Bella Vista Bypass Project Moves Forward With Rock Blasting

BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KFSM) — If you hear an explosion around the Bella Vista Bypass construction site, it’s because progress is being made on a crucial part of the $66 million project.

Crews are rock blasting parts of the earth there and traffic has to stop during the detonation.

“There will be probably about 40 blasts that go on. Some days it’ll be two blasts in a day, some days it’ll just be one blast in a day, but for right now it’s going to be in a 40-day incremental period," said Brian Powell, ARDOT Construction Project Coordinator.

This was just the first explosion of the project taking place near Highway 549 and Interstate-49.

Drivers can expect traffic to stop for up to 15 minutes as a safety precaution.

About 1,800 pounds of explosives are used to blast through layers of limestone.

Earlier this week, weather caused a slight setback but the contractor is confident the project is still on track.

“This is a 700-day project and today is day 11 of 700 and so he has a lot of time if he is behind he can catch up," Powell said. "So, we really don’t know if we’re really behind right now or not."

Drivers say the traffic delays have caused some headaches but in the end, it will be worth it.

“The 15-minute delay that is coming up today and tomorrow I think everyone is just pleased as can be about the new construction," Andrea Conway of Bella Vista said.

ARDOT officials say more rock blasting is expected tomorrow and every day next week.

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