U.S. 79

Louisiana is reworking a stretch of U.S. 79.

The bid for work on a stretch of Louisiana highway familiar to South Arkansas residents who have driven to Houston has been announced by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

The $8.2 million project was awarded to Best-Yet Builders, LLC, and stretches from the Texas state line at Bethany, LA to the U.S. 80 intersection in Greenwood.

Many South Arkansas travelers go to East Texas and Houston by turning off Interstate 20 at Greenwood for Bethany. Once across the Texas line they drive to Carthage and connection with U.S. 59 for Houston.

Nearly 7 miles of U.S. 79 will undergo a patch, mill, and overlay, as well as shoulder stabilization. Patching prior to the mill and overlay addresses more severely damaged portions and greatly prolongs the service life of the roadway.

Additionally, the busy intersection of U.S. 79 and U.S. 80 in Greenwood, which services approximately 23,900 vehicles per day, will see significant improvements in the form of concrete “white topping.” White topping is a method that uses a layer of concrete bonded to the asphalt underneath to form a more durable roadway surface in areas that experience heavy traffic volume.

Also, as part of this project, approximately 70 trees that currently sit in the state right-of-way “clear zone” will be removed. The clear zone is an unobstructed, traversable roadside area that allows a driver to stop safely, or regain control of a vehicle that has left the roadway.

These trees pose a safety hazard based on crash data.

The contractor has begun removing some of the smaller trees. All of the trees in the clear zone will be specially marked for removal.

The entire project is expected to be complete in late Spring 2020, with progress always dependent on weather conditions.

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