City officials will officially break ground on the long-awaited College Avenue flyover bridge at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.
A brief ceremony is planned behind Red Robin restaurant at 695 Van Asche Dr. adjacent to the Fulbright Expressway. Parking is available in the vacant restaurant lot just east of Red Robin.
Once complete, the flyover will connect northbound College Avenue traffic to the Fulbright Expressway providing an alternative for drivers who normally make a U-turn at Joyce Boulevard to access the expressway and I-540.
Chris Brown, city engineer, said the new bridge should held reduce traffic congestion the intersection of Joyce Boulevard. According to recent traffic studies, 25 percent of left-lane drivers on College Avenue make a U-turn at Joyce Boulevard. During peak hours, that’s about 300-400 cars, said Brown.
An exit ramp is planned directly west of Olive Garden restaurant to create a new entry point to the retail and dining areas near the Northwest Arkansas Mall.
Construction will require partial lane closures on College Avenue and the Fulbright Expressway for several months. Officials said some complete closures of the roadways will occur, but only late at night and in intervals of about 30 minutes each.
Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc. will handle construction of the bridge and roadway improvements, Jacobs Engineering, Inc. will provide construction management and inspection services, and SourceGas, Inc. will relocate a gas main.
The project is expected to be complete by mid-2014.