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Cyclists hope highway project signals change

Cyclists hope highway project signals change

Residents go over conceptual plans to widen Arkansas 112 in western Fayetteville with staff from the Arkansas Department of Transportation on Thursday, March 5, 2020,…

Tuesday, May 04

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Residents go over conceptual plans to widen Arkansas 112 in western Fayetteville with staff from the Arkansas Department of Transportation on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at Church of Christ on West Mount Comfort Road. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2022. I’ve never seen bicycle advocates so hyped for a highway project.

But right now plans are underway for a major state highway improvement that has Northwest Arkansas cyclists very excited.

Arkansas 112 is a traditional two-lane blacktop west of I-49 that connects Fayetteville to Bentonville and serves as the byway for communities such as Elm Springs and Cave Springs. It’s a lovely 20-mile drive unless you’re stuck in a line of traffic, quite possibly late for a flight at Northwest Arkansas National Airport.

What were once pastures along the road are now subdivisions with garages filled with cars — and bicycles. So widening the road with more lanes makes sense. But in a major evolution from most Arkansas highway projects, this design includes a paved trail, parallel to the highway, built so walkers, runners and cyclists can stay active, safe and well away from cars.

More than just a glorified sidewalk, the trail will even have its own name: the Heritage Springs Trail.

Residents along the route who might normally be wringing their hands raising concerns about more traffic seem quite happy about the prospect of trail. The hope being that the trail will offer them the sort of economic and recreational benefits the Razorback Greenway now offers the larger […]

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