VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Transportation discusses its plans to alleviate traffic around the Interstate 40 and Highway 59 interchange as Van Buren grapples with traffic congestion.

“From 7 a.m. to probably 8:30 a.m., you don’t even want to come over on this side of town and then from 3-5 p.m. or 3-4:30 p.m., and then you have to worry about the 5 p.m. traffic. Driving is just horrible,” Pamela Jenson of Van Buren said.

Recent developments from the Arkansas Department of Transportation have shed light on a solution that aims to ease the traffic in the region.

ARDOT engineer Jason Hughey discussed a strategy that aims to transform the traffic landscape around the I-40 and Highway 59 interchange.

The proposed measures include the elimination of the southbound left turn to access eastbound I-40. Instead, drivers will be directed to make a right turn onto the access road heading west, where they will then use a newly planned roundabout to access the eastbound I-40.

In addition to the change, ARDOT plans to widen the westbound off-ramp, which will now have two right turn lanes and two left turn lanes, streamlining the flow of traffic during peak hours.

Hughey says the current concept is likely to move forward without significant alterations. He says the plans remain on track to address the traffic issues effectively.

The proposed project is slated to commence in mid-2024.