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PRINGDALE -- Northwest Arkansas cities submitted projects Thursday they hope will be paid for with federal money administered by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission.

The Northwest Arkansas metro area became eligible July 18, 2012, for a share of federal Surface Transportation Program money after the urban population surpassed 200,000. The money is administered by Regional Planning, serving as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is made of representatives from Benton and Washington counties and each city in the counties. The region gets about $6.5 million annually from the program to spend on regionally significant projects of its choosing.

Transportation requests

Cities submitted some $8.6 million in requests for 2017 road and trail projects. Among them:

• Fayetteville is asking for $160,000 for right of way and moving utilities to prepare to extend Sain Street from North Front Street to Vantage Boulevard.

• Lowell is seeking $800,000 for right of way, moving utilities and construction of an extension of Dixieland Street.

• Centerton wants $640,000 for right of way, moving utilities and construction of intersection improvements at Arkansas 102 and Seba Road.

• Farmington is requesting $600,000 for right of way acquisition to improve Arkansas 170 from U.S. 62 to Clyde Carnes Road.

• Bella Vista is requesting $256,000 for design and environmental work related to plans to widen Mercy Way to four lanes.

Trail project requests for 2017 total more than $822,000.

• Cave Springs is seeking $586,000 for a 12-foot, shared use trail Mayor Travis Lee said would connect Cave Springs and other nearby cities with the larger cities to the east and the Razorback Greenway.

• Bella Vista is asking for $236,600 for a trailhead at Riordan Road.

Source: Staff report

Planners are assuming money will be available from the federal Highway Trust Fund and the projects will move forward. A local match is required and the money, in most cases, will only pay for a portion of total cost of the projects.

"I don't want to be a downer, but the money's not there yet," quipped Patsy Christie of Springdale, chairwoman of Regional Planning's Technical Advisory Committee.

Cities were asked to submit requests for projects planned over the next two years rather than one year out, as used to be the case. The change is to assure projects are lined up and ready to go when the money is available.

Seven highway project requests for 2016 total more than $6.1 million. The projects will be ranked by a committee and a decision on which will get money is expected in December.

Fayetteville wants $680,000 to help with the extension of Rupple Road. The money would be used for environmental mitigation, moving utilities and right of way acquisition for a section between Starry Night View and Mount Comfort Road. Fayetteville is asking for $3.4 million in 2017 to build the road.

Springdale is asking for $300,000 for design and environmental work to extend Don Tyson Parkway from South 56th Street to Arkansas 112. Springdale also wants $1 million for right of way, moving utilities and building a new section of Arkansas 265 from Randal Wobbe Lane to Arkansas 264.

Rogers is seeking more than $3.2 million for right of way, moving utilities and building a two-way center turn lane on Walnut Street between Dixieland Road and South Eighth Street.

Razorback Transit and Ozark Regional Transit want $704,000 in 2016 to buy new buses to replace aging vehicles and add routes. They're asking for $712,000 in 2017 for new buses. The agencies will split the money.

Centerton is asking for $80,000 for design and environmental work on new turn lanes and a signal at the Arkansas 102B and Seba Road intersection. The improvements are needed to accommodate the expected increase in traffic when Bentonville opens a new high school nearby next year.

Bentonville wants $100,000 for design and environmental work to add a right turn lane at Southwest I Street and Southwest 14 Street to ease congestion. Bentonville is asking for $1 million in 2017 to construct the planned improvements.

Bentonville also wants $1 million in 2017 to add left turn lanes at the intersection of North Walton and Tiger boulevards.

About $450,000 a year is dedicated to trail and alternative transportation projects and cities submitted almost $2.2 million of requests for that 2016 money.

Fayetteville wants $260,000 to add a bike lane and 12-foot shared use trail along Drake Street.

Rogers is asking for $225,000 for a bike and pedestrian bridge on the Razorback Greenway at New Hope Road.

Bentonville is seeking $277,000 for a 10-foot, shared use trail and regional connector as part of the Citizens Park Trail.

Springdale wants $1.2 million for Dean's Trail, phase I, which would connect the Jones Center with the city's trail system and the Razorback Greenway.

Bella Vista is asking for $122,000 for an extension of Dartmoor Trail and a signaled crossing.

NW News on 08/21/2015

Print Headline: Cities pitch projects to Regional Planning

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