ALMA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) โ€” Work will begin this year that could save drivers a lot of time on the road.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation says construction on the Interstate 49 corridor between Alma and Barling will start this fall.

It will cut travel time between the two cities in half. Alma Mayor Jerry Martin says this will be a game changer for the entire River Valley region.

“We are really fortunate to be where we are at this point in time, and then to be able to start to put the pieces together for this area and for the city of Alma and for the region as a whole,” Martin said.

State funding will help pay for the project. The Fort Chaffee redevelopment authority donated property at the Barling interchange in Chaffee Crossing.