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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/MIKE JONES Bentonville's City Council worked through a light agenda Tuesday night. The council agreed to accept a $1.9-million Walton Family Foundation grant to help pay for design and redesign work for street projects.

BENTONVILLE -- The City Council on Tuesday night agreed to accept a $1.9-million Walton Family Foundation grant to help pay for redesign work for one street project and design work for three others.

The redesign will be on a portion of Eighth Street from Southwest I Street to Southeast J Street. Toole Design Group and Burns and McDonnell will work together on the redesign, said Dennis Birge, city transportation engineer.

Toole Design Group also will do design work for Southwest Eighth Street from Town Vu Road to Southwest I Street, Northwest Third Street from Elm Tree to Walton Boulevard and Northwest Third/Northeast Second streets from Walton Boulevard to Northeast J Street, according to information in the council agenda packet.

Councilman Chris Sooter said the projects have been studied for years.

The work on Eighth Street from Southwest I Street to Southeast J Street will be transformational, Sooter said.

"This gives us a vision of what Eighth Street should be," he said. "We want it to be a bikeable, walkable environment. We also want it to be safe, to look nice and to move traffic."

The redesign work on Eighth Street and the Northwest Third Street from Elm Tree to Walton Boulevard project will receive priority over the others, Birge said. It could take 25 to 30 weeks to have designs back. City staff will review the designs at 30, 60 and 90 percent completion, Birge said. The projects will be treated like large-scale developments, he said.

The grant money will cover the cost of engineer fees and the bid documents for each individual project, according to a letter Birge sent to the City Council. The letter was part of the council agenda packet.

In the the letter, Birge notes design features will include more of a complete street design with a concentration on all modes of transportation -- vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian.

All of the projects have been recommended by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission's bike and pedestrian study, and the city's bike and pedestrian plan, according to the letter.

David Wright, Parks and Recreation director, said during the design process adding sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the streets would be part of the discussion.

"It's all about right of way and how much can you put in there," he said.

A letter to Mayor Stephanie Orman from Lisa Montez, secretary and general counsel for the foundation, said the grant would prepare design and construction documents for, "7.5 miles of "complete street" infrastructure in four distinct, but connected projects."

Construction on the projects could start in 2021, and funding hasn't yet been determined, Birge said.

The council also approved a lot split at 306 S.E. C St. and changes in zoning from single family residential to downtown medium-density residential at the same address, and from residential office, duplex and patio home residential and medium-density residential to downtown edge at 502 and 504 S.E. B St. The Planning Commission previously recommended approval for all those items.

The council also approved a bid of $35,677 to Lights to Sparky for square light installation.

NW News on 10/09/2019

Print Headline: Grant will provide help with road design work

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