Big relief to rush hour traffic in Northwest Arkansas is just weeks away.
If you live, work, or even visit the busy Bentonville area on 8th Street you have experienced the bumper-to-bumper traffic. The new 8th Street Interchange off of Interstate 49 could help.
“It’s big news in this building … we’re really excited about it,” said Walmart employee Lewis Hamilton.
For employees at the Walmart Home Office and David Glass Technology Center in Bentonville, traffic on 8th Street causes a huge headache.
“Leaving work every day is the worst part because everyone’s trying to leave out of one or two entrances on the parking lot on that side. There are just lines of cars, it takes about half an hour to get out of the parking lot,” said Hamilton.
City officials and business leaders in Bentonville said the interchange is part of a bigger vision for the city and its growth. Getting more visitors to the area is something Walmart employees are excited about.
“It lets people see this building more because it’s a lot bigger road coming through here so there are a lot more people driving by, seeing this building maybe for the first time, and it kind of lets people know that Walmart is a really leading technology company,” said Hamilton.
“The driving pattern of this part of Northwest Arkansas has changed forever,” said Danny Straessle with the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
Straessle said the 8th Street Interchange is a major step in keeping up with Northwest Arkansas’ rapid growth.
“It’s been a project that’s a long time coming, we’re just weeks away from opening this up to public access and I think everybody’s pretty excited about it,” says Straessle.
Weather permitting, Straessle says the interchange will be open by the end of May.
Exit 86 is also expected to open around the same time after closing in December.