JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Rush Hour traffic is usually the most dreaded part of everyone's day and for those commuting to Little Rock from Cabot and Jacksonville, it can be a nightmare.
US Highway 67/167 is one of the busiest in central Arkansas with more than 70,000 vehicles traveling it every day and though the state has already made efforts to ease the congestion, the Highway and Transportation Department says it's not enough.
"We currently have two lanes each way going through that area. We need at least three lanes," says AHTD Spokesperson Randy Ort.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department came up with a few ideas for interchange, exit ramp and widening changes and Tuesday gave the public a chance to weigh in.
"We've already done three lanes in each direction from Interstate 40 up to Redmond Road in Jacksonville so what we are talking about doing is extending this from Redmond Road through Jacksonville and eventually all the way up to the Cabot area," says Ort.
Ort says the first step starts next year, replacing bridges at Redmond Road and Main Street but squeezing in an extra lane on each side of an already congested area will be a challenge.
"We've got a very finite amount of room through Jacksonville, with the development that is there. They are currently two way frontage roads. Obviously one thing we're looking at is converting those to one-way operations," says Ort.
"I'm on the Frontage Road and my concern is they turn the Frontage Road into a one way," says Physical Therapist Thomas Bartole who took a close look at all four interchange proposals. He says no matter what they change, his business is sure to change with it.
"I think you know Sherwood showed and Benton and Bryant showed that you can adjust to it eventually but early on, it can take a big toll on people," says Bartole.
It is a toll on businesses and property owners like Lana Marshall.
"Taking property away, that's my biggie. You know, the less property they can take away, the better," says Marshall.
They are changes that are still being decided with the goal of keeping the machine running like new and while the bridge replacements are set for next year, Ort says the bigger project of adding that third lane will be up to the voters. He says if the temporary state sales tax increase on the ballot in November passes, the expansion will be completed in the next ten years. If it doesn't, they will have to work on it as funds become available.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will hold another public input meeting tomorrow night. It will be at Cabot High School from 4pm to 7pm.