The multimillion dollar project is the first of three phases in an Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department plan to improve Highway 112.
"This is going to be a great piece of road," says Mike Johnson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities at the University of Arkansas.
Crews will widen the roadway to four lanes, install a new drainage system, and add curb, gutter and sidewalks. A traffic signal and additional turn lane will be built at the intersection of Razorback and Leroy Pond Drive. The contractor has 105 work days to complete the stretch between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Nettleship Drive. The highway department is working closely with its contractor and the university to work around football games.
"On a home game the road's actually pretty much closed off to traffic, but there's a huge amount of pedestrians," Johnson says. "The football games are in the contract, the overall schedule is in the contract... We should be pretty well in tune with each other so that those Friday, Saturday, Sundays over home football games, that we'll try to take care of people and minimize the disruptions."
Johnson says the project could even help make the walk to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium safer before the first kickoff.
"With a little bit of luck we may have some sidewalks on the East side of the road that we haven't had before," he says.
Crews have to keep two lanes of traffic open during the day, but they can make overnight closures with five days notice. The project is scheduled to wrap up in Spring of 2015. Phase 2 of the project would widen Maple Street, from Razorback Road to Garland Ave. and will probably start in Summer of 2015