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Military Rd. construction continues

A construction project on Military Road in Benton continues to cause concern for people who live and work in the area.
A construction project on Military Road in Benton continues to cause concern for people who live and work in the area.

Benton Mayor David Mattingly says so many complaints are coming into his office, he met with the construction company and the project manager to find out why a project that started two years ago now might not be complete for another year.

Benton businesses and drivers dealing with the construction along Military Road in Benton say very little progress is being made. Pastor David Brewer of Foursquare Church calls it a boulevard to nowhere.

The church was first hit by water and sewer lines cut by the construction crews two years ago. Brewer says this road is nothing but problems. "We've had to move the front door of the church. That cost us about $20,000."

The new road comes just about 15 feet from the old entrance. Brewer says a child ran out the front door and would have been in the second lane of traffic just as construction was starting.

Mayor Mattingly is trying to get to the bottom of why the project is taking so long. One major obstacle is the soil underneath the surface is bad. Crews are reinforcing the earth with gravel which is costing extra time and money.

People complain evening rush hour is the worst for construction backing up traffic. Drivers say sometimes traffic is at a standstill for more than 30 minutes, and drivers are confused where to turn in to businesses.

Brewer says just the other day a lady was trying to get across the street to Creative Carpet were crews are digging the street up. The woman pulled into the church's driveway to turn around, and rolled down her window to ask how to get across the street. Brewer says he told her, "Ma'am, I don't think you can get there from here."

Originally expected to be complete this year, the construction deadline got pushed to 2013, but could take longer depending on inclement weather.

Mayor Mattingly says the construction company and project manager have paving goals set for November, but it's all tentative weather pending.
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