The five-way intersection at South College Avenue, Archibald Yell Boulevard and Rock Street is now fully open to traffic, just south of downtown Fayetteville.
The intersection along with parts of South College and Rock had been closed for nearly a year as part of a series of improvements to Archibald Yell. All previously closed areas were open as of early Thursday morning.
The multi-phase project includes a redesign of the road and features a complete overhaul of the five-way intersection.
Southbound traffic now has a dedicated left-turn lane for drivers headed east onto Rock Street. A second left-turn lane is included farther south for traffic turning onto South College Avenue. The previous intersection did not include any dedicated turn lanes.
An island separates the two left-turn options to provide some pedestrian refuge for people crossing Archibald Yell.
As part of the work, Archibald Yell was reduced from four lanes to three lanes, and will eventually include a traffic signal and pedestrian crossing at South Street. A striped buffer on the north side of the road separates vehicles from people who are walking or riding bikes.
The City Council last year approved a $2.99 million contract with Benchmark Construction of NWA, Inc. for the project. The work is being funded from the transportation bond issue that voters approved in 2019, along with about $300,000 from the city’s water and sewer fund.
Archibald Yell Boulevard will soon be officially known as Nelson Hackett Boulevard. The City Council in September voted 7-1 to rename the street in honor Hackett, an enslaved man who fled Fayetteville in 1841 in search of freedom. The change is set to go into effect on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.