City Receives Money To Complete Pedestrian Tunnel

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- The city of Bentonville is receiving $567,504.83 from NWA Trailblazers to complete their eighth pedestrian tunnel along the Razorback Greenway. For years, residents and trail users have struggled to get across the busy intersection.

Longtime resident Jessica Beye said she does her best to avoid the intersection on her nightly walks.

"There's already tons of traffic and the roads need to be improved," she said.

The completion of the $2 million project is something Felicia Hart has been anticipating since the city approved the project in May.

"I have a 4 year old that I take on a bicycle, so that's greatly appreciated too for parents as well to keep their kids safe," she said.

For walkers and bike riders crossing 8th and J Streets, it usually takes about 7 to 8 minutes, but NWA Trailblazer director Erin Rushing said with the new tunnel  it'll take a trail user just 30 seconds.

"It'll go underground this way through here and when you get right in here they'll be apiece of the tunnel," Rushing said. "That'll actually go north and pop back out on the other side of 8th Street. So, this is a t-shaped tunnel."

After receiving the generous donation, the the city is back on track to complete the project.

"It's part of the utility project and so we anticipate that this tunnel could be in place by the summer of fall next year," city parks & rec director David Wright said.

As the city continues adding trails, officials are planning more tunnels for safety.