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Zion Road project in Fayetteville, a pain to many, nearing finish line, city says

by Stacy Ryburn | March 25, 2023 at 2:51 a.m.
Traffic moves Wednesday, March 22, 2023, on Zion Road as construction continues in Fayetteville. The original estimated completion date for the project was February 2022. City officials say extensive sewer line work, labor and materials shortages related to the pandemic, changes in design and inclement weather have delayed the project. Visit for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Work on Zion Road in Fayetteville is officially more than a year behind schedule, but the toughest parts are finished, according to the city official overseeing the project.

Once finished, Zion will have three car lanes with a trail on the north side and a sidewalk on the south side from Vantage Drive to Crossover Road. There will be one car lane in each direction east and west and a turning lane. A roundabout at the intersection with Old Missouri Road is done.

The road east of Old Missouri has been widened from about 20 feet to 30 feet, with trail and sidewalk replacing ditches on the north and south sides of Zion, respectively.

Crews just finished installing a sewer main from Taliesin Lane just east of the roundabout to near Randal Place, which required digging more than 20 feet underground in problematic soil, said Chris Brown, the city's public works director.

There are two ways crews go about doing deep trench work. One is to dig deep slopes so the trench comes in at an angle, which requires a lot of room. The other way is to put up temporary walls to prevent the trench from caving in. Crews initially tried putting up temporary walls, but the soil kept caving in before they could install the walls. So they ended up using a combination of both methods, which is a reason the sewer line work took so long, Brown said.

The weather also was uncooperative for several days throughout the project, with major snow and freezing events this winter, he said. Additionally, the pandemic has caused labor and material shortages, meaning Tri Star, the contractor, hasn't had enough employees for the project and has experienced delays, he said.

The section east of the roundabout to Randal Place has gravel on it and just needs paving and striping now, Brown said. That should happen in the next couple of weeks, he said.

Next, crews need to install a sewer line from Randal Place to Crossover Road. The work shouldn't take as long as the previous sewer line because the crews will dig at a shallower depth, enabling them to install more pipe at a time, Brown said.

Work began in November 2020 and was initially set to wrap up in February 2022. The contractor's scheduled completion date is the end of May.

The project has been a pain for neighbors in the Lakewood subdivision north of Zion Road, resident Tom New said.

Streets in the subdivision are narrow. While crews were working on the deep sewer line, trucks frequently would come into the neighborhood, hitting mailboxes, tree limbs and trees, New said.

Cut-through traffic has subsided a bit since the city put a detour sign to Randal Place a few weeks ago, but it hasn't stopped completely, New said. He suggested the city place more obvious signs directing drivers to Randal Place and to discourage cars from coming through the neighborhood.

The project is also over budget, Brown said. The original estimated cost was $6.8 million, and the project is sitting at about $7.4 million.

Print Headline: Zion Road nearly done, city says


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