Sain Street extension to connect Joyce Boulevard and Fulbright Expressway

Map: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

A longterm plan to address traffic problems in north Fayetteville is moving into the next phase.

City Council members are expected to accept $320,000 in federal funds next week to help design an extension of Sain Street, a project that will eventually provide an easier route between Joyce Boulevard and the Fulbright Expressway.

It’s the fourth in a series of major projects aimed at improving accessibility to the developing land in the economic development corridor between Interstate 49 and the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

Other projects included a completed roundabout at Futrall Drive and Northhills Boulevard, the recently-opened flyover ramp on North College Avenue, and the in-progress extension of Van Asche Drive between Gregg and Garland avenues.

The quarter-mile Sain Street extension will continue east near Panera Bread and connect with Vantage Drive near Joyce Boulevard. The plan is to eventually connect Sain Street to the flyover ramp for westbound drivers looking to enter the Fulbright Expressway or exit into the Mall Avenue and Shiloh Drive by Olive Garden. An new exit lane from the Fulbright Expressway would give eastbound traffic direct access to Sain Street.

The project is made possible by Federal-aid Surface Transportation Program-Attributable (STP-A) funds that became available when Northwest Arkansas was classified as a Transportation Management Area – an area with an urbanized population of over 200,000 – following the Census Bureau’s most recent count.

The estimated $8-10 million project is expected to be 80 percent funded by federal money, with the city footing the remainder of the bill.

Chris Brown, city engineer, said design of the project could take several years.