Wedington Corridor Plan approved

The Wedington Corridor illustrative master plan envisions the growth of the 425-acre area along Wedington Drive, from Interstate 540 to Broyles Avenue.

Source: City of Fayetteville

City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved the Wedington Corridor Plan, setting the stage for possible future infrastructure improvements to the growing area west of Interstate 540.

The plan was created using input from 88 participants in a weeklong series of meetings last October designed to help city planners understand how residents envisioned future development of the area from I-540 west to Broyles Avenue.

Peter Nierengarten, the city’s director of sustainability and strategic planning, presents the Wedington Corridor Neighborhood Master Plan Tuesday evening.

Flyer photo

Residents said they wanted to see less traffic congestion, more neighborhood shops and better trail connectivity. The resulting plan was structured under four guiding principals:

1. Redefine Wedington Drive as Wedington Parkway
2. Envision the “heart” of the neighborhood along Rupple Road
3. Support active and public transportation options
4. Designate a north-south oriented “greenway” connected the Hamestring and Owl Creek watersheds

The plan envisions a three-lane roundabout at the I-540 interchange that would eliminate the two stoplights on the west side of the interchange and that includes a “jug handle” loop to replace the existing left turn for eastbound Wedington vehicles entering northbound I-540 traffic; a tree-lined median on the new Wedington Parkway, including new stoplights and fewer curb cuts; a library branch, community center, farmers’ market and junior high school off Rupple Road; and a separated side path on the north side of the I-540 overpass for pedestrians and cyclists.

Peter Nierengarten, the city’s sustainability and strategic planning director, said some residents have questioned the plan’s impact on businesses located along the corridor.

A recent letter he received from representatives of Ozarks Electric Cooperative expressed concern about possible limited access to their business if a median is built on Wedington Drive.

Nierengarten said while those concerns are valid, they should be addressed once specific plans are on the table, not during the visionary phase.

“This is just one vision for how the area could be developed,” he said.

Ward 4 Alderwoman Rhonda Adams agreed.

“We’ve got a lot of things to consider,” said Adams. “But we’re not going to have any plans that make it where a much-loved company in our city can’t get their trucks in and out.”

Conceptual renderings