FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Some people who live and work in west Fayetteville will be able to avoid Interstate 49 all together when the Rupple Road extension opens Friday (Oct. 21).
The extension begins near Persimmon Street just south of Wedington Drive and goes all the way south to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
City leaders said the extension will drive some traffic away from I-49 while driving development on the west side of town.
Prior to construction of the extension, the easiest and fastest way to get between Wedington Drive and MLK was to take I-49, but the new portion of Rupple Road will give drivers a better option to get between north and south Fayetteville.
The Donald W. Reynolds Boys and Girls Club is located at the corner of Rupple Road and Persimmon Street. Director Eric Schuldt said they are excited about the additional people the extension will bring to the area.
"When this building was built in 2003, they had to build a dirt road to get to it, so we were one of the first facilities in this part of the town," Schuldt said. "We feel as growth happens around the development of that road, we'll have more opportunities for more kids, more families and more people."
The extension also includes a sidewalk and a paved trail for runners and bicyclists. It will also connect W. Alberta Street and Catalpa Drive with a four-way roundabout.
The city and Highway and Transportation Department are also preparing to install a traffic signal at Rupple Road and MLK. That installation should be completed in January 2017.
The city is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday near Owl Creek School near Rupple Road and Persimmon Street. The extension will open to traffic following the ceremony.