Southland Drive final phase nearing construction

Extension will connect MLK to 7th Street

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

The drive to connect Ingram Boulevard to the 7th Street has been slated for construction to start. West Memphis City Engineer Phillip Sorrell reported the updated status of the project to the Public Works Commission during board’s Jan. 5 meeting. The third and final phase of the long-running Southland Drive improvement and expansion will be laid out between the Southland facility and the greyhound kennels behind the facility, and head west to connect to the 7th Street extension. The junction on the west end of the new road will be near the big curve where 7th Street extends northwestward toward Highway 77. When phase three is finished, Southland Drive will serve as a northern connector in West Memphis, all the way from MLK Drive in the truck stop area to 7th Street. The new two-lane paved road is expected to relieve the service roads of some in-town traffic and spawn new business development in the farm and wetland area centrally located inside the northern city boundary. “We are taking bids Jan. 28,” said Sorrell. “We anticipate construction to start in mid-March.” The final phase for Southland Drive will open for traffic in October if crews meet projected construction deadlines. On hearing the news, city councilors connected the news to development possibilities. “That would be great if we could have the hospital right there when it comes through,” said Councilman Willis Mondy. “That’s right,” added Commission Chairwoman Ramona Taylor, “because you’ll have lots of opportunities for getting in and out.”

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