Re­gional plan­ners re­ceive wish lists Cities, coun­ties pitch for share of fed­eral trans­porta­tion money

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - RON WOOD

SPRING­DALE — Cities and coun­ties made their pitches Thurs­day for a share of al­most $8 mil­lion in fed­eral trans­porta­tion money the North­west Arkansas met­ro­pol­i­tan plan­ning area is ex­pected to re­ceive next year.

But, the re­quests to­tal more than $18 mil­lion.

Plan­ners ex­pect to get about $7.4 mil­lion for high­way projects, roads and bridges, and about $490,500 for trans­porta­tion al­ter­na­tive projects like trails, side­walks and bike lanes. There were $17.9 mil­lion in re­quests for sur­face trans­porta­tion projects and $888,000 for al­ter­na­tive projects.

A sub­com­mit­tee is ex­pected to re­view the re­quests next week and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the full North­west Arkansas Re­gional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion board next month. Projects

have to be se­lected by the end of August.

Projects have to be ready to go and lo­cal matches are re­quired to re­ceive the money.

Among the re­quests made Thurs­day to the Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee were:

■ Ben­ton County wants $187,500 for de­sign and en­vi­ron­men­tal work to re­place a flood-prone, one-lane bridge on Wagon Wheel Road. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $1.75 mil­lion.

■ Farm­ing­ton wants $800,000 to move util­i­ties as part of im­prove­ments to South Hunter Street. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $9.9 mil­lion.

■ Fayet­teville is ask­ing for $2.3 mil­lion for con­struc­tion of Rup­ple Road im­prove­ments. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $7.7 mil­lion.

■ Lowell is seek­ing $4.2 mil­lion for con­struc­tion to ex­tend Dix­ieland Street from Mon­roe Av­enue to Ap­ple Blos­som Road. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $6.7 mil­lion.

■ Ra­zor­back Tran­sit and Ozark Re­gional Tran­sit want $720,000 for new ve­hi­cles. They an­tic­i­pate about $1.6 mil­lion in needs, not count­ing re­place­ment of ORT’s fleet, most of which was de­stroyed in a fire ear­lier this year.

■ Rogers asked for $2.28 mil­lion for con­struc­tion for im­prove­ments to 28th Place, Phase I, from Pleas­ant Grove Road north. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $3.2 mil­lion.

■ Rogers is also ask­ing for $3 mil­lion for con­struc­tion for im­prove­ments to 28th Place, Phase 2, be­tween Pauline Whi­taker Park and Bel­lview Road. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $4.4 mil­lion.

■ Spring­dale and John­son want $4.3 mil­lion for right of way and mov­ing util­i­ties to ex­tend 56th Street from Don Tyson Park­way to John­son Mill Boule­vard. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $17.5 mil­lion.

■ Fayet­teville wants $280,000 in trans­porta­tion al­ter­na­tive money for lights on the Cato Springs Trail. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $350,000.

■ Rogers wants $500,000 in trans­porta­tion al­ter­na­tive money for con­struc­tion on side­walks along West Wal­nut Street. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $1.8 mil­lion.

■ Siloam Springs is ask­ing for $108,000 for con­struc­tion of an East Main Street Trail ex­ten­sion. To­tal project cost is ex­pected to be $135,000.

Mem­bers voted to make Rup­ple Road the fall­back project in case an­other project that re­ceives money falls through. If Rup­ple can’t take the money it would go to Ra­zor­back Tran­sit for buses.

“We don’t want to leave money on the ta­ble,” said Patsy Christie, Spring­dale plan­ning di­rec­tor.

In a re­lated move, the group de­cided $243,517 ear­marked for a trail con­nect­ing Cave Springs to the Ra­zor­back Green­way will go to Spring­dale for work on Dean’s Trail. Other op­tions were to use the money to ren­o­vate War Ea­gle Bridge in Ben­ton County or light­ing for Fayet­teville’s Mud Creek Trail.

Chris Brown, Fayet­teville’s city engi­neer, said Dean’s Trail was clearly a more re­gional project than the other two op­tions.

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