NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) — The 19th annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ is coming into town on Wednesday, and over 300,000 motorcyclists are expected to attend. Arkansas Department of Transportation is preparing the roads for the rally.
There’s concern over Highway 74, a route that bikers use to explore sights like the buffalo river.
Just a few weeks ago, a chip and seal application was applied to the pavement to remove any cracks and extend the life of the highway.
It’s a special protective glue-like substance added to existing pavement. Tommy Sisemore, the Executive Director for Bikes, Blues & BBQ, says this is concerning because motorcycles and gravel just don’t agree on any type of roadway.
“There’s always various roads that are under construction, either highways or there’s been construction on 49 during the rally, and so it’s just something we’ve learned to work around. We don’t sanction any events that are going to really affect us out on highway 74, it’s just going to be the folks out experiencing Northwest Arkansas’ beauty that are going to be affected by that,” Sisemore said.
Danny Straessle with the Arkansas Department of Transportation says this is a cost efficient method which extends the life of pavement for another ten years, and it’s only performed on low volume routes.
All appropriate signage is on the highway. Still, motorcycles and cars should use caution when driving over these surfaces.
ArDOT says right now the highway is in good condition and just needs to be re-striped in the next week.