Drivers Concerned About Temporary Roundabout To Bella Vista Bypass

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BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department held the last of two public meetings Tuesday (Nov. 15) to inform residents on plans to build a roundabout on Highway 71.

AHTD has been working on expanding Arkansas Highway 549, also known as the Bella Vista Bypass, to Highway 71 just north of Bentonville for the last several years, according to spokesman Danny Straessle.

A six miles stretch of the bypass, near Hiwasse, has already been completed and is used by area drivers. AHTD will connect the uncompleted east end of Highway 549 to the roundabout by Spring 2017.

AHTD officials said the roundabout will cut down on costs while also allowing traffic to flow freely without any major interruptions, such as stop lights.

Missouri has committed to building a section of the bypass, from East Bella Vista to Interstate 49, South of Pineville, MO.

Straessle said until Missouri completes its part, the roundabout will stay in place. No timetable is available.

"This feature that we're unveiling [Tuesday night] will be in place until Missouri will be able to bring their portion of the Bella Vista Bypass to construction," Straessle said.

Several area residents showed up to the public meeting to get a better understanding of the project.

"Bella Vista may have a few obstacles to maneuver around to figure it out," said Rommy Greer, who expressed concern for how some drivers will handle the roundabout. "I think eventually in the long run, it'll be best."

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