Lake Atalanta Road Closure Stirs Advocates, Detractors

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The road around Lake Atalanta in Rogers is closing down to make way for a project that was passed back in 2011.

The Rogers City Council on Tuesday night approved closing some of the road around Lake Atalanta to start on a $15 million project to revitalize the park near the lake.

Karen and Bruce Armstrong have lived on Lake Atlanta Road for 18 years, but will be moving soon.

"Upsetting. It took a while to sink in," said Karen Armstrong.

The city is buying the Armstrong's property to move forward with plans on the project for the lake.

"In our mind, it is a fair option for each side," said Bruce Armstrong. "They were willing to make an offer on the property that was reasonable and fair. Now, we are not trapped into this property by them."

City leaders said they plan to turn the area of road being closed into a concrete hard surface trail for biking and walking. The Armstrongs said the closure will help keep people safe.

"I understand why they are closing it," Karen Armstrong said. "It's really difficult to get around when cars are parked on this road. I agree with the city wanting to close it."

While many in the area and on-staff with the city praise the project as a way to appeal to people looking for modern outdoor activities, a few vocal opponents have showed up to Lake Atalanta meetings to protest the changes, saying the closing of the road will stop local fishermen from being able to make it to their favorite fishing spots. Bruce Armstrong said those people should be more focused on the positives of the project.

"They may lose some parts of the lake, but in return they are going to get a better area to fish at," he said. "They are going to get a new pier and a bait shop."

While the Armstrong family may soon not have a house near the lake, they said  Lake Atalanta will always be where they call home.

"We will definitely come and check out the progress on the project and come to the lake once it's all done," Karen Armstrong said. "A lot of our friends and kids like to come to the lake and fish, so we will be back."

Other attractions being added to the lake include the addition of about 100 acres of land, and a bike park and a dog park.

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