A two-vehicle crash that caused serious injury at an intersection in Conway left some residents anxious to learn the status of a proposed stoplight at the location.

The Conway Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Conway Fire Department, MEMS and LifeNet responded to the scene at the intersection of Hogan Road and Highway 64 (Old Morrilton Highway) Wednesday evening of an accident with entrapment involving an overturned dump trunk and a car. One patient was airlifted from the scene. Traffic was snarled for more than an hour as first responders shut down a portion of Highway 64 from Hogan Road to Knob Hill.

City officials had already been working with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) to address the intersection. ArDOT owns and maintains Highway 64 while Hogan Road belongs to the city so any improvements would require collaboration.

In October 2019, ArDOT proposed installing a traffic signal at the intersection. The Conway City Council approved a resolution expressing the willingness to utilize federal-aid grant funds for intersection improvements but asked ArDOT to consider a roundabout instead of a traffic light.

In a letter Mayor Bart Castleberry sent to ArDOT’s Scott E. Bennett on Oct. 28, 2019, the mayor wrote: “As part of ARDOT’s review of this project, l’d like to request your consideration of a roundabout as a possible alternative at this location. Construction of a roundabout at this heavily traveled intersection would provide another example of ARDOT’s and the City of Conway’s commitment to improving transportation safety and the Toward Zero Deaths statewide initiative.”

The estimated cost of installing a traffic signal is a little more than $1.3 million, according to Bennett’s response letter, which was dated Dec. 30, 2019.

“Based on your latest request, a roundabout will be considered as a possible alternative for this intersection,” Bennett said. “Because federal and state funding through this program is capped for an individual project at $350,000 and $43,750, respectively, additional costs associated with construction of a roundabout would be passed on to the City.”

ArDOT requested the city pay a $35,000 deposit for preliminary engineering associated with the project but noted the deposit “will be applied to the City’s matching share when the construction contract is awarded.”

Staff writer Jeanette Anderton can be reached at janderton@thecabin.net

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