Public comments on Interstate 30 presentation to City Board | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Public comments on Interstate 30 presentation to City Board

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2016 at 10:11 AM

THE BRIDGE THAT ATE LITTLE ROCK: Highway Department wants the third-widest bridge in the U.S. for I-30 downtown because, hey, someday we might need it. Not to mention 12 lanes or more on the roads that feed it if that day comes.
  • THE BRIDGE THAT ATE LITTLE ROCK: Highway Department wants the third-widest bridge in the U.S. for I-30 downtown because, hey, someday we might need it. Not to mention 12 lanes or more on the roads that feed it if that day comes.

Public comments and questions were prohibited yesterday when the Little Rock City Board heard from consultants the city hired to evaluate the Highway Department's plan to wide Interstate 30 to as many as 12 lanes through downtown.

The whole presentation, not surprisingly, began with the presumption that the Highway Department plan would be the plan. The city, at best, could beg to have some input on the margins around exits. Given that Mayor Mark Stodola has already rolled over to the Highway Department's plan and other board members remain from quietly complicit to bulllying  (Lance Hines and Dean Kumpuris), the consultants really didn't have much choice to stick with what the freeway builders have presented. They even defended the monster bridge — 12 lanes wide or more — because, who knows, it might be needed someday.

One member of the public spoke up today, Kathy Wells, president of the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods. Her letter to city officials:

Your I-30 consultants presented important information yesterday and we look forward to your next actions to protect Little Rock from harm as this project goes forward.

The fact harm may come to the downtown grid now has been presented to you from three sources - your own analysts, as well as Norm Marshall, employed by opponents to review the pending proposal, as well as Metroplan, our area transportation professionals.

Let us recall Metroplan staff also raised important cautions about the eventual cost of this proposal, plus inevitable calls for future relief from the next choke point in the corridor.

As of now, the I-30 proposal will fail to relieve congestion as intended; will cost too much, and will take funding away from other area projects already planned; and will put heavy pressure on the downtown grid as an impact of this "fire hose" split diamond plan.

We can, and should, do better. Mayor Stodola, your vote on the Metroplan Board of Directors is critical to asserting city concerns in this process. We look forward to your next steps.

One useful resource for you in considering your next actions in regard to the proposed expansion of the I-30 corridor comes from the website of Nelson Nygaard, your I-30 consultants. from their website.

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