Funds approved to improve roads in Benton County at high risk of flooding
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – With numerous flash flood warnings lasting through tomorrow, first responders in Benton County are keeping a close eye on the roads.
Benton County’s Melody Kwok said the quorum court recently approved U.S. bailout funds for repairs to five roads in the county. Kwok said road departments will find ways to solve each road’s flooding problem by building bridges or installing better water drainage systems.
“We’ll have even less of those areas that are usually flooded and we’ll make them safer for people whenever it rains,” Kwok said.
Kwok said having the money to cross and repair roads instead of doing general repairs after weather strikes would also save money for the county.
While those in Benton County wait for the roads to be repaired, these problem areas will continue to be blocked off when the flooding gets bad enough, but just because barricades are on the roads doesn’t mean people will respect them.
Pamela Johnson lives near a low-water bridge outside Bentonville and said watching people try to cross water rushing down the road is just as entertaining as watching TV, and she said it doesn’t She doesn’t mind having to go to another side of town when the roads are blocked because she understands how dangerous it is.
“It’s amazing and then they’ll move the blockages because it’s an inconvenience for anybody to have to turn around, instead of being safe,” Johnson said.
Johnson said you can’t see the edges of the road when the water is rushing in, so she’s very worried about anyone who might run off the road.
“So even if your big truck can do it, someone’s Toyota Corolla might not,” said Michael Waddle of Benton County Emergency Management. “It only takes six inches of water to wash a small vehicle, so keep that in mind and don’t move or destroy any barricades that may be placed there.”
Both Johnson and Kwok are excited about the road improvements in Benton County, hoping it will solve many safety issues.
“We know more people are going to use these roads in the county as the county grows, as the cities grow,” Kwok said.