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Oak Street widening on Council agenda

Posted: January 13, 2014 - 6:11pm

Conway officials plan to widen Oak Street downtown where it meets Harkrider Street, and will have to get property from the Walgreen’s store to do so.

The Conway City Council will decide on Tuesday whether to begin condemnation proceedings to get about 3,300 square feet of Walgreen’s property needed for the project, which is expected to start this month and be wrapped up by the end of March. The piece of property in question is a strip of parking lot at the southwest corner.

Using an estimate that the city will pay $77,000 for about 3,300 square feet of Walgreen’s property, the overall project is budgeted at $177,000. The $77,000 includes $11,000 to remove and replace the Walgreen’s sign.

When completed, there will be another eastbound “through lane” and the roadway will veer slightly to the north, giving more traffic clearance for the south leg of the downtown entryway arch.

The city may exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn properties for public use pursuant to the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment takings clause. The property owner must be provided just compensation, which is measured by the difference in value of the property immediately before and after the taking. The city’s appraisal is a difference of $77,000, but Walgreens can be expected to provide its own appraisal.

The Conway Street Department has been in contact with a Walgreen’s corporate lawyer. Jack Bell, city chief of staff, said that he didn’t expect there to be any problems or controversies with the project.

As planned, Walgreen’s will not lose any parking spaces; its parking lot will just be a little narrower at the southwest corner. The widening will also create four new curbside parking spaces on Oak Street across from the Chamber of Commerce.

In other business, the council will consider:

• An agreement with Faulkner County Senior Citizens, Boys & Girls Club of

Faulkner County and FCCDD for transportation services;

• Nominations for the Conway Tree Board and for the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board;

• Waiving the temporary fencing fees for property located at 912 Front Street;

• Requesting that the Faulkner County Tax Collector to place a certified lien on certain

properties as a result of incurred expenses by the City;

• Setting a public hearing to discuss the closing of a portion of South Baridon Street in

Bear’s Den Subdivision;

• Setting a public hearing to discuss the closing of an alley running west to east in the R.L.

Hayes Addition Block 3 (815 4th Avenue);

• A rent subsidy in conjunction with the Conway Western Arterial Loop Project (Baker Willis Parkway);

• Approving 2014 Street Improvement Projects for the Conway Street Department;

• Accepting & appropriating funds from Faulkner County for GIS per interlocal agreement with the Planning and Development Department;

• An ordinance amending the notification requirements for conditional use permits, zoning

amendments, and zoning variance requests for the Planning and Development Department;

• An ordinance amending the Conway Zoning Ordinance to require child care facilities to seek a

conditional use permit in all office zoning districts;

• An ordinance to rezone property located at the southwest corner of Prince Street and Farris Road (963 & 975 Farris Street and 2515 & 2525 Prince Street from O-1, O-2, and R-1 to C-2.

• a request from Kum & Go for a conditional use permit to allow gas pumps for property located at 963 & 975 Farris Road and 2515 and 2525 Prince Street;

• Accepting annual bids for green and blue carts for the Sanitation Department;

• An ordinance appropriating funds for the fitness facility membership for City Employees and retirees

for FY2014.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached by email at joe.lamb@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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Oakstreetwalker 01/14/14 - 07:19 am

This is a much need project. I hope the city moves forward with it.

Lilly03 01/14/14 - 09:02 am

Would we even need this small section of widening to happen if the new 'gateway to the city' had not been put there.
Let's put up a gate that makes the road smaller then spend lots of money to make the road wider to fit.

ucantbserious 01/14/14 - 09:11 am

Brilliant city planning strikes again!

conwaygerl 01/14/14 - 09:14 am
Can we

Sell the tree to pay for the expansion?

ucabear09 01/14/14 - 02:46 pm
Still Wondering

I'm still wondering what kind of cars they expect to travel side by side in these lanes underneath the "Almighty Archway". I guarantee 2 full size pickups won't. Maybe if you are driving a Prius or subcompact.

And yes I agree, send that defective tree back to Get Lit for a refund.

Log Vader
Log Vader 01/14/14 - 07:56 pm

Conway just needs to nuke Oak Street and start all over. Preferably with 8 lanes.

Snuffy012150 01/17/14 - 11:24 am
Light Timing

First of all, Conway Corp manages the traffic control lighting once the State Dept. of Highway and Transportation approves and releases traffic lights that are located on State and US Hwys. If my memory serves me correctly, the City paid a professional traffic study company to come into Conway, just a few short years ago, study the traffic flow, and adjust the timing on the traffic lights to greatly improve the flow of traffic. This cost SEVERAL thousand dollars. The last time I drove the speed limit on Oak / Hwy 64E from Locust St. to the eastern city limits, I hardly ever got stopped by a light. Yeah, right ! So, that was some more money well spent, or maybe the study was never done, or maybe the professionals got to town, laughed, and left. While writing this, I've had an epiphany ! Let's add many more curb cuts on E. Oak St. That will solve it. An after thought, I sure hope they're planning some type of overpass to get from the new shopping center at the old airport over I40 to Conway Commons. I guess the planners will just funnel the traffic from there around to E.Oak St.. Then they could put a roundabout at 1st. Ave. with Christmas tree in the middle. Bet you could see it from the interstate !

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