FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department plans to widen a 2.7-mile section of Arkansas 16 to four lanes from College Avenue to just east of Stonebridge Road in Fayetteville.
David Nilles, a Highway Department spokesman, said one vacant building will be torn down to make way for the widening.
But some of the 50 people who attended a public hearing Tuesday said the Highway Department just keeps whittling away at their property.
“We’re losing quite a bit, apparently,” said Tim Osborn, whose parents own a 100-year old farmhouse at Arkansas 16 and Arkansas 265. “The last time, we had to fight to get what we thought was fair market value.”
That time, Osborn said, the Highway Department took some property but left his parents with a steep slope that couldn’t be mowed. Instead, an electric weed cutter has to be used to trim the grass.
“It’s eminent domain,” Osborn said. “There’s not a thing you can do about it.”
Nilles said the Highway Department hopes to have the project completed by February 2011. The widening will include sidewalks and room for bicycle lanes. Tuesday’s meeting may be the last one to gather public input on the proposed project, depending on the comments received.
Most of the stretch of road is two lanes, although a quartermile section is three lanes.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette