Editor, The Commercial:

This notice is to update the community on the progress of the Highway 190/West 6th Avenue project which is a collaboration with the Pine Bluff community, Arkansas State Highway Commission and the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation.

As you may recall, we made a request in 2006 for the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation to widen Franklin Street, Interstate 530 to 6th Avenue. In addition, the request included widening 6th Avenue, Franklin Street to Highway 79B and to add curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.

Furthermore, the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation decided to make improvements to Ohio Street, and 11th Avenue to Harding Avenue. The improvements consist of minor widening to construct curbs and gutters, to add sidewalks where needed, and widen the Harding Drain Bridge. We received a written notice of approval dated March 8, 2017.

The City of Pine Bluff has agreed to accept ownership upon completion of the projects. We wish to thank the City of Pine Bluff for their acceptance of these projects at no cost to the city or to the citizens. The estimated cost of these projects is $7.3 million dollars.

It has truly taken a village for this project to be successful. Therefore, in addition to the support of the City of Pine Bluff, we want to recognize and thank the Director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Mr. Scott E. Bennett, the members of the Arkansas State Highway Commission, retired District #2 Engineer Mr. James House, Former District #2 Engineer Mr. David Henning, Current District #2 Engineer Mr. Derick Wyatt, Mr. Larry Reynolds, Director of the Southeast Arkansas Planning Commission, and Arkansas State Rep. Vivian Flowers and all other individuals involved in making this project come to fruition.

Furthermore, we want to extend our gratitude to Alderman Steven Mays, Alderman Bruce Lockett, Alderwoman Thelma Walker, former Alderman George Stepps, former Alderman Glen Brown Sr., who assisted in raising this issue to the Pine Bluff City Council. Also, we want to thank Ms. Yvonne Humphrey and her staff at the Jefferson County Assessor’s office. Lastly, we appreciate the support of community member Ms. Anita Russell and community member Ms. Diane Whitaker who helped with the community petition and Ms. JoAnna Miller.

These individuals exemplify leadership and commitment to public service. Thank you all for your support!

Earl and Ora Mays,

Pine Bluff