Has it ever happened to you when your plan to attend a special meeting or other event got knocked in the head by an unexpected -- call it a happening -- that made it impossible?
Such happened to the old 'cuffer who missed the Highway 59 meeting last week. He has been very interested in what might be in the coffers for consideration in the near future. I hope there will be a report on the meetings with the Highway Department (I still call it that) in the next Westside Eagle Observer, and I'll bet that quarter there will be a report.
I was thinking about reporting a little bit in this Sept. 13 paper, but this will just be a short bit of history of good old 59, and I hope there are going to be some improvements, even if there are no plans for a four-laner. That's expecting too much.
I would like to ask if the present activities are part of a report I made in the paper in March of 1989. That was the year that a Highway 59 improvement was revealed by the department with a "Minute Order," which is the first step in long-range plans. That "order" was for the highway improvements south from the Missouri state line to the Washington County line.
David Matthews, state representative at that time, wrote, "As you know, I have been urging the Highway Department for some time to make plans to widen and improve Highway 59 from the Missouri state line to the Washington County line." He was the representative who was very helpful in the improvement and widening of what is now Highway 72, which now has an exit west to 59 at Gravette, as well as an eastern exit toward Bentonville. Currently, there are hopes for an exit to Centerton.
Several years later, bridges in Sulphur Springs and near the state line were taken care of, and we're all now glad the two bridges in Decatur were finished (just 34 years later). But the passing areas on 59, both north and south of Decatur, would be a great improvement, as well as widening the shoulders on all of the state roads, 59, 72, 102, and 12, to name a few, And there are country roads which could stand having their shoulders widened; this includes paved and dirt.
That's enough, isn't it? I hope Decatur's celebration was a big success, both of weather and people. And speaking of weather ... well, that's also enough of that until next time. Tune in. There's something about patriotism that's wallowing around in that gray stuff. 'Till then.
Dodie Evans is the former owner and editor of the Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.