ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR HIGHWAY 62 IMPROVEMENTS 

IN BENTON COUNTY COMPLETED

    LITTLE ROCK (10-3) 

     The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Highway 62 improvements between Avoca and Gateway in Benton County .

      After careful consideration of information contained in the EA and the comments received at the Location Public Hearing held on June 12, 2008, at Garfield , the AHTD, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, has identified the preferred route for the proposed project.  The project was divided into three sections for evaluation in the EA. 

      The Pea Ridge Section extends from the southern end of the study area located north of Avoca to immediately east of the Pea Ridge National Military Park .  Improvements in this section will be on existing Highway 62 from Avoca to near Pea Ridge National Military Park and on new location immediately south of the Pea Ridge National Military Park boundary.  Pea Ridge Section improvements will require acquisition of right of way from the National Park Service‚Äôs Pea Ridge National Military Park .  Coordination with the Pea Ridge National Military Park will be initiated during the design phase of the project to determine appropriate mitigation for the proposed right of way acquisition. 

        The Garfield Section extends from immediately east of Pea Ridge National Military Park to east of Garfield .  Improvements to this section will be on existing Highway 62 at the western and eastern ends, but on new location north of existing Highway 62 in Garfield .  Concerns for improving safety at the Garfield School by removing through traffic and avoidance of one structure eligible for the National Register of Historic Places were the primary reasons for selecting the new location alternative.

       The Gateway Section, which extends from east of Garfield to the north end of the study area at Highway 37 in Gateway, will be improved on existing Highway 62. 

       Proposed improvements will consist of four 12-foot travel lanes with an 11-foot painted median, 8-foot open shoulders and a 30-foot clear zone from the edge of outside travel lanes except in Gateway.  Within Gateway, proposed improvements will consist of four 11-foot travel lanes with curb and gutter and a 12-foot painted median to minimize the amount of right-of-way required. 

        The preferred alternatives for improvement were was selected in consultation with other agencies including the National Park Service, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and with consideration of public comments collected throughout the environmental review process.

        The next step in project development will be to conduct surveys, archeological investigation and reporting, and preliminary design.  Once the preliminary design is completed and the right of way limits are established, a Design Public Hearing will be held.  After comments from the Design Public Hearing have been addressed, the AHTD will request approval from the Federal Highway Administration in order to proceed with implementation of the proposed improvements as funds become available.

Avoca-Gateway NEPA Study - Benton County Map

 

 

    

 

    

 

 

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