Highway projects moving forward

Friday, February 10, 2017
It takes all sizes of shovels to build a highway. Fortunately, a lot of the work can be done with big machines like this Komatsu operating on U.S. 62, widening the stretch east of Berryville. But it still takes a small shovel to do the fine work needed to complete the job.
Photo by David Bell/Carroll County News

The scope of work needed on the Highway 62 widening projects is narrowing every day.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has been working the past few months on expanding a portion of Highway 62 between Green Forest and Berryville from two lanes to five lanes.

A project status report from the department says the purpose of this project, Job 090330, is to widen 3.667 miles of Highway 62 from two lanes to five lanes in Carroll County. This project, the report says, consists of laying an aggregate base course, an asphalt concrete hot mix (ACHM) base, binder and surface courses, installing minor drainage structures, maintaining traffic and controlling erosion.

Mitchell Archer, the District 9 construction engineer, said the letting date for the project was Dec. 1, 2015. About 9.8 percent of the construction had been completed as of December 2016, he said, and the estimated completion date is Jan. 9, 2019.

Green Forest Mayor Charles Reece said the city has completed all of the work it needed to for the highway project.

“We’ve done all we needed to in regards to moving water lines,” Reece said. “Based on official conversations, the project is moving ahead right on schedule.”

He said he has been impressed with the work Eutaw Construction Company Inc., which was awarded the bid for the project, has done on the highway so far.

“I’m really impressed with the work they’ve been doing,” Reece said. “They’ve been using material from the hills and the mountain instead of bringing stuff in from other places.”

He said that construction has also begun on the project to widen a stretch of Highway 62 between Green Forest and Alpena.

“They’ve begun work on the highway between Green Forest and Alpena and are making nice progress on that, too,” Reece said.

According to Archer, that project will widen a 3.59 mile stretch of Highway 62, extending from the current five-lane highway east of Green Forest to just east of Denver Road, to five lanes as well.

Steve Lawrence, District 9 engineer, said the bid for the project was awarded to Nabholz Construction Corporation of Rogers for an initial price of $17,804,173.30. The work order was issued Nov. 8, he said, and about 0.8 percent of the construction has been completed as of December 2016.

Lawrence said that the estimated completion date for the project is September 2018.

Reece said there has also been talk of Highway 62 bypassing Green Forest in the future. He said he expected that business leaders in the area will be opposed to the project if it is officially proposed by the highway department.

“If they try to bypass Green Forest, business leaders will likely put up a fight just like they did last time the idea was brought up,” he said. “If it’s approved, I believe the plan would be to annex the city to the highway through additional roads.”

Overall, Reece said he has been pleased with the progress made on the highway projects in Carroll County. He said he believes the Highway 62 widening project will make travel between Green Forest and Berryville safer and quicker for residents of both cities.

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