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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Cars pass by Thursday on the corner of Arkansas 112 and Howard Nickell Road in Fayetteville. The city is considering partnering with Washington County to to improve the intersection.

FAYETTEVILLE -- No turning lanes from a state highway near a residential area means crowded mornings and most likely coming home late. City and county officials hope to alleviate that on the northwest edge of town.

The intersection of Howard Nickell Road and Arkansas 112 could get an overhaul. The Transportation Committee, consisting of half the City Council, on Thursday supported applying for a $350,000 grant to redesign the intersection complete with a traffic signal.

Intersection improvement

A grant would cover a traffic study, design, environmental clearance documentation and traffic signal design. If approved, based on the total estimate of $350,000 for engineering services:

• The federal aid portion will be $280,000 (80 percent).

• Fayetteville’s portion will be $35,000 (10 percent).

• Washington County’s portion will be $35,000 (10 percent).

These numbers are subject to change as the project is developed and more detailed estimates are provided.

Source: City of Fayetteville

The council still has to sign off on applying for the grant. The Washington County Quorum Court has to do the same for its part.

The federal aid portion would be $280,000, with the city and county contributing $35,000 apiece. The grant is an 80/20 matching grant administered through the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. The city and county would split the 20 percent local contribution.

City Engineer Chris Brown said discussions also are underway with the Arkansas Department of Transportation because the project involves a state highway. Arkansas 112 could be on the list of potential improvement projects for the state, he said.

Plus, the area makes up part of the "Mayor's Box." The arterial loop around the city stretches from Rupple Road east to Crossover Road, and Arkansas 112 and Joyce Boulevard south to 15th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Portions of the northwest corner are still left to go.

The city's $35,000 contribution will come from the transportation bond fund, which voters approved in 2006. If the county opts out, city officials would have to evaluate whether to move forward, Brown said.

Council Member Adella Gray said she lived three houses down from the intersection for 20 years and she welcomed any improvement.

"This is very exciting," she said. "This is quite a problematic intersection. I'll be delighted to see the design and see it get done."

Developers along nearby Deane Solomon Road often find the intersection challenging, Council Member Kyle Smith said. The project should help, he said.

Brown also updated the committee on the incoming mobility plan from consultant Nelson/Nygaard. Staff has reviewed a draft of the report but more work needs to be done, he said.

"I'm beginning to get a little bit concerned about the timing and being able to get the plan in front of you so we can begin discussing projects that may come out of it," Brown said.

The council hired Nelson/Nygaard in March 2016 for $585,000 to develop a city transportation plan. Drafts have been made available to the public, but a final plan has yet to be presented for council approval.

Brown said a final version should be at least a month away, if not March.

NW News on 12/29/2017

Print Headline: Design sought for intersection overhaul

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