5th Street improvements in progress, city officials plan to host public meeting to discuss concerns

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — There’s a new widening project in El Dorado and some residents who live on this particular street believe their properties will be affected. City officials urge this is not the case.

“There’s a lot more traffic on this street that a lot of people realize and there’s about 4700 vehicles that come through here,” Public Work Director, Robert Edmonds said.

The city is calling the improvements on 5th Street between North College and Northwest Avenues much needed. However, the project has taken some heat from some in the the community even though it’s been discussed publicly since last September.

“A lot of people for whatever reason have been in the dark about what exactly is going to happen,” Mayor Vernonia Smith-Creer said. “We have received a lot of phone calls and we do want to make sure that the general public is informed about what’s going to happen.”

Currently construction workers are making new curbs and sidewalks and installing new gutters. Plus, there will be new pedestrian lighting to fill the streets.

Edmonds is calling it a benefit for the community as its a project that is “traffic mobility and safety combined”.

The Medical Center of South Arkansas and several homes sit on each side of the construction. City officials say this will make travel into the emergency room entry much easier for EMT’s.

Some residents say it’s about time there have been improvements while others expressed concern about what it will do their properties but Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer wants to assure the residents that their land will not be affected by the project.

“We’re not taking anyone’s property. Those things are there as markers for utilities to know what’s what,” she said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer weather permitting and the city isn’t expecting any road closures right now though it’s possible.

Edmonds says there are more improvement projects in other areas across town that are on the way.

There will be a public meeting Tuesday at 5:30 so city and hospital officials can address all concerns from the public. It will be held at the auditorium at 5:30 p.m. Social distancing protocols will be followed.

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