TONTITOWN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Transportation is asking you to share your thoughts on its plans to widen Highway 112.
ARDOT is widening the four-mile stretch of Highway 112 from Fayetteville to Tontitown and increasing the number of lanes from two to four.
Ed Bengtson lives in one of the neighborhoods lining the highway. He said the trouble starts before even getting on the road, with traffic backing up through the neighborhoods in the morning hours.
Bengtson said the frustration only continues once people make it to the highway since he thinks it is unsafe.
ARDOT’s Dave Parker said it’s aware of the highway’s fallbacks and hopes ARDOTS’s new plan will begin to fix them. Part of the plan includes adding sidewalks on each side of the highway.
Bengtson’s wife is excited about the proposed sidewalks, which will give them the option to bike around the area.
“Right now, there’s no shoulder. Absolutely no shoulder. So it’s actually quite dangerous if you’re biking or if you’re needing to walk along the road,” said Bengtson.
Parker said each part of the plan was made with Northwest Arkansas’ increasing population and safety needs in mind, including the choice to add seven roundabouts instead of stoplights throughout the stretch of highway.
Parker said roundabouts have become more popular in the state since they increase the traffic flow and are safer than alternatives.
“We’re not going to be able to stop the growth, so we got to get the infrastructure there,” said Bengtson.
The plans don’t change much of Highway 112’s current path, but Parker said the state will have to buy land from homeowners to build the extra lanes. So, they’re asking for their input before breaking ground.
Parker said if the current path of the road does change, it’ll be to straighten the highway or based on public input.
“If all those things add up to helping 95% of the population, whereas maybe 4% or 5% are not in favor of it, then we have to go with the greater good,” said Parker.
You can share your thoughts on the plans for Highway 112 at ARDOT’s public meeting on Thursday, December 1 at the Mount Comfort Church of Christ in Fayetteville from 4-7 p.m., or online until December 30.
Parker said ARDOT won’t break ground until at least 2025 and hope to have it complete by 2027.