LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — One of the busiest roads in Arkansas will be built as a 10-lane corridor as part of a more than $630 million project to accommodate traffic and expected population growth.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation released its latest data analysis for the Interstate 30 project on Wednesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Computer traffic modeling conducted on project options show the eight-lane alternatives wouldn’t eliminate bottlenecks in the corridor as initially anticipated, said Ben Browning, design build project director for the department.
Officials said the 10-lane plan features six main lanes and four lanes that will be like city streets. The four lanes will allow traffic moving on or off the interstate to safely interact with pedestrians and other non-interstate traffic.
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“It’s not going to be 10 lanes of pure interstate,” said Tab Townsell, executive director of Metroplan, the long-range transportation agency for central Arkansas.
Wanda Crawford, a Metroplan board member, opposed the plan. Crawford said she’s against any action that isn’t in line with Imagine Central Arkansas, Metroplan’s long-term transportation plan.
“The Metroplan board of directors originally voted for the Imagine Central Arkansas plan with unanimous approval following two years of planning and outreach,” she said. “A central tenet of that plan was to maintain a balanced approach to mobility within our region by limiting freeways and expressways to six lanes and meet additional travel demand through transportation alternatives.”
The interstate connects downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. An estimated 120,000 vehicles cross the Arkansas River daily.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com