Construction leaves Fayetteville church isolated

July 11, 2013 8:04:20 PM PDT
A Fayetteville church says it is paying the price for progress.

Members of Mt. Moriah Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church say Interstate 295 construction has cut off entrances to the church from Jacobs and Jossie Streets. Members now have to drive through a neighborhood with lots of twists and turns.

» Click here for a Google map of the area. «

Pastor Geralene Williams says for the past 15 years the tiny Baptist church has been a sanctuary for lost sinners. Now she fears her church faithful are getting lost trying to find the church.

"We have had a lot of folks that tried to find it, but could never find the church," said Williams.

That's because construction on the I-295 bypass has parted their Eureka Springs neighborhood. Streets now begin and end on opposite sides of the construction zone. It's not just church members who are upset.

Don Campbell lives across the street from the church, and says what used to be a five minute commute to work, now takes half an hour.

"That's a problem cause if somebody needs an ambulance or police or anything it takes them having to come through there to get here," said Campbell. "It's chaos."

DOT project engineer Tracey Pittman says the change in traffic is going to take some getting used to. On Monday, construction crews will close another access street to through traffic.

After that happens there will be only one way into the community. It means motorist will have drive through a couple of neighborhoods with several twist and turns. The church puts up direction signs, but someone keeps pulling them up.

Associate Pastor Brian Williams says church members would like to have the state move them to another location.

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