Crews in Desha County are working on improvements to the Arkansas 4 Spur in Arkansas City that will increase drainage in the downtown area, according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT.)

Due to a lack of ditches in some areas and older pipes in other areas that were plugged or in a state of collapse, water wasn’t draining as it should along the Spur route, according to a news release.

“There was an issue with standing water on Kate Adams Avenue on both sides of the street,” said Bryan Swinny, ARDOT District 2 construction engineer. “The problem area extended seven blocks, from Sprague Street northeast to County Road 43 at the levee.”

This summer, crews have making improvements along the route that will eventually provide a uniform and well-draining ditch section, according to the release.

“New side-drains and cross-drains have been installed where needed and other existing drains have been cleaned out,” Swinny said. “Crews have also established some new ditches and improved grading on existing ditches where needed.”

Highway Commissioner Robert Moore Jr. is from Arkansas City.

“The highway improvements taking place in Arkansas City will be of benefit to motorists visiting this historic city,” Moore said. “With the new Delta Heritage Trail State Park opening downtown we expect an increased number of visitors and these improvements will serve the area well.”

Installation of the new drainage pipes is complete and final ditch grading is underway. Work is scheduled to be completed by mid-October.

Drivers should exercise caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones. Additional travel information can be found at or or on Twitter @myARDOT.