ROGERS, Ark. (KFTA) — A highway connection between the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and the Springdale Bypass is in the works.

It’ll be a great new route reliable to getting you to the airport safely.

Alex English, XNA Public Relations and Marketing Specialist

On Thursday, December 5, the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) held a public involvement meeting in Rogers to present and discuss the proposed highway connection between the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) and the Springdale Bypass (Hwy. 612).

According to ArDOT, the purpose of the proposed project is to “provide a highway connection for the reliable and efficient movement of air transportation passengers and property” between XNA and Hwy. 612.

The project is estimated to be approximately 4 miles long.

The following alignment alternatives will be considered and evaluated:

  • No build
  • One alternative on new location (green line)
  • One alternative on partial new location (purple line)
  • One alternative that improves existing Highways 112 and 264 (orange line)
Courtesy of ArDOT

One of the potential routes could require ArDOT to buy land for the project, according to Danny Straessle with ArDOT.

“The way we acquire land is that we appraise the property,” Straessle said. “We put a value on that property and then we negotiate with the property owner for the fair market value of that property.”

Straessle said they acquire the land in a thought-out and thorough way.

“We don’t kick people to the curb and say look out here we come that’s not what we do,” he said. “This is very much a hand holding process that the department does with the residents.”

According to Straessle, there is no information on if any properties will be impacted, but for people like Larry Morgan, whose family lives close to the potential new bypass, he wouldn’t mind if ArDOT made a fair offer on the property.

“You can’t stop progress and as long as they’re willing to work with the homeowners on fair market value and do what’s just and right and not just try to steal the property from them, unfortunately I see that’s the only way you can do it,” Morgan said.

Morgan and Mary Pat Meyers, who also lives in the pathways of the potential bypass, said they don’t think it’ll be a big deal if land needs to be acquired by ArDOT as long as it’s done in the right way.

They said they just want something to be done, so they don’t have to deal with all the traffic.

“Sometimes you’ll see 12 to 14 cars on the side street waiting to try to merge onto 112,” Morgan said. “I’ve seen five accidents probably in the last six weeks.”

“With the way traffic is around here I think it’s gonna be a big help,” Meyers said. “I really do.”

Straessle said if they do have to acquire land from someone they don’t leave them on their own.

“We don’t just leave people out of their place with no place to go,” he said. “We have a real estate team that helps people who we purchase from to help them find something new.”

Straessle said there is nothing set in stone, this is only the first meeting to get the public’s input and opinion.

He said ArDOT is hoping for a set plan by Summer 2020.

There will be two more meetings before then.

If you weren’t able to attend the meeting on Thursday, there is an online comment form available by clicking here.

Comments may be submitted through Friday, December 20, 2019.