The City of Conway Street Department identified 55 needed street improvement projects of varying degree for 2011 that would bear a price tag of $16 million.

Alderman David Grimes explained that of those, the Conway City Council elected five based on funding availability and timeliness.

They are: the reconstruction of Donaghey Avenue from Tyler Street to Prince Street; an overlay and streetscape improvements of Main Street from Front Street to Harkrider Street; the relocation of College Avenue to Elm Street from Locust Avenue to Harkrider Street; the reconstruction of Prince Street from Western Avenue to Shady lane; and the reconstruction of Farris Road from Bruce Street to Oaklawn Drive.

Grimes said these projects would be funded through most of the city’s available street fund revenues, including impact fee money, the pay-as-you-go sales tax, state turnback money from gasoline taxes and some general funds already designated to the street department. 

Upcoming projects identified as "major" are: the completion of the Western Loop; the reconstruction of College Avenue from Salem Road to Hubbard Road; the construction of a roundabout at College Avenue and Country Club Road;, right-of-way acquisition, curb, drainage and paving of Old Military Road and the reconstruction from Donnell Ridge to the site of a new Conway elementary school; and the reconstruction of Nutter Chapel from the Greens at Nutters Chapel to Old Military Road.

Grimes said that projects surrounding Old Military Road have yet to be designated funding.

According to Grimes, several projects from 2010 are nearing completion.

"We’re wrapping up the Salem overpass over the railroad," Grimes said. "That will be completed soon. In addition to this list, we’ll finish out Washington Avenue with another roundabout at Flemming. We’re also soon to complete the Museum Road extension to Lower Ridge Road."

Also on the near future’s docket, Grimes said, is the reconstruction of Middle Road located east of German Lane.

Regarding what several have conceived to be halted progress on Salem Road’s overpass, Grimes said that the State Highway Department will continue and complete that project "on short order" with warmer weather.

Grimes said of the five undertakings in street improvements, Main Street would see cosmetic advances in lighting and landscaping "in conjunction with the remodeling of the post office."

"We’ll also have additional parking there," said Grimes.

College Avenue’s relocation will bring the highly traversed road away from the middle of St. Joseph School’s campus, and close the intersection of College Avenue and Harkrider Street.

The road will be rerouted through the former location of Conway Block Co.’s industrial complex.

The reconstruction of Prince Street coincides with Conway School District’s plans for a renovated High School-West campus, and will include a roundabout and if approved, a median-divided roadway.

Plans for Farris Road’s reconstruction, Grimes said, include widening and adding turning lanes near the University of Central Arkansas campus.

"This will help with traffic flow in and out of UCA."

With all of the projects in consideration, Grimes said that the street department’s budget was just over $7 million for the year.

After funding was secured for highlighted projects, a remaining sum was divided among Conway’s four wards for general street improvements, securing each around $118,000.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)