IZARD COUNTY — Hwy. 354 from Horseshoe Bend to Oxford will soon receive chip and seal, approximately 9.5 miles, to provide a new wearing surface for the highway.
According to Tim Dunlap, District 5 Maintenance Engineer with the Arkansas Department of Transportation, the work consists of spraying a layer of oil over the surface and then spreading small aggregates, or chips, on to the roadway. This will seal cracks in the asphalt. There are five other locations in other counties that will also be sealed.
“Work should begin in mid-July and continue until all projects are complete, some time in August,” said Dunlap. The work will be performed by the District 5 sealing crew, after the Izard County maintenance crew prepares the roadway by repairing pot holes. District 5 consists of Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Sharp, Stone and White Counties.
Additional roadwork has been approved by the Arkansas State Highway Commission for improvements to roadways in Franklin, Melbourne and Mount Pleasant.
Road projects include resurfacing 2.6 miles of selected sections of city streets in Franklin, S. Main, Military Road and N. Main. In Melbourne, 2.1 miles will be resurfaced including Knob Creek Road and Jumbo Road, and in Mount Pleasant 1.3 miles, Ash Trail, Pearl Drive/School Street, Barren Fork Road, Reeves Street/Circle Drive and McSpadden Drive.
Atlas Asphalt, Inc. of Batesville was awarded the contract at $643,867.76.
Construction is to begin in two to four weeks. Drivers are reminded to be attentive when traveling.


by Carrie Johnson
On Thursday, January 5 at approximately 7 a.m., an SUV attempted to pass a stopped bus and struck a child causing minor injuries.
Tyler Little, age 28 of Mount Pleasant, was headed south on State Highway 69 in Mount Pleasant, South Main Street near the intersection of West Road and Pearl Drive, in a 2015 black Jeep Grand Cherokee. Little struck a pedestrian, a seven year old child, that was crossing the highway to board a Melbourne Public School bus driven by Angela Fleming.
Izard County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Rusty Ford, Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley and Lt. Charles Melton responded to the scene.
According to Melton’s narrative, “He [Little] stated he was heading south on Highway 69 and the bus was heading north with its yellow lights on, but that it did not have its stop sign or yellow arm out. He said he looked up from the bus and the little boy ran right in front of him.”
When Deputies left the scene of the accident, Melton went to Melbourne Public School to speak with Fleming. “She stated she was stopped with her red lights and stop sign flashing…”
Izard County Deputy Matt Churchwell interviewed several older children that were passengers on the school bus when the accident occurred. According to the report given by Melton, three minor witnesses gave reports which stated that Fleming did in fact have the stop sign flashing, and the black vehicle did not stop.
Little was charged with passing a stopped school bus and first degree assault. He has a February 2 court date.
The minor child struck by Little’s vehicle was transported by Vital Link and Survival Flight to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and was treated for minor injuries. Neither Little nor his minor child passenger sustained injuries.

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