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Why Highway Projects are "Like a Facelift"

AROUND ARKANSAS -- Several highway projects are in the works and while the traffic delays can be bothersome, improving infrastructure is creating a stronger economy.
AROUND ARKANSAS -- Several highway projects are in the works and while the traffic delays can be bothersome, improving infrastructure is creating a stronger economy.

"Those orange barrels... There's pain with progress, but when it's over it's going to be wonderful."

Nearly a dozen highway projects are currently underway in Northwest Arkansas and the construction stretches from the Arkansas-Missouri state line to the southernmost section of Washington County.

"Right now you're seeing work on the Bella Vista Bypass... The interchange there at Don Tyson Parkway, that's coming along good... Avoca up to Garfield, about 6.5 miles is going to be five lanes... Wagon Wheel Road to 264 which is Monroe Street in Lowell, we just let a contract to make that six lanes... We're doing 540 in sections intentionally where we don't slow down traffic constantly... To give you an idea, between now and 2015, we'll probably let $600-million in contracts in Northwest Arkansas," said Arkansas State Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel.

He went on to explain growth demands development.

"I'm not a population authority, but I happen to know that at least 600 to 800 new residents are moving to Benton and Washington Counties a month."

And development draws new jobs. Two businesses are moving to the area, Serco and Redman & Associates, creating more than1,500 positions.

"Both of them at the announcement mentioned infrastructure was very important to them coming to Northwest Arkansas."

So while all of the highway projects will be worth it down the road, right now it kind of feels like the early stages of a facelift.

"With a facelift it's painful, but when you get through you look prettier, supposedly, but you look prettier. So, it's kind of like a facelift. We're face-lifting all these roads and they're going to be better when we get through."



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