LOWER MILITARY PROJECT UPDATE: Thomas Road to close
Thomas Road from Military Road to the Interstate 30 service road is expected to closed to traffic for ongoing work on the Lower Military Road expansion project.
Crews today were scheduled to begin undercutting and rebuilding of the intersection, Mayor David Mattingly said.
That location will be barricaded and marked with a "no through traffic" sign, he said.
In a recent town hall meeting, Mattingly said he expects the entire improvement project to be completed in June 2013.
Work on the project was delayed for several weeks, beginning in late December, because of faulty soil problems encountered.
McGeorge Construction Co. is contractor for the project.
The road widening project actually was shut down for five weeks because of bad soil being discovered in the roadbed. The mayor initially refused to sign a change order exceeding $1 million until he could receive assurance that federal and state funding would be available for the work.
Once that funding commitment came from Metroplan and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, the work resumed.
The area involved in the project encompasses 1.4 miles.
Work on the project began in May 2010 with the beginning of utility relocations, but the design work actually started in 2006.
Most of the funding for the Lower Military Road project is coming from $14 million in federal stimulus funds earmarked for the project by Metroplan, the regional planning board responsible for overseeing the road improvement. The project will convert the existing two-lane roadway into four lanes and the median-divided road will be equipped with sidewalks on both side.
City officials and other community leaders predict the improvements will result in the area developing commercially as Upper Military has done.
They have said they expect Lower Military Road will to become "an ideal corridor for professional offices, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses."