A battle is brewing in Saline County between community leaders who want to build a highway over an abandoned railroad bed and homeowners who say it would encroach on their property. It would provide another route connecting Benton and Little Rock.
Walking on a clear path where tracks once carried the trains of the Rock Island Railroad, Irene Thompson said, "Looking at it, it's unbelievable isn't it?" But she and her husband Tommy dread the thought of a highway being constructed on their property.
“If they build this highway in here then we’d have a straight shoot from Little Rock trouble to Benton trouble and we just really don’t want that kind of crap coming down here,” said Tommy Thompson.
The couple has lived there nearly half a century and bought a small stretch of the Rock Island right-of-way, which bordered their property, after the railroad went bankrupt and was shut down in 1980.