The Arkansas State Highway Commission has accepted a bid from a Paragould company to begin construction on improvements to two access roads in Guy.

"The purpose of this project is to widen and resurface selected sections of approximately 3.1 miles of County Road 27 — West Republican Road — and approximately 4 miles of County Road 33 — Pinnacle Springs Road," Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) spokesman Danny Straessle said Wednesday.

Pinnacle Springs Road is an access road that stretches from Highway 65 to Highway 25 and West Republican Road guides drivers from Highway 65 to Highway 285.

Guy Mayor Sam Higdon said this is a much-needed project for the city.

"We've needed this for a while," he said Thursday. "It's a plus for the city. I'm just tickled [about this]."

The Arkansas State Highway Commission awarded the bid to Delta Asphalt of Ark., Inc. of Paragould for $867,696.53. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin within the next two to four weeks, Straessle said.

Forty-five percent of the project will be covered by the State Aid Program, and county officials will match the remaining 55 percent of costs.

"Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting," Straessle said. "Completion is expected in mid-2018."

County Road Foreman Mark Ledbetter said he expects the process to begin this project could be delayed by about two weeks as local workers finish replacing culverts along the two access roads.

The county road department is working in coordination with city officials to prepare the streets for the projects by replacing culverts before Delta Asphalt begins construction.

Because of the rain over the past two weeks, both city and county workers are behind in replacing all of the culverts along the two streets. Higdon and Ledbetter said the city and county respectively have about five culverts each to replace before the repaving process begins.

"We're going to be a little behind," Ledbetter said. "[The county] lacks about five or six culverts. The rain has set us behind ... which could potentially set back the whole project."

County Judge Jim Baker said the recent rains that have caused flooding across Faulkner County have damaged many county roads "to some degree" and that by repaving these two streets now, they will stand a better chance during next year's rainy season.

"This 16 inches of rain has devastated our roads," he said Thursday, noting he estimates at least half of the county's roads have been affected by the recent rains. "We've been set back by three months on what we'd like to do. We've got folks out doing what they can. We've got to be able to help folks be able to get home ... there's just been so much water. I estimate over half the roads in the county have some affect because this amount of rain and moisture will make any weak spot in the roads show up."

Baker said he does not expect all upcoming repairs after the waters recede to be major, but that at this time, officials are not able to get a full damage assessment because water levels are too high.

By taking care of these roads — Pinnacle Springs and West Republican roads — now, Baker said it will prove a big help next year as the severe weather season rolls in with its heavy rains.