In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner spoke with city officials about when a major road improvement project will resume in Fayetteville.
The Zion Road Improvement Project is only partially complete. Work, which started almost a decade ago, has been done between College Avenue and Vantage Drive. The portion of Zion Road between Vantage Drive and Highway 265 still needs to be done.
“Zion Road has been talked about for a very long time, even before our 2006 bond issue,” said Chris Brown, City Engineer in Fayetteville. “It did not make the initial cut in the 2006 bond issue, but then as we went through and started working on some of those projects, we saw that maybe we did have some additional funding. We hired a consultant and started the design as we went through and started looking at the construction of all the projects being considered. Unfortunately, Zion Road was one that we did not quite have enough funding in the 2006 issue to go ahead with the construction.”
Brown said completing the project is a priority for the city.
“What we are talking about now is the 2019 bond issue that the mayor and city council are putting together,” he said. “We have been talking about Zion Road as one of the very top priorities, because it’s so ready to go to construction. It’s something that we could do almost immediately once the bonds are approved and the money is in place.”
Residents will see a number of improvements with the project including a third lane and new sidewalks and bike lanes.
“We will be adding curb and gutter from end to end,” said Brown. “We will also widen sections of it to three lanes. Some of it will remain two lanes, but we are looking to have three lanes to have a turn lane at certain locations. We are looking at sidewalks end to end and bike lanes. We want to have all modes handled on this project and make it safe for all users.”
The remaining work on the project will be funded through a new bond issue. What that means for residents is the continuation of a one-cent sales tax.
“The 2006 bond issue was just for transportation, so it was all street related projects,” said Brown. “This bond issue will be a little different. We are looking at about $70 million in improvements. It will have some transportation projects, but then also some public safety improvements.”
Brown said residents will likely vote on the bond issue in Spring 2019. If it’s approved, he said construction could begin by the end of 2019.
If there’s something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com