Groundbreaking set for Van Asche Drive extension

A car travels along Van Asche Drive east of Garland Avenue near the Johnson city limit.

Todd Gill, Flyer staff

City officials are set to break ground on the long-awaited extension of Van Asche Drive this week.

A brief ceremony is planned for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27 at the southeast corner of Highway 112 and Van Asche Drive. Parking is available in the adjacent Restaurant on the Corner parking lot.

The one-mile realignment and extension will create a straight connection from Garland to Gregg avenues, Plans include widening the existing two lane portion of Van Asche Drive to a four-lane boulevard from Garland to McGuire Avenue with the addition of a left-turn lane at the Garland intersection.

Once complete, drivers will have an easier time getting from Garland to the commercial district near the Northwest Arkansas Mall. Getting between the two areas is currently possible, but requires drivers to take a series of two-lane roads that wind back and forth through the Johnson city southern limit and an open field east of Interstate 540.

Street section designs call for five-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of Van Asche, and a 10-foot-wide multiuse trail on the south side of the street that’s separated from the roadway by 10 feet of planned green space.

The $4.5 million construction contract was awarded to APAC-Central, Inc., and will be paid for with the third phase of the $65.9 million transportation bond program voters approved in 2006. The contract has allotted approximately 15 months for the contractor to complete and open the roadway to traffic.

Here’s a closer look at the plans: