Weather Keeps Fayetteville Street Lane Closed

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A Fayetteville street project aiming to avoid flooding during rainfall was delayed Thursday, as rain clouds rolled into Northwest Arkansas.

City workers shut down the outer eastbound lane of North Street, between Leverett Avenue and Gregg Avenue, on Tuesday to install a storm drain inlet, a project that was expected to extend through Thursday. The city’s Transportation Division announced Thursday the project would run at least through Monday.

Transportation Division officials said Wednesday oncoming rainfall could delay the project a few days. Part of the project includes laying concrete, which cannot be done in the rain, said Terry Gulley, transportation services director for the City of Fayetteville.

The $5,000 drain inlet is being installed in response to flooding along the nearby streets that often accompanies heavy rainfall.

Administrators with the Transportation Division believe the project, although involving minimal construction, will have a maximum positive effect on the roadway during rainfall. North Street sees heavy traffic, as it is a major artery connecting Wedington Drive to College Avenue and the downtown area, officials said.

The neighborhoods along Wedington may house as much as one-quarter of the city’s population, according to a study released by the city earlier this year.

Area leaders have paid special attention lately to fixing road issues caused by flooding and rainfall. Dozens of roads in Benton County closed in April because storms dropping four to five inches of rain flooded the area and made roadways unsafe, county emergency management officials said. Workers built a bridge along Georgia Flat Road in Gravette in response to culverts that were overwhelmed by the water.

Fayetteville Alderman Adella Gray and Mayor Lioneld Jordan helped put on a public meeting last week concerning the constant sliding of Rodgers Drive and the unstable nature of the hillside land surrounding the road after rainfall. The City Council agreed to spend $250,000 to shore up the land and fix the sliding from the ground-up, rather than institute a temporary fix.