The Sebastian County Quorum Court may add $1 million to a state highway upgrade project.

Justices of the peace heard an executive report from County Judge David Hudson on Tuesday on the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department's plan to upgrade the Arkansas 45 corridor from Zero Street to U.S. 71. The state has allocated $10 million to the project subject to a matching contribution of $5 million from local governments.

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"... The city of Fort Smith and the county had planned on $4 million from the city of Fort Smith and $1 million from the county, and that would make the total of the $15 million upgrade," Hudson said. 

Hudson's report states Sebastian County passed a resolution to install a traffic light at the intersection of Arkansas 45 and Planters Road in 2003. However, state engineers evaluated the project and determined that additional turn lane access was needed, as well as additional land and utility relocation, including fiber optic lines. This resulted in the cost of the traffic light project to escalate by several hundred thousand dollars and no action being taken. 

"The county is still committed to the traffic light, but this overall project will encompass the traffic light and then all of the other changes as well," Hudson said.

Chad Adams, district 4 engineer for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said the highway project will also include widening.

JPs voted to have Hudson put a resolution on the agenda for the Sebastian County Quorum Court meeting in May. A resolution of support from local governments for the project is required before it can proceed, Hudson said.

The Quorum Court also adopted an emergency ordinance to amend County Ordinance 2017-8 to adopt revisions to the fire districts assigned portions of the former Jenny Lind Fire District. These include the Greenwood rural, EMP, Whitebluff/Rye Hill and Bonanza city/rural fire districts. 

The next Sebastian County Quorum Court meeting will take place May 16.