The new Arkansas 162 extension in Alma officially opened today.

The three-quarter-mile road with a bridge was created to make a safer and more efficient route across the Union Pacific railroad tracks to U.S. 64 in Alma. It will be the first time in 145 years that traffic flowing north and south in Alma will no longer be in jeopardy or delayed by a passing train, according to Alma Mayor Keith Greene.

A dedication was held in mid-July for the $9.6 million highway relocation. The road is named in honor of the late Marsha Woolly, a longtime Alma educator, principal and City Council member. Alma City Council members recently approved a resolution to name the Arkansas 162 bridge after the late Bill Blasingame, an Alma civic leader.