Final hearing today as $631.7M project to remake I-30 over Arkansas River gets closer to start


Photographs by Staton Breidenthal

FILE — The Interstate 30 bridge over the Arkansas River is shown in this 2014 file photo.

An Arkansas River crossing that began as a ferry service helping remove tens of thousands of American Indians over 10 years in the 19th century is on the cusp of a $631.7 million construction project that will allow it to carry tens of thousands of modern commuters a day well into the 21st century.

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Abouttime says...

So about 1/3rd of the $1.8 billion road construction program that all Arkansans pay for regionally significant projects is being spent on the 30 Crossing?

Posted 12 July 2018, 7:09 a.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

@Abouttime: Not all the funding for 30 Crossing is coming from the sales tax. Still, a significant chunk of the sales tax money was intended for 30 Crossing from the beginning; it IS "regionally significant" because I-30 downtown is used by people going between several parts of LR and ALL parts of the state, especially Central Arkansas communities north of the river as close as NLR, Sherwood & Jacksonville. It's NOT the "tunnel to Cabot" its detractors claim it to be.

Posted 12 July 2018, 8:07 a.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

Guys like Tom Fennell are the ones wasting taxpayers' money by forcing ARDOT to evaluate a hare-brained "boulevard" idea that WILL NOT WORK in this location. They even twisted MY past comments here on Pine Bluff's Martha Mitchell "Expressway" into a justification for their idea, when in fact it proves why you DO NOT build a boulevard (essentially what Martha Mitchell is, why I always put "Expressway" in quotes) where a freeway is needed. To NLR, Sherwood & Jacksonville, "30 Crossing" doesn't JUST mean I-30; it means "shoulda been done 30 years ago!"
Where they SHOULD be fighting ARDOT (and NLR) is over Riverfront Drive, where their illegal scheme to give a state highway to the city (in direct violation of ARDOT statutes), sell part of its right-of-way to developers, and close two of its four lanes for parking PREVENTS the potential use of Riverfront to divert *both* NLR Broadway traffic away from Argenta *and* Cantrell/LaHarpe traffic away from the River Market. THAT is the true equivalent of the Portland, Ore. I-5 project Fennell keeps citing (NOT a boulevard, but also unworkable on I-30).

Posted 12 July 2018, 8:29 a.m. Suggest removal

theaverageman says...

I'm all for improvements for I-30 such as replacing the bridge and improving the interchanges, but what I'm not for is making it 10 lanes. If commuting was such a problem why not look at alternative routes or other methods of transportation like completing the North Belt freeway, building a new bridge somewhere upstream or a commuter transit(bus rapid or rail). It's a shame that ARDOT wasted nearly all the half cent sales tax money that was supposed to go toward FOUR lane highways and improving FOUR lane highways but instead wasted the majority of that money on this when majority of people I spoke to don't want 10 lanes. The people who voted for this half cent sales tax 6 years ago should be outraged right now because ARDOT bamboozled the voters.

Posted 12 July 2018, 9:38 a.m. Suggest removal

Abouttime says...

See, @matrodmorganyahoocom,some see this as just one example of our state government’s notorious reputation for bait & switch. They tell us one thing but do something entirely different. (Thank you, Jon Woods!) And still they clamor, “we need more money, more money" to maintain 16,000 miles – or whatever – of roads! It’s our pitiful, corrupt state government working at its finest!

Posted 12 July 2018, 12:24 p.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

First, as I said before 30 Crossing was included in the sales tax proposal from the get-go; if you didn't realize it was in there, you weren't paying attention. Second, it's NOT about "what the people want" in ONE person's narrow circle (almost certainly limited to certain LR neighborhoods); it's about the NEEDS of the people AS A WHOLE. I bet if you asked the people of NLR, Sherwood & Jacksonville (not to mention Cabot), they would almost ALL be in favor of 30 Crossing because they LIVE with I-30 traffic jams daily!

Posted 12 July 2018, 2:58 p.m. Suggest removal

theaverageman says...

@RBBrittain the sales tax proposal never said it would be 10 lanes though, it said improvements to I-30 which it does need some but it doesn't need that many lanes for such a small city and it is about what the people want not just from little rock but all over the state. I know some people outside of little rock don't even like the proposal because it's too much. ARDOT is always bitching and moaning about how broke they are and I can see why now. Adding a bunch a lanes will only help in the short term not long term because it will only bring in more traffic, plus it will mean adding more lanes to connecting interstates just by looking at this proposal. Now I'm not in favor of freeways into boulevards, but I'm not in favor of adding a bunch of lanes just for peak hour traffic when we could be looking at other options other than forcing a bunch of people onto one road. One last thing, some of the projects from this CAP program ended up being delayed due to lack of funding but yet this is not one of them which brings me to some suspicion of how our tax dollars is being handled.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:55 p.m. Suggest removal

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