Proposed expansion to Bella Vista Bypass put on hold after public reaction

Northwest Arkansas News

HIWASSE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A proposed project to expand the Bella Vista Bypass from Gravette to Springdale has been put on hold by ArDOT.

Residents of Gravette and Hiwasse say they’re glad that a new highway isn’t making its way to their doorstep.

Local landowner Richard Carver says he doesn’t feel like the proposed expansion to the bypass takes the area’s locals into consideration.

“I would lose all my hay fields for my farm if that happens,” he said.

It was planned to extend from Hiwasse to Springdale, but after receiving public comment against the new highway, ArDOT has put studies on hold — with no current plan to continue the project.

Carver says he feels a little extra planning on the bypass could’ve prevented the issue from ever arising in the first place.

“They should’ve spent our money wisely and done a thorough study to begin with instead of bypassing Bella Vista,” he said.

Gravette city council member Larry Weihe says he’s glad residents’ opinions are being taken into account, and he hopes that locals won’t lose their history to the highway.

“I think that they need to deal with the people more,” he said. “There’s a lot of small cemeteries from private families.”

For that reason, Carver and many other residents of the area say they hope the project stays right where it is.

“We want to keep Hiwasse’s identity and I think if this happens, we’re going to lose that,” Carver said.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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