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Lawrence Road/Call Field Re-Alignment Project Nearing Completion

The Lawrence/Rhea Road re-alignment project is more than halfway done, and City officials said traffic should start flowing on the new stretch of Lawrence within a month.
For the past few months, traffic around Lawrence Road and Call Field has been a little hectic.

Crews began working on the re-alignment project in April, and that's when some businesses in the area said foot traffic through their doors began to decline.

"People try to avoid this intersection," said Clay Stockton, owner of Dickey's Barbeque Pit, "You talk and you hear it throughout the day. They try to avoid this intersection like the plague right now."

Some stores have even gone so far as to put up signs, letting customers know they're open.

"Our entrance was blocked off for some time, but we wanted to make sure that our customers know we're open for business and we're ready to serve them," said Jessica McGarry, the Store Manager at U.S. Cellular.

In addition to the re-alignment project being a "speed-bump" of sorts to sales, many business owners in the area said they're also concerned about people cutting through the parking lot to avoid the intersection at Lawrence in Call Field.

Some owners said many of their customers' safety could be put at risk, and people cutting through actually causes more congestion at busy times.

"On Sunday's we have kids eat free," said Stockton, "so we have a lot of families that come through here and I'll look outside and we'll have cars stacked 12 or 13 deep, and with the kids, it worries me a bit."

But those worries should soon be coming to an end.

Crews are working on installing traffic lights at the new intersection, as well as putting the finishing touches on what will be the new stretch of Lawrence Road.

City officials said once the lights are operational, traffic will be moved to the new lanes.

"We actually put a lot of language in these plan-sets to make sure we have the contractor out of this area before the big shopping holidays occur," said Blane Boswell, and City Engineer and Project Manager.

That's good news for area business owners, who said they can't wait for traffic to flow freely once again.

"At the end of the day," explained Stockton, "it's going to be wonderful for everybody traveling through this side of town."

Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

Once the the traffic is moved to the new section of Lawrence, crews will begin work on demolishing the old part of Lawrence Road.

Blane Boswell said the roughly 25,000 square foot piece of land left behind will be sold to the highest bidder
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