ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The city of Rogers unveiled a new overpass in the Uptown area that connects the East and West sides of Interstate 49 on Thursday.
Before the overpass was created, Lance Jobe, city engineer with the city of Rogers, says the interstate made it difficult to get from one side of Rogers to the other.
It connects commercial, medical, and residential areas in Uptown, allowing cars to get from one side to the other across I-49 and reducing traffic flow.
The overpass was funded by a Roger’s bond issue program back in 2018.
That bond allowed the city to raise money for critical improvements in the city.
Jobe says residents of Rogers will notice the convenience of the new roadway immediately.
“People that just want to stay in Rogers and that want access back and forth across there. It allows our residents to do that without having to deal with the traffic that’s trying to get on or off the interchange,” Jobe said.
Nate Kuester, spokesperson for Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, says the overpass helps emergency vehicles get in and out of the area as quickly as possible.
“Access is critical, especially for a hospital when lives are on the line,” Kuester said.
He also says it will create ease of access for patients and visitors of the hospital.
“That’s an important part of the healing process is seeing your loved ones when you’re trying to overcome an illness or an injury or something like that,” Kuester said.
He says it is also very important to all the moms-to-be who are right in the process of bringing a new life in the world.
Before the overpass was built, Kuester said “it wasn’t really easy to get here from there. And now it is. And so those seconds really do matter.”
The overpass also has a connectivity side path where bike riders and pedestrians can walk across and access the Razorback Greenway.
Jobe says this overpass has a safer connection unlike the Pauline Whitaker parkway.
“Pauline Whitaker has sidewalks that are basically right at back of curb. So, they’re exposed to the traffic lanes. This has a purple or a wall between the vehicles and the pedestrians or bicyclists,” Jobe said.
Kuester says he’s grateful for the overpass.
“This is really great for everyone to have this in place,” Kuster said.