Crowd moves Council to table Raymar Road proposal

By Jamie Miller

Many citizens were present to voice their opinions about the hot topic issue on the[more] November City Council meeting agenda, Tuesday night, the Raymar Road South construction.

Bryant Boy Scout Troop 17 began the meeting by leading the attendants in a public prayer, followed by the presentation of the colors, and Pledge of Allegiance. After the council approved minutes from previous October meetings, Mayor Jill Dabbs, asked the board to suspend the rules and allow the public to address the council with comments regarding the issues at hand before the department heads gave their reports and before they started the official agenda.

Jacobs Engineering was recently hired by the City of Bryant to construct a study on some different routes throughout Bryant that would help relieve congestion from interstate 30 as well as Reynolds and Alcoa roads during peak traveling hours. After several public hearings on the matter and listening to comments from the community, Jacobs made a decision and chose, what is labeled as, Alignment 3 as the most appropriate route for the project’s needs.

There were other options that were more costly, around $17 million, and they impacted more individuals and their properties. The Raymar Road South that is being proposed only cost around $12.3 million to construct and only indirectly effects property owners.

Several citizens of Bryant stepped up to voice their concerns over the Raymar Road South construction that may have a negative impact on some personal properties. Sylvia Adams, a Johnswood Road resident, expressed her concerns that if a four-lane highway was built near or through her property, that it would decrease her property value. She asked the board to please not make a decision on the issue right away but, instead, to table it for discussion at future meetings.

Shirley Morgan, a Bryant resident for nearly 40 years, asked for the crowded courtroom to take a vote by proposing the question of who would want a four-lane highway running through their yard? The crowd was vastly in favor of finding an alternate route.

After several other citizens said their piece about the issue, the Council took a vote of 5-3 in favor of tabling the issue until future meetings.

Announcements included the Boys and Girls Club Gala on Saturday, Dec. 3, and the Bryant Christmas parade, Thursday, Dec. 1.

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