A public involvement meeting was held in El Dorado this week regarding the widening of six miles of U.S. 82 from the west side bypass to the South Arkansas Regional Airport. This is part of the run-up to the start of construction in 2018. So we continue to see slow but steady progress of the four-laning of U.S. across South Arkansas. We expect work to start on the widening of U.S. 82 from the Shell Super Stop to the Arkansas 98 intersection west of Waldo in 2018, which should be the same time we’ll see the state bring out its plans for the highway widening from east of Magnolia to Arkansas 98 at Village for work starting in about 2020. It is possible that by 2026, drivers will have four lanes on U.S. 82 from the east side of El Dorado to the Red River Bridge.
We have our doubts that Interstate 69 will ever be completed through Arkansas and Louisiana in our lifetime. The work on U.S. 82 makes sense now. Interstates 10, 20 and 30 are heavily traveled and U.S. 82 could become an important secondary route – but only if the widening across South Arkansas takes place sooner than later.
We received an email from a guy who claims to be able to put us in touch with a franchise developer for a national pizza chain, who claims to be interested in Magnolia. Well, the company should be interested in Magnolia but we think we may be close to our limit with pizza restaurants. Someone could prove us wrong. If Main Street Pizza in El Dorado wants to open a franchise in Magnolia, well, we’d be all over it. But another big national chain, not so much.
Apologies for not having a column on Wednesday. We were under the weather.
The Magnolia Economic Development Commission will meet next Wednesday.
Five years ago, we reported that lawmen were searching for a missing Stamps man. An airplane carrying members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band and crew crashed on this date in 1977 near McComb, MS, taking the lives of six people include performers Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. Rapper Snoop Dogg was born on this date in 1971. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed on this date in 2011.