Public Gives Input On AHTD Wedington Changes

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)-- The public had the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns about the plans the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has for the Wedington Interchange in Fayetteville on Thursday (March 9).

Danny Straessle, the public information officer for AHTD, said the goal of the plan is to reduce wait times.

They hope to do this by eliminating left hand turns in some areas of Wedington and placing a loop ramp to go north on I-49.

“What we are working on is a total redesign for this interchange that will alleviate some of that congestion and promote faster commute times," Straessle said.

Many people attended the meeting where they had the opportunity to look at plans as well as talk to AHTD employees on the project.

Some said they liked the plans while others disagreed.

Those that did not like the plans said they were worried about the amount of construction that would take place in that area.

A local business owner said she was afraid the construction congestion would hinder the amount of customers that came to her store.

She said her business was off Shiloh, which was a one way street.

The business owner said the plans did include changing that street to a two way, which she said would be beneficial.

Others were very excited about the change.

Phil Gerke said he lived in that area for a while and was curious to see what AHTD planned to do.

After seeing the plans, he said it was all good but was concerned about a possible block of people coming off I-49.

Tori Fancher is the property manager for Woodway Apartments and also agreed that the plans looked good.

Her only concern was the effect the change will have on Shiloh Drive.

“They’ll be taking out the stop light and moving it down to steamboat drive so we’ll just have to figure out a way to get down to that side of town," Fancher said.

Straessle said they wanted to get any and all opinions from people who drive on Wedington or live there.

He explained the plan is about 60 percent complete and that construction would not begin until 2019.

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