Addressing existing traffic needs while preparing for future commercial development in the vicinity was the catalyst for highway improvements at the interchange of Interstate 40, US Highway 65B and Dave Ward Drive (State Highway 286) in Conway, Arkansas; a town with a population of 65,300. In consideration of rising traffic counts and construction of the new Lewis Crossing shopping center near the interchange, the Arkansas DOT planned for a $9.4 million widening project. In addition, this project was planned to enhance access to adjacent properties, which provides for a more efficient transportation system in this area.
Project improvements included relocating and widening off-ramps of Interstate 40 at U.S. Highway 65B, widening one-half mile of Dave Ward Drive to four lanes and constructing two roundabouts on Dave Ward Drive in front of the shopping center. Although the roundabouts were built to accommodate three lanes of traffic, they have initially been striped for two lanes. As traffic counts increase over the years, the third lane can be utilized and highway improvements are expected to successfully handle rising traffic volumes throughout the area for years to come.