Thursday, April 26, 2012

Buddy Villines: Clip and save his Broadway Bridge prediction

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 6:33 AM

TEAR DOWN THIS BRIDGE: So says County Judge Buddy Villines.
  • 'TEAR DOWN THIS BRIDGE:' So says County Judge Buddy Villines.

KEEPING BUSY: George Fishers dam-building Corps of Engineers has worthy successor in Highway Dept.
  • KEEPING BUSY: George Fisher's dam-building Corps of Engineers has worthy successor in Highway Dept.
County Judge Buddy Villines, sometimes possessed of good sense, told the board of Metroplan yesterday that traffic disruptions are part of being in an urban area and he played down the disruptions that will be caused if the Arkansas Highway Department moves ahead with plans to close the Broadway Bridge to demolish it and build a replacement.

Please remember that prediction before the Hell on Broadway (and every nearby street on alternate routes across the river) begins its glorious two-year run downtown.

Mayors Stodola and Hays of the soon-to-be-snarled cities of Dogtown and South Dogtown prefer putting off this Keep Busy project of the Highway Corps of Engineers. They've suggested (belatedly, it's fair to note) to instead plan and build a new upstream river crossing and then turn the Broadway Bridge into a glorious plaza for walkers, bikers and sightseers. This is far too creative for the guys who brought us the hideous Main Street bridge. They have some federal bridge money and they want to spend it on Broadway right now, no matter how bad the traffic plan, how inadequate the accommodation for pedestrians and bikers and, most of all, no matter how much damage to commerce will be done by the interruption. They've escalated fears about safety issues that they previously had said were no issue at all, though crumbling concrete facade does present some relatively minor annual maintenance requirements.

I think Judge Buddy just sees which way this thing is going. The Corps of Highway Engineers is going to build this bridge no matter. Even the highway commmissoners who nominally represent Little Rock don't give a flip about disruptions or better ideas. They don't live and work downtown. He might as well give them a figurehead ally and earn some points for future road needs.

Just remember what he said about traffic. That phone: 340-8305.

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