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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/FILE PHOTO

BENTONVILLE -- The Arkansas Department of Transportation will hold two public input meetings this week to talk about improvements to a congested thoroughfare from Rogers through Bentonville to Centerton.

Department officials will present and discuss preliminary findings for short- and long-term improvements to U.S. 62/Arkansas 102 between Arkansas 102B and Arkansas 94 North. The 10-mile stretch is labeled Centerton Boulevard, Southwest 14th Street and West Hudson Road through the cities.

Make your voice heard

The public is invited to view displays, ask questions and offer comments about proposed improvements to U.S. 62/Arkansas 102 between Arkansas 102B and Arkansas 94 North in Benton County. The two meetings will follow an open house format and are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Tuesday, Peterson Auditorium, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville

• Wednesday, Reach Church, 900 W. Centerton Blvd., Centerton

For more information, contact the ArDOT’s Public Information Office at (501) 569-2000 or info@ardot.gov.

Source: Arkansas Department of Transportation

Dennis Birge, transportation engineer for Bentonville, said congestion is a problem on the road during morning and evening commutes from downtown Centerton all the way to the east side of Rogers.

"As far as Bentonville goes, there's just a lot of traffic eastbound in the mornings and westbound in the evenings," Birge said. "So, you've got I-49 on one side of us and Bentonville residents out west and Centerton residents as well and there are a lot of times they're trying to get to I-49."

Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards said the earlier widening of a portion of the road between Centerton and Bentonville to four lanes has helped, but traffic can still back up at certain times of day, particularly around the schools and when approaching Bentonville.

"In our city limits it's not too bad, we have little issues on state Highway 102B, but this road, eventually, is on their plan to be widened," he said.

Peak traffic hours along the corridor are 7-8 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. Between 25,000 and 37,000 vehicles travel the corridor at various points throughout each day, according to Transportation Department data.

There were 2,629 crashes along the corridor from 2012 through 2016, an average of almost 1.5 per day. Five of those crashes were fatal, and half involved a driver rear-ending another, according to the department's data.

Transportation officials held an input session in March looking for individual driver experiences and suggestions on ways the corridor could be improved. Some drivers reported it took them 45 minutes to drive from Centerton to Bentonville.

The input is to be incorporated into a report examining the issues and suggesting solutions, along with the associated costs by HNTB Corp., a firm consulting with the Department of Transportation on the study.

No money had been allocated for improvement, but the report will provide a blueprint for when money becomes available, officials have said.

NW News on 02/10/2019

Print Headline: Input sought for highway from Centerton to Rogers

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