April 23, 2014 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Mayor Don House (from left) points to the Walnut Ridge end of Hwy. 412, which is scheduled to be widened to four lanes from Hwy. 141 in Greene County to Hwy. 67 in Lawrence County. Also attending a meeting on Thursday at Light were Ricky Ditto, head of the Walnut Ridge Street Department, County Judge Dale Freeman and State Rep. James Ratliff.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Meeting held on proposed widening of Hwy. 412

Gretchen Hunt

A public meeting was held on Thursday evening at Light Baptist Church to receive input on a proposal to widen Hwy. 412 in Lawrence and Greene Counties.

The proposal, which is part of the Connecting Arkansas Program, calls for widening the highway from Hwy. 141 in Greene County to Hwy. 67 in Lawrence County.

Input is being sought on whether the widening is needed, if there are any historical sites, cemeteries or archaeological sites in the path and if there are any environmental constraints to completing the project.

One of the major questions to be answered is what route the highway will take through Light. Options include widening the existing route or constructing a bypass to the north or south of the town.

Prior to the public meeting, representatives of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Connecting Arkansas Program met with elected officials from the two counties.

State Rep. James Ratliff said he believes the project will be very beneficial to the area, but stated that he felt the people of Light who would be directly affected should make the decision on the route.

Also in attendance from Lawrence County were Walnut Ridge Mayor Don House, County Judge Dale Freeman and Ricky Ditto, head of the Walnut Ridge Street Department.

The Hwy. 412 project is one of 31 projects planned in the Connecting Arkansas Program. The program is the largest highway construction program ever undertaken by the AHTD.

According to information distributed at the meeting, projects are being funded through a voter-approved constitutional amendment establishing a 10-year, half-cent sales tax to improve transportation in the state.

For more information on this and other projects visit www.ConnectingArkansasProgram.com.

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