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Development Paused at Interchange as Conway Mulls Annexation

2 min read

Developers looking to capitalize on the southern interchange under construction in Conway should keep their options open.

Although the Conway Corridor project was first touted as a way to encourage more retail and office development, Conway city planners are exploring options that would allow them to limit development along the new corridor.

Right now, the southern interchange sits just outside the city’s territorial jurisdiction, so city leaders are looking into possibly annexing the area.

The idea is to limit development in an effort to move as much traffic as possible. Last year, the Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department counted a daily average of about 60,000 vehicles traveling between Conway and North Little Rock on Interstate 40.

By being cautious about development, city planners can make sure the interchange reflects the city’s design standards while restricting the number of cars fighting to get into the next fast food drive-through.

The people who live in the annexed area would be required to pay the city of Conway taxes for services such as fire, police and sanitation. State law requires a vote for annexation, but the population of the city would certainly outnumber the votes of those being annexed.

The city of Conway also has an exclusivity agreement with local utility company Conway Corp. For Conway Corp. to serve the area, the company would have to buy out Entergy Corp. of Little Rock by paying 314 percent of gross profits — basically three years of service plus lines and utility poles.

The planning department is also looking into the legality of regulating development by denying curb cuts and driveways on the city-owned road.

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