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SPRINGDALE -- Regional planners began their new year by starting to plan for next year.

The Technical Advisory Committee of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission on Thursday looked at requests for money for 2019 projects submitted by the cities and counties that make up the organization.

Committee members also agreed to recommend adding $50 million for improvements to a 5-mile section of Arkansas 72 between Bentonville and Gravette to a list of projects that do not currently have funding identified but are considered regionally important.

"Due to the growth, they want to make sure it's being looked at," said Tim Conklin, with regional planning. The list of "unconstrained projects" include those for which estimated revenue over the next 20 years is not sufficient to pay for them.

The committee further recommended adding improvements to a 1-mile section of North Salem Road in Fayetteville and Washington County to a list of potential projects that could receive federal help in the future. The road is gravel and planners would like to see it eventually become a collector street.

The Northwest Arkansas region receives about $7.4 million a year in federal transportation money to spend on local projects and about $1 million for trails projects. The money, administered by regional planning, started coming in when the metropolitan planning area reached 200,000 population.

The new requests amount to almost $20 million and will be pared down over the next several months before a final list of projects that will get money is selected for 2019. All projects require a local match.

The varied requests come from all over Benton and Washington counties. The largest is from Springdale and Johnson for $4.2 million to move utilities and purchase right of way for the extension of 56th Street from Don Tyson Parkway to Johnson Mill Boulevard. Springdale is also requesting $2.2 million to move utilities and purchase right of way for extending Don Tyson from South 56th Street to Arkansas 112.

Farmington is asking for $4 million to widen and improve Arkansas 170.

Rogers and Bentonville submitted a request for $3 million to help with improvements to the Interstate 49 and Walton Boulevard interchange.

Bentonville is asking for $2 million for improvements to 8th Street.

Lowell would like $1.2 million for construction costs associated with extending Dixieland Road southward.

University of Arkansas Razorback Transit and Ozark Regional Transit are making their annual request for $760,000 for more buses.

Centerton is requesting $500,000 for improvements to the Seba Road intersection at Arkansas 102B, near Bentonville West High School.

Fayetteville is asking for $476,000 for right of way acquisition to extend Sain Street from North Front Street to Vantage Drive. Fayetteville, along with Washington County, is also requesting $280,000 for design and environmental work related to intersection improvements at Arkansas 112 and Howard Nickell Road.

Rogers wants $250,000 to move utilities and buy right of way along J.B. Hunt Road from Whitaker Park to Bellview Road and $250,000 for utilities and right of way for 28th Place between Pleasant Grove Road and Blossom Way.

Bella Vista has requests for $160,000 for design and environmental work associated with intersection improvements at U.S. 71 and Kingsland Road as well as $149,000 for utilities and right of way for improvements on Mercy Way. State highway officials have identified Kingslan Road as needing traffic signals.

Siloam Springs is requesting $160,000 for design and environmental work on Tahlequah Street.

Bentonville, Lowell, Rogers, Gravette and Siloam Springs all requested money for various trail construction projects amounting in total to just over $1 million.

NW News on 01/19/2018

Print Headline: Planners hear pitches for transportation money

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