Update: Add times of meetings; correct address of Ellen Smith Elementary School.
The highway department has scheduled two public meetings in September for proposed changes to highways in Faulkner County.
Public input is being requested about the realignment of Highway 25, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Sept. 13 at Don Owen Sports Center on Lower Ridge Road and about the proposed Gold Creek Interchange on I-40, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 at Ellen Smith Elementary School cafeteria, 1601 S. Donaghey in Conway.
Discussion of the relocation of Highway 25 is in its early stages, said Conway City Engineer Ronnie Hall.
The plan is to construct a new road from the north side of the new interchange at Exit 124, the interchange that aligns with Salem Road.
The new road would extend northward across Blaney Hill to existing Highway 25 near Friendship Road.
The existing Highway 25, winding and steep from Highway 64 to the west end of Beaverfork Lake, will not be improved. It will be taken over and maintained by the city and/or county. Vehicle traffic on the old road will decrease when the new road is completed, Hall said.
As previously reported, the highway department staff will hear public comment on the proposed Gold Creek Interchange, a portion of the Conway Western Arterial Loop.
The Conway South Interchange will be located along I-40 directly south of the Lawrence Landing overpass at Mile 132.
The design also consists of about one mile of the Conway Loop extending westward from Highway 365 to the Sturgis Road/Scenic Hill intersection.
The new interchange will provide better access to the technology park and will be the southern terminus of the Western Loop,
In addition, the Department of Transportation announced Aug. 8 that bidding on the first phase of the widening of 20 miles of I-40 from Highway 65 in Conway to I-430 in North Little Rock will begin in January.
There will be no alterations for interchanges in this initial project. The overpass at Highway 64 will be torn down and reconstructed.
The first phase will begin at Highway 65, according to Glenn Bolick, a spokesman for the highway department. Cost of the 20-mile improvement has been estimated to exceed $100 million.
No public input sessions are planned for the Interstate widening.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at email@example.com and 505-1234.)