Major plans set for Hwy. 62

Monday, December 15, 2003

Carroll County is expected to be getting a $10 million four-lane project on U.S. Highway 62 between Berryville and Alpena within the next two years, according to Ralph Fulton of the Arkansas Highway Department in Harrison.

"We plan a project, but are never certain until we have the right of way," Fulton said. "We are certainly going to do a project somewhere between Berryville and Alpena within the next year or two. We are not to the point of saying where, yet."

Contrary to some rumors, Fulton said there are no plans for putting in a four-lane highway between Berryville and Highway 37 at Gateway, in Benton County.

Some persons have speculated that a four-lane might run from U.S. 62 through the Lake Leatherwood area and north of Eureka Springs, or between Holiday Island and Missouri.

The highway department did look at taking Highway 187, between U.S. 62 and Highway 23, out of the state system, Fulton said. That will not happen, however, and the state plans to build a new bridge for Highway 187 and turn over the present wood and cable suspension bridge at Beaver to that community.

U.S. Highway 62 is presently getting a face-lift with four lanes between Rogers and Avoca. The next stage of that four-lane will be from Avoca to Highway 37 in Gateway.

In southern Carroll County, three lanes will comprise U.S. Highway 412 between the Huntsville Bypass and Alpena, Fulton said.

The Berryville-Alpena project is being called Berryville - East, Fulton said. Public meetings will be called for citizen input before plans can be finalized. That is expected to take place in 2004.

"We'd have to start work in late 2004 or in 2005," Fulton said. "That would be my best guess."

Fulton indicated the only way he would expect to see four lanes between Berryville and Benton County is if a federal program provided funding for it. "That would change everything," he said, "but there is nothing in the pipeline."

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