By Nick Brothers
Say goodbye to taking u-turns on Joyce Boulevard.
City officials and the public gathered at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, July 2, to celebrate the opening of the Fayetteville 71B flyover bridge.
The flyover will allow drivers traveling northbound on Highway 71B to cross over the Fulbright Expressway and enter the area by the Olive Garden restaurant or to access the Fulbright expressway westbound to I‑540.
Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozeman, Congressman Steve Womack, Highway Commissioner Dick Trammel, Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce President Steve Clark were all in attendance to the ceremony. They spoke praise about the project and the group undertaking it was.
“This project just goes to show, if we work together we can move Arkansas forward,” Pryor said.
Many of the speakers also spoke about how this project signified a significant step forward for Northwest Arkansas.
“This is just another link in the chain that defines us as a community and a state,” Womack said.
Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. from Columbia, Mo., were the construction contractors for the flyover, and the project totaled about $6.3 million. The project was funded by an agreement of understanding with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department in which federal aid money paid 80 percent and the city paid 20 percent. The Federal portion was paid from the federal earmark received by the City of Fayetteville in the 2005 Highway Bill, and the city’s portion is paid from the Transportation Bond Fund.