Highway Dept.'s end game on Broadway Bridge | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Highway Dept.'s end game on Broadway Bridge

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 6:05 AM

WHY THE RUSH? Why not delay a commitment on Broadway Bridge replacement for consideration of a better alternative, such as this idea to make the bridge a park?
  • WHY THE RUSH? Why not delay a commitment on Broadway Bridge replacement for consideration of a better alternative, such as this idea to make the bridge a park?

The Arkansas Highway Department is suggesting that calamity awaits if local transportation planners don't submit to their desire to blow up the Broadway Bridge and replace it with a plug-ugly, marginally more functional bridge. If local planners don't go along, highway nabobs say, there'll be no annual transportation plan allowing expenditure of federal money in Central Arkansas.

Count me skeptical about this doomsday scenario.

The Highway Department's desires for the Broadway Bridge are impossibly injurious in the short run — closure for two years with a resulting traffic cluster**** downtown. Long term, we'd have an ugly bridge, wedged into the existing urban landscape without a thought for possible new ways of using the prime riverfront real estate.

Why not just leave the bridge out of the state plan this year? Let discussions continue for a better alternative — particularly a new river crossing upriver so that the Broadway Bridge could then be turned into a glorious High Line-style hanging park between Argenta and South Argenta. Put the project in the state plan when everyone is on the same page for action.

The mayors of Little Rock and North Little Rock have challenged the Highway Department on their long-held assertion that federal money must be spent now — on this bad idea — or not at all. Even if the mayors are wrong, the long-term is better served in use of tax money, wise urban planning and aesthetics by not rushing to the state's preferred alternative just because the highway engineers want to keep busy.

UPDATE: State Rep. John Edwards of Little Rock has been working behind the scenes on the issue. He sent this letter to the Highway Department urging a careful look at rehabilitation versus replacement, an interim suggestion by the mayors. He notes, too, the traffic disruption from closing the span. The letter doesn't mention, but he did in a comment to me, that the Broadway Bridge is frequently used by ambulances. Others have wondered how its closure could affect emergency response times. Adversely, would be my guess.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation