More than two years in the making, the $28.8 million expansion project of Jenny Lind Road and Ingersoll Avenue in Fort Smith should be fully complete by the end of August.
With wider access and a straight shortcut between U.S. 71 and U.S. 271, the road work may relieve truck traffic on Zero Street as the former Whirlpool facility grows as a distribution center for several businesses.
Wide sidewalks along the roads that are near the Boys and Girls Club are also part of the improvement.
“It should be completed by the end of August,” City Engineering Director Stan Snodgrass said Wednesday. “Money-wise we will be OK. It’s all shaping up.”
Trucks for ABB, formerly known as Baldor, as well as FFO Home, Mars Petcare and Carman Inc. also regularly use the roads that formerly had a dog-leg to maneuver.
Weather delays and working around water and sewer lines set the expansion project back by about four months, Snodgrass said. City directors approved the $28.8 million contract in February 2016 with the only bidder, Fort Smith-based Forsgren Inc., coming in $2.4 million below the engineers’ estimate.
The project was initially expected to be completed by April.
Steve Forsgren of Forsgren Inc. said Wednesday most of the construction work has been done and they are in the process of getting things ready for subcontractor Time Striping of Van Buren to lay down the center and edge lines.
“We’re just tying up loose ends,” Forsgren said.
Grant Smith, a production manager with Time Striping, said it will take four to five days to lay the road lines once Forsgren gives them the green light to go. “Detail work,” Smith said, includes putting in the crosswalk zones.
Forsgren said the company is expected to come in about $3 million under budget.