U.S. Highway 71 resurfacing project expected in 2023

TEXARKANA - Local leaders met Tuesday afternoon at the Ark-Tex Council of Governments for a joint council meeting to discuss what needs to be done to improve State Line Avenue.

Right now, they're main focus is on traffic operations.

Crews are tentatively scheduled to begin resurfacing U.S. Highway 71 (State Line Avenue) in 2023.

Officials say the project could take about two years to complete.

There are about 27,000 of motorists who travel state line each day.

Local leaders say they'd like to see the roadway become a safer and more efficient gateway to the downtown area.

Arkansas and Texas transportation officials say their plan is to resurface the roadway from the interstate to the federal courthouse.

Both sides will share the cost of improvements.

District engineers for each state just recently announced they've been able to secure plans to fund the project.

Southbound lanes are in Texas and northbound lanes are in Arkansas.

"We have tourists that come into town. People that visit the courthouse and visit businesses downtown. We want to put our best look forward," said Mike Malone, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce President.

Local officials say they'd also like to see bike paths, sidewalks, better lighting, fewer billboards, more green space, and even slower speeds on the corridor.

The estimated cost to resurface State Line Avenue is about $20 million.

That's about $10 million from each state.

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