Paving should begin on Monday at the Salem Road extension, and traffic should be going up and over Cadron Ridge to Highway 64 by the end of the week.

According to Conway Mayor Tab Townsell, connecting northwest Conway to Highway 64 will "change traffic flow across the north central portion of the city, eliminating some east-west trips by converting them into north-south trips and, to some degree, eliminate some traffic on Highway 64 east of the new interchange."

Other roads Townsell said can be anticipated to have lower traffic counts include Meadowlake Road, Hogan Lane, northern Donaghey Avenue and Tyler and Prince streets. The Highway 64/Highway 65 intersection should also see some relief, he said.

The project is the first "major, extraordinary" roadwork to be funded by the quarter-cent city sales tax rededicated to capital road projects via public vote in 2005, Townsell said. Money generated through this tax is considered separate from normal street department funding. 

According to City Engineer Ronnie Hall, the project carries a cost of about $3 million.

An associated project, the overpass to carry Salem Road traffic over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, is to be funded with federal stimulus money, Townsell said. This project has been awarded to a contractor, Townsell said, and construction of the overpass should begin soon.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at joe.lamb@thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)