Hardy making headway on improvement projects
If you’ve driven or walked through Loberg Park in Hardy recently, you may have noticed some changes.
According to Mayor Jason Jackson, the city has been steadily working to make improvements. Following his appointment to the position of Mayor, Jackson had a list of things he wanted to accomplish; a list, which is steadily changing as projects come to completion.
One of the projects on the list included taking steps to make the bypass in Hardy safer. In years past, multiple accidents have taken place. Rather than adding guard rails to prevent trucks and cars from landing on the railroad tracks. The city worked with the highway Department to take more preventative measures by adding signage and rumble strips to the roadway.
“The highway department took a few months and there were a lot of negotiations between the highway department and railroad,” Jackson said. “We came to an agreement where we will pick up part of the tab on it and place flashing lights with another grant we’ve received. They did the rumble strips and signage and that’s in place and time will tell on that how well it works. It’s got to be better than what it was.”
Another project taking place is a boat launch in Loberg Park, which will allow tourists, campers and locals a place to launch canoes, kayaks and rafts with ease.
Work on the project began the first week in June and the first phase has since been completed.
Other projects include new bathroom facilities, sidewalks and a helipad for emergencies.
“We’ve acquired new restrooms. The building has central heat and air, 12 stalls and granite counter tops. We’ll have them in working order in the next couple of weeks” Jackson said.
He also said he hopes to be able to begin replacing the sidewalks later this fall, however the success of the project will depend on the support of BNSF. Jackson explained that many storeowners will chip in financially for the purchase of the concrete and the city will do the work, however; they will need assistance from the railroad in order to make it a reality.
“The sidewalks on Main Street have been a big project. What we’re focusing on right now; the storeowners are going to chip in and help pay for the concrete and the city will do the work and start replacing the sidewalks in the fall. We’re waiting on BNSF to know by the end of the month if they’ll help us so we can make this happen,” Jackson said. “Front Street is also on our list of projects.”
Jackson also noted the dirt work for the incoming helipad has also begun and is slated for completion within the coming weeks. Jackson said it has been made possible through the combined support of Survival Flight, the Spring River Ambulance Service, Entergy, Sharp County and more.
“When we were working with the rumble strips we got with the highway department about putting it [helipad] by the bypass. Which is better because most wrecks happen on the highway. All of the money to put it together has been donated,” Jackson said. “We’re looking good on that and the county is going to do all of the dirt work.”
Jackson said he anticipates projects in the future, and plans for upgrades to Front Street are at the top of his list. Paving the public parking lot, adding landscaping and more are among them.