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SPRINGDALE -- Regional planners are moving forward with a vision for Arkansas 112 as a four-lane, north/south corridor with managed access.

Members of the Technical Advisory Committee, made up of professionals who are involved in the technical side of transportation, voted Thursday to send to the full Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission a plan for the project that will then go to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, which is ultimately responsible for doing the design and work.

Here’s the plan

The Arkansas Department of Transportation commissioned a study of the Arkansas 112 corridor through Northwest Arkansas with recommend improvements in 2015. Here’s a link to the results of the study at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission’s website: nwarpc.org/datacatalog/highway-112-corridor-study/

Source: Staff report

"Highway 112 will be designed and improved between Fayetteville and Bentonville with proven access management and intersection geometric techniques to manage capacity, improve reliability, reduce congestion and enhance the safety of all roadway users," according to the statement.

The primary purpose of the improvements is to protect the road to allow it to carry significant local and regional traffic, according to the document. Arkansas 112 is the only major north/south route through the region west of Interstate 49, which makes it critical for regional mobility as the area continues to grow, according to the document.

The region's population is projected to be about 800,000 by 2040. The region's population was 537,463 in 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates.

Access management is expected to be achieved by using raised medians with breaks no more than every quarter mile and traffic signals spaced at no more than half mile intervals. Roundabouts are expected to be used to improve traffic flow.

The locations of median breaks and roundabouts will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The location of arterial and collector streets intersecting Arkansas 112 will be considered when determining the location of median breaks.

There will also be limitations on the location of driveways.

The recommendation will go to the full commission Wednesday.

Committee members were also briefed a regional plan for public transit development and updating the status of streets on the region's Functional Classification Map.

Streets have to be designated as at least collector streets to qualify for federal assistance for improvement. Collectors serve to move traffic from local streets to major roads.

The overall Functional Classification Map will be updated after the 2020 Census. Regional planners asked cities to review current street classifications and tell them of any needed changes in status.

There will be a project kickoff Jan. 23 and 24 for the Transit Development Plan. Alliance Transportation Group has been hired to help develop the plan, which will focus on transit in the urban corridor. The $280,000 project will take about a year. Public engagement sessions will then be scheduled.

NW News on 01/18/2019

Print Headline: Planners forward vision for Arkansas 112 corridor

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