FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some business owners are concerned with the impacts of a new project to revitalize College Avenue in Fayetteville. The project will initially span from Sycamore Street to North Street.
One of the main concerns is that the construction to make the improvements, such as adding 6-foot sidewalks and a median, will temporarily drive down business.
Rick Boone is the owner of Rick’s Bakery on College Avenue. He expects to lose 25-35% of business during the construction on College Avenue. The planned median is also causing concern.
Businesses are worried about the median cutting off points of entry and exit to a business.
“I feel for what they’re taking away, it’s not going to balance what’s going to be added,” said Boone.
Chris Brown is the director of public works for the City of Fayetteville. He said the main benefits of this project will be the added walkability through sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. A benefit of the median is controlling turns for drivers.
Brown still hopes to work with other businesses to accommodate their concerns.
“We want College Avenue to be a place that people want to go to, and whether that’s your driving or walking. It’s going to be well-lit, more aesthetically pleasing. You have more options,” said Brown.
Most of this project will be funded with federal grants. It will total about $6 million. Brown hopes for construction to start early next year and for the projects to be complete 9 to 12 months after that.
This plan is part of a larger initiative to revitalize the entire 71B corridor. You can read more about the plans here.
Public comment will be taken until Aug. 23.