JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — Construction is something that a lot of us dread, but once it's all finished— it's usually worth it.
Next Monday, March 20th, construction crews are set to begin work in Jacksonville on Highway 67. It's also the final project of the Connecting Arkansas Program.
"This is a really big project, it's really exciting," Ellen Coulter, ARDOT Deputy Public Information Officer said.
She said widening Highway 67/167 to six lanes in Jacksonville, has been a project years in the making.
"That is the final piece of that roadway that is not six lanes yet. So this will be the final connector to make that six lanes," Coulter explained.
Starting on Monday, the frontage road lanes between Main Street and Vandenburg Boulevard will be one lane and one-way only.
Also, Highway 67 northbound and southbound outside lanes will alternatively be closed.
"At the end of this project, the final result will be that you will have two-lane, one-way frontage roads going in each direction," she said.
Coulter also explained that when it's done, those roads should be safer and will improve traffic flow.
"That's kind of the model that we're trending towards in these projects," she said.
This will be the 31st and final project of the Connecting Arkansas Program.
"It's going to really be great in the long run. This is going to be a great traffic-easing project for Central Arkansas," Coulter said.
Jacksonville Mayor, Jeff Elmore echoed those sentiments but said they have to get through the hard part first.
"It's going to be a headache," Elmore said.
"You're gonna have the bottlenecking issue and you know, people having to merge over and so forth. So I would allow definitely more time in your normal commute than you usually do," he said.
Increased safety, in the end, is what he explained makes it worth it to him.
"We've had quite a few accidents in certain locations around town. And with Walmart being a popular place and busy. It seems that we have more in that area right there than any other spot when it comes to the highway. So this will take care of a lot of that, and make it a lot safer for our residents," he said.
The road work will last five days, beginning on Monday, March 20th, and ending on Saturday, March 25th.
According to ARDOT, the whole project should be finished in about 4 and a half years.
You can read more about it the project here.