After an evaluation process and reviewing public comments, the Arkansas State Highway Department has chosen a preferred alternative for a new connection from Interstate 40 to Arkansas 25 in Conway.
The chosen route, a 1.1-mile, $5.5 million project, has been identified as the alternative that "best meets the purpose and need of the project," AHTD said in a release. The cost of the project will be shared equally between the AHTD, the City of Conway and Faulkner County.
Officials say the chosen route, signified on project maps as the red route, is shortest in length, least expensive and will relocate the fewest residents, which is estimated at three homes in AHTD projections.
The other route, referred to as the yellow route, would have been a 1.3-mile, $6.5 million project. AHTD estimated the yellow route would have relocated seven homes.
The chosen route will extend north from the interchange at exit 124, cross both Blaney Hill and Friendship roads and tie into Arkansas 25 just north of Friendship Road, near Beaverfork Lake.
If chosen, the other alternative would have followed a route similar to the current Arkansas 25 route.
AHTD says a public hearing is will be held within the next few months to "provide more detailed information and give area residents another chance to comment on the project," the release states.
Officials say construction is "tentatively scheduled" to begin in 2015.
The AHTD's full release can be seen here.