The project is expected to begin in March 2020, beginning in the 790 block of Highway 25, which is located between the city limits of Guy and Quitman, just northeast of New Home Road. The project continues over the county line and extends to the intersection of Highway 5 in Heber Springs.

Marissa Hicks

Log Cabin Democrat

A safety improvement project along Highway 25 is set to start in 2020, beginning in the 790 block of Highway 25 and spanning across Cleburne County.

The project is expected to begin in March 2020, beginning in the 790 block of Highway 25, which is located between the city limits of Guy and Quitman, just northeast of New Home Road. The project continues over the county line and extends to the intersection of Highway 5 in Heber Springs.

The overall scope of the project includes adding rumble stripes, constructing elevation adjustments, improving watershed and adding two left-turn lanes along the highly-traveled highway.

“At the very beginning of the project, we have super-elevation adjustments,” Mary Pearson with the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s (ArDOT) environmental division said Monday night.

ArDOT representatives held an informational meeting that was open to the public from 4-7 p.m. Monday at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Guy. Representatives were onsite to answer any questions residents had about the approaching Highway 25 project. The main focus behind the planned improvements is safety, Pearson said.

“That’s why [crews will be] working on the shoulders, working on the slope of the roadway,” she told the Log Cabin Democrat. “They’re increasing the slope of the roadway and [increasing] super-elevation, to help keep cars on the road. Basically, this has to do with improving safety — keeping cars on the roads and minimizing crashes.”

Taylor Clark, one of ArDOT’s design engineers, said two sites —

one at the head of the project in Faulkner County and the other near the intersection of Highways 5 and 25 in Cleburne County — will feature super-elevated improvements. This design will greatly improve the flow of traffic in these higher-crash zones by increasing vehicles’ friction by creating a steeper, angled slope in the sharper curves at said locations.

Improvements
The Highway 25 safety improvement project is scheduled to begin in March 2020.

Officials said it should be completed within one year from the start date.

“Any time you enter a curve, obviously you have a chance of departing the roadway or crossing into the opposite lane,” Clark said. “With the super [zones], as it puts up, it helps give off friction and balances out [your vehicle]. It’s at an angle.”

This angle, he said, creates friction as the elevation along the edge of the curve increases, “which helps offset the force of the cars.”

“It helps to navigate curves more safely,” he said.

Along with increased friction, these zones also will have better watershed capabilities from the current design, Pearson said. Other locations (highlighted in red on the project map) also will feature watershed improvements.

“It’s a type of pavement application,” Pearson said of these zones. ”[The application] increases traction and also helps with watershed. It helps water run off the road quicker. It’s safer because it [allows] more traction for your vehicles and there is less water on the roadways.”

The super-elevated sites also will include “clear zones,” Clark said.

“Clear zones are on the outsides of the shoulder, [it’s] a flatter slope” he said. “It’s a traversable area for cars that depart the roadway.”


Left turn lanes will also be constructed at two locations along Highway 25 between Quitman and Heber Springs.

“A lot of people don’t realize that even by just putting in a simple left-turn lane, you remove a lot of conflict,” Clark said. “Others can bypass [those waiting to turn] and you don’t have others queuing up.”

Rumble stripes and new pavement markers will help better guide motorists through the area, Pearson said.

The heftiest portion of the project is constructing the turn lanes at the intersections of Highways 16 and 107, Pearson said, adding that the project should not take “more than one year” to complete.