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Bella Vista Bypass: 'Highway To The Future'

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS --- The construction cones have been moved and traffic is now running smoothly on the first section of the Bella Vista Bypass.
"This is a highway they've dreamed about for 22 years and it's finally opening."
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS --- Tuesday marked an interstate upgrade for Northwest Arkansas. The first portion of the Bella Vista Bypass is now completed. That could mean a clearer commute for those in the area.

The ribbon cutting of the first portion of the Bella Vista Bypass was much anticipated. Although this is just the first step of completion for the bypass, once it's finished over the next few years, folks like Marie Blakenship say it will relieve the congestion headache in town.

"We are just totally excited to have this opening. We've waited and waited and waited and watched and watched the construction of it," said Blakenship. "It's constantly traffic and that's 24/7 and it's noisy and all that so this is going to take a lot of the traffic off. It will help a lot of those folks that have to go into town and use all the traffic lights and stopping and slowing down."

Dick Trammel with the Arkansas Highway Commission said these projects pave the way for future success.

"It will take four to five thousand cars off of 71. That's a big difference. The tax payers spoke up and we are doing what we promised we'd do," said Trammel. "It's a wonderful addition for economic growth for safety for Northwest Arkansas. This is a highway they've dreamed about for 22 years and it's finally opening."

Trammel said the project completion won't happen overnight, but it will be worth it in the end.

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