August 6, 2014 Edition

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Bypass proposed at Light

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has identified a proposed south bypass as the preferred alternative in the vicinity of Light for the Highway 412 widening project in Greene and Lawrence counties.

The proposed project to widen approximately 14.5 miles of Highway 412 to four lanes extends from Highway 67 in Lawrence County to Highway 141 in Greene County. The project completes the highway’s four-lane widening between Walnut Ridge and Paragould.

Three alternatives were analyzed for the vicinity of Light—a north bypass, a south bypass and a widening on existing alignment through the community.

While the alternative to widen through Light also received public support, several factors made it a less beneficial option. AHTD determined that widening through Light would require a greater amount of residential and business relocations, necessitate higher utility relocations and costs, contribute to community disruption and increase safety issues.

In addition, AHTD has plans to make Highway 412 into an improved high-priority corridor across the state, which could lead to an increase in heavy truck use of the corridor.

A public meeting is expected to be held in the late fall to provide more detailed information and give area residents another opportunity to comment on the project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2017.

The project is part of the Connecting Arkansas Program and is funded through a 10-year, half-cent sales tax to improve highway and infrastructure projects throughout the state. More information is available at ConnectingArkansasProgram.com.

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