Smooth Road Ahead: Highway 62 widening between GF, BV complete
The commute between Berryville and Green Forest just got a lot easier.
The Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department completed work on its expansion project this week, widening a portion of Highway 62 from two to five lanes between Green Forest and Berryville.
According to Mitchell Archer, the District 9 construction engineer, the letting date for the project was Dec. 1, 2015.
Green Forest Mayor Charles Reece said the new five-lane section will make traveling between Green Forest and Berryville safer and quicker for Carroll County residents.
“There are a lot of folks that commute back and forth between Berryville and Green Forest and Eureka Springs as well,” Reece said Thursday. “I drove it last night, and it is a pleasure to drive on. I think it will help both Berryville and Green Forest.”
Reece said the state may be looking at making the speed limit for five-lane highways 60 or 65 mph.
“It would help for people who go back and forth between Berryville and Green Forest a lot,” he said. “We won’t have backups now.”
Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney said the new five-lane section is a great addition because it makes the road between the two cities safer for drivers.
“This will make it a lot safer for citizens traveling that way,” he said.
Reece said there is still some concern that the highway department may build a bypass around Green Forest within the next four to five years.
“I’m not sure if the highway is going to bypass Green Forest because the highway department doesn’t know whether they are or not yet,” he said. “If they do, I suspect it will be kind of like Huntsville. Development will take place along the highway should they go south or even north of Green Forest.”
If Green Forest is bypassed within the next few years, Reece said the plan is to expand the city limits to the highway by annexing new areas.
Overall, Reece said the road projects will help Green Forest and Carroll County.
“The expansion between Green Forest and Alpena will also be very beneficial in my opinion,” he said. “It’s probably a year out. They’re moving mountains.”
The widening of the roads will be particularly beneficial for larger vehicles, he said.
“The sale barn has a lot of large vehicles coming in, and so does Tyson Foods,” Reece said. “It’s going to be a lot easier to commute and do business between the cities. It will ultimately help Green Forest grow.”