Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Only 40 Years Late

Fayetteville, Arkansas recently announced plans to construct a flyover ramp from northbound College Ave (US 71B) to the Fulbright Expressway. This ramp will allow traffic to access I-540 without have to go through the Joyce Blvd "jughandle".

When the Fulbright Expressway was first built in the early 1970's, it was a 2-Lane bypass of US 71 around Fayetteville. It began on the south end of Fayetteville, about a mile north of the Fayetteville Airport (Drake Field), looped around the west side of town, re-intersecting US 71 apporximately 3/4 mile south of what is now the Northwest Arkansas Mall.  To go from northboud College Ave to southbound US 71, drivers used a "jughandle" turnoff at what is now Joyce Blvd. Drivers would turn right into the jughandle. left on Joyce Blvd, then south on College Ave. Why the flyover wasn't built originally, is anyone's guess.

In the intervening years, the area around College Ave and Joyce Blvd has overgrown commercially and become one the busiest intersections in the state. Using the "jughandle" to access Fulbright Expressway (now a 4-Lane divided road) is no longer viable given the amount of traffic in the area. 

So 40 years after it should have been built, the City of Fayetteville (NOT AHTD) is finally building a flyover, which should take some of the stress off the College & Joyce intersection and allow access to Mall Ave...at least until the area overgrows again.

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