A project to widen a small section of Bowman Road, a clogged thoroughfare west of Little Rock, will cost $4.8 million.
The figure was the lowest bid submitted by Paron’s Boyles Construction for the project to widen three lanes of one-third of a mile sections of Bowman Road between Kanis Road and Cherry Laurel Drive.
The project will also make improvements to an even smaller section of Kanis Road from Bowman Road to Cherry Brook Drive.
The offer must be approved by the Little Rock board of directors before construction can begin, likely by July, according to Randy Boyles, owner of Boyles Construction.
The offer was “within the engineer’s latest estimate of the total cost of the project, so we are within range of getting that price,” said Mike Hood, who is the director of the civil engineering division of the city public works department.
Assuming the project begins, it will bring the amount of work the city has spent on the Kanis Road corridor between South Shackleford and South Bowman roads since 2018, when the city council awarded the first of the four contracts.
This first contract, worth $4.2 million, widened Kanis to five lanes between South Shackleford and Autumn roads. A $1.25 million contract completed the widening between Autumn and Bowman Roads.
A third contract worth $2.95 million expanded Kanis to three lanes between Cherry Brook Drive and Gamble Road. City officials acknowledged this week that the work is under review and will likely need to be redone to some extent after drivers complained of jarring ride on the new sidewalk.
Boyles Construction knows the corridor well, having completed the $1.25 million contract.
“We’ve done a lot of work for the city,” Boyles said Thursday. “It’s one of the biggest jobs in town.”
City officials say the latest project is aimed at reducing congestion at the intersection, which sees backups during morning and afternoon commutes, particularly approaching the intersection on Bowman by South.
Approximately 13,000 vehicles travel daily on Bowman south of Kanis. Traffic is expected to increase to more than 16,000 vehicles per day “when all currently zoned and approved multi-family developments are built,” according to the $2 million grant application for the project the city won from Metroplan, along – transportation planning agency for central Arkansas.
“Land use on Bowman between Kanis Road and [Colonel Glenn Road] has experienced significant growth over the past decade, particularly with the development of thousands of new multi-family apartments throughout the corridor,” the document states. “The improvements at Bowman are critical to the long-term growth of this area in a safe and efficient manner.”
The project will widen the Bowman section to five 11-foot lanes. It will include curbs and gutters and sidewalks on each side. It will also feature a three- to four-foot-tall retaining wall at points along the east side of the project, Hopkins said.
Various crews moved utility lines in the project area.
The city, according to the grant document, estimated that acquiring a right-of-way would cost $1.8 million. The city bought out Bowman Road Beverage, a liquor store that once stood on the southeast corner of the intersection.
A limited liability company acquired additional property on site for over $2 million as well as ownership of the liquor store.