FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On Tuesday night, the Arkansas Department of Transportation made a few changes to the Wedington bridge project as work continues to try and ease traffic.
For drivers, it’s brought confusion on the roads. However, local businesses see this as an opportunity.
Margaret Burris is the owner of Rymolene’s Pies, just across the street from the construction.
“We were real hesitant because we thought the construction was really going to stop our business. But actually, it’s improved it,” said Burris.
Before the work began, she says no one could see the business due to trees blocking the plaza. But now, it’s different.
“The traffic’s flowing faster and people aren’t afraid to come down the access road anymore,” said Burris.
She says the construction has helped bring more customers to her doors.
“I think it’s going to be a big win,” said Burris.
She’s not the only business feeling the positive impact of the construction.
“We’ve already seen an uptick in traffic here and foot traffic and people saying, you know, I didn’t know where you were,” said Joy Harp, who works for Funky Fresh Vintage near Rymolene’s Pies.
Although she’s seen a positive change, it’s also harder for her and her daughter to get to their business.
“It’s always been a terrible intersection. I mean, we actually live off of MLK and we circle around Rupple so we don’t have to come up on Wedington and try to make that left turn,” said Harp.
Dave Parker, spokesperson for ARDOT, says shifting work to the right was supposed to happen Monday night but had to be changed to Tuesday.
He says this new change in construction will be this way for a month and encourages drivers to be patient.
“I just pay attention, you know, take it a little easier, slow down a little bit as we always preach in any construction zone. And, you know, just understand that, you know, we’re trying to get that work done for you,” said Parker.
As for businesses, “I think with the new changes and making it easier, access for the access road and to get on the interstate, I think it’s really going to help,” said Burris.
Parker says the construction is supposed to be completed by late 2024.