Rupple Rd. Expansion Opens

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Fayetteville school is making some adjustments after the Rupple Road expansion opened Friday (Oct. 21).

Owl Creek School is right next to where the expansion picks up and takes drivers south to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The district is expecting a lot more traffic now that a dead-end street has been turned into what the city expects will be a major thoroughfare in west Fayetteville.

District Spokesman Alan Wilbourn said a plan is already in motion to add more safeguards around the playground.

"An eight-foot fence will be installed in about the next two weeks," he said. "It will be a 240 feet of fence to basically bold in that end of the playground to keep balls, children, bicycles from going out into the street."

In the meantime, teachers plan to have students follow extra safety rules.

"Between now and then, the teachers will be working very closely with the students to say 'hey, we don't go on that end of the playground until the fence is up,'" Wilbourn said.

The area isĀ also marked as a school zone.

Wilbourn said he expects the road expansion and easier access to the school will drive people to the area.

"Now that you can come up this way, I'm sure that's probably going to help more housing grow south of the school since now they'll have access to the school and there are trails and other things," he said.

The expansion includes a sidewalk on one side of Rupple Road and a paved bike trail on the other.

The Rupple Road expansion project is part of Mayor Lioneld Jordan's Mayor's Box project, which aims to connect east and west roads to north and south roads to make it easier to get around the city. The new road also adheres to another plan to encourage alternative methods of transportation.

Another goal of the expansion was to move some traffic off Interstate 49 by giving drivers an alternative way to get between Wedington Drive in the north part of town to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the south part of town.

The project cost about $7.1 million and is the largest transportation project build using funds from the 2006 street bond program.