A town meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Manila City Hall for discussion of the routing of Highway 18.
The meeting is an opportunity for Manila and area citizens to give their opinions on the routing of Highway 18 through Manila when the highway is widened.
Some concerns and comments have been:
*Increasing traffic on 18, which is sure to increase even more with the widening, which should create more traffic between Blytheville and the Interstate and Jonesboro.
*School buses turning on Davis Street from Highway 18.
*Traffic to the school, post office, and businesses downtown, turning off of the current Highway 18 on Davis, Dunkin, and Baltimore on the south. Rerouting Highway 18 south on Highway 77 and then east on County Road 346 would make it safer and easier for the local traffic.
*Relocation of utilities along Highway 18.
*27 homes on the south part of Highway 18, also Fleeman Street, some of which may need to be moved, along with the utilities. Also affected would be the south entrance to Tipton's Addition with a total of 39 homes.
*Hamilton's Grocery and Heritage Bank would have a better and safer traffic pattern for their customers if Highway 18 is rerouted to the south of Manila.
*Encroachment on the Herman Davis State Park. The park is small and several feet taken for Highway widening would be a meaningful percentage of the total park.
Mayor Melvin Brown urges all Manila and area citizens to come to the meeting and be heard if they have any comments they would like to make on the routing of Highway 18 when it is widened.