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Improvement work on intersection begins soon

Progress toward the north terminal interchange continued with an update on the planned traffic control at the junction of Arkansas Highway 38 with Arkansas Highway 367 was one of the agenda items discussed at the June 26 Metroplan board of directors meeting.

Traffic planner Casey Covington presented the information.

A 2011 study by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) shows the degree to which the construction of the north railroad overpass has changed traffic patterns.

In May, about $51,000 was obligated for the utility relocation design of the Arkansas Highways 367/38 signal and intersection improvements. With a letting date of scheduled for July 13. Construction is expected to be done in 2014.

Also, about $114,000 has been designated to hire a design consultant U.S. Highway 67/167 north terminal interchange between Cabot and Austin.

Proposed changes to the junction would include a traffic island to guide traffic onto Arkansas Highway 367 from Highway 38 with a right-turn lane; left-turn and straight-through traffic controlled by the signal through photo sensors.

Lighting at the junction would also be installed.

However, no pedestrian service is being added although the overpass and approaches include sidewalks. The plans note that sidewalks and crosswalks can be added when the roadway is extended to U.S. Highway 67/167 with the construction of the north terminal interchange.

In other matters, executive director Jim McKenzie introduced Dr. Brian Mitchell, who joins the Metroplan from University of Arkansas at Little Rock to be the contact for Sustainability Grant and Jump Start Projects. Mitchell’s expertise is in Urban History, Race and Ethnicity, and Historic Preservation.

Covington also told of changes in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) that established several new transit funding programs that began in federal fiscal year 2013. Included in the new list of projects is a budget item allowing Central Arkansas Transit Authority to seek a grant for a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station.

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