LITTLE ROCK (3-19) 

      The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Highway 18 improvements in Blytheville, Arkansas .

     The EA evaluated two alignment alternatives that consist of improvements along existing streets combined with some new location sections.  After consideration of information contained in the EA and the comments received at the Public Involvement Meeting held on May 13, 2008, the AHTD has identified Alternative 2 as the Preferred Alternative (see map). 

     Alternative 2 begins at the intersection of Highway 18 West and Highway 61, veers southeast on new location tying into Sycamore Street , follows Sycamore Street to the east, veers northeast on new location beginning near 5th Street, ties into Ash Street near 1st Street and follows Ash Street to Main Street.  This Alternative will be the new location of Highway 18 when completed.

     The proposed roadway section will consist of four 11-foot travel lanes, a 12-foot continuous center left-turn lane with curb and gutter, six foot sidewalks and a railroad overpass of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) main line.

     The Preferred Alternative meets the primary purpose and need of the project by providing a grade separated crossing of Highway 18 over the BNSF Railroad that will improve safety and the flow of traffic in the area, and will successfully carry the corridor’s projected traffic volumes for the next twenty years.  This Preferred Alternative received the highest number of supporting comments from the public, has fewer residential and business relocatees and a lower estimated cost.

     After further design and survey work is completed, a Location and Design Public Hearing will be held in Blytheville to receive additional public comment on the proposal.



For Further Information Contact:

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209
Tel: 501-569-2000
FAX: 501-569-2400
e-mail: info@arkansashighways.com