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Author Topic: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway  (Read 4495 times)

Grzrd

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Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« on: June 15, 2012, 11:04:32 PM »

Look at the AHTD Home site and at the I430,I630 interchange and also the Broadway Bridge.They even gave a change order for 10 million for the interchange. We need two Highway departments for Arkansas: Little Rock and the rest of the state.
(above quote from I-49 in LA thread)

This TV video report indicates that the proposed twelve-mile Little Rock North Belt Freeway may soon provide a $720 million challenge for funding to "rest of state" projects like I-540 upgrades, I-49, I-69, and US 67.  The report indicates a sense of urgency to begin land acquisition:

Quote
The Metroplan Board wants the Arkansas Highway Commission to begin buying property for the North Belt Freeway as early as next year. It's a project that's slipped through the cracks for more than 50 years and now officials say it's now or never.
The proposed North Belt Freeway would stretch from Hwy 67/440 in Jacksonville to I-430/I-40 in North Little Rock. The proposed freeway is a little more than 12 miles. Both project planners and land owners believe it could spark strong economic gains .... Metroplan executive director, Jim McKenzie sees a great need for the freeway.
"Projections show that by 2030 it will carry 60,000 trips a day," says McKenzie.
This week the Metroplan board decided to ask the state highway commission to begin the land acquisition phase in 2013.
"We do $6 million of land acquisition next year, between 2016 and 2019 another $36 million of right of way acquisition to complete the right of way, with construction starting in 2020," says McKenzie.
McKenzie wants to get started with land acquisition soon. Time could prove costly.
"Instead of buying land by the acre, you'll be buying it by the lot with a $250,000-$350,000 house on it,"
says McKenzie .... Metroplan estimates the total project could cost $720 million. The group hopes to hear the State Highway Commission's decision on whether to move forward sometime this summer.

It will be interesting to see how AHTD prioritizes this project.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 11:10:29 PM by Grzrd »
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bugo

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 12:55:08 AM »

Technically the North Belt Freeway does not enter the city limits of Little Rock.
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Gordon

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 08:59:35 PM »

I think that is a good place to start tolls in Arkansas. Let that area pay for it. You know I think they think the sale tax will pass this fall and they will gobble up the money in the Little Rock area. I will not vote for it for that reason.
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M86

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 05:09:01 AM »

Unreal... *If only I was in charge*

Little Rock is home to the most Interstate miles per capita... Right?

We have I-540 in NW Arkansas, with daily accidents, and crazy congestion.... Great... I'm glad Little Rock is getting everything they need.

Oh, and that Bella Vista Bypass that Missouri has already committed to?  Screw that!

I love seeing AHTD's priorities... Hey, lets keep building US 67 northeast to the middle of nowhere... and hey, let's build I-49 in far SW Arkansas... Because that's where the traffic is.  Hey, let's keep building Interstates in Little Rock... Most Interstate miles per capita?  Screw that too!

Traffic counts?  Needs?  Noooooo, we don't want that.  We're the AHTD.  We'll just put a cable median barrier down... That'll fix everything.
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NE2

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 05:42:44 AM »

Little Rock is home to the most Interstate miles per capita... Right?
Hennepin, Illinois.
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Gordon

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 11:55:51 AM »

Remember back in the winter Little Rock area wanted another Bridge at Chester street over Arkansas river.I feel that area is gearing up if the 1/2 cent sale tax passes that most of it will go in that area. I agree with M86 that the Bella Vista Bypass should be finished and not just 2 lane super duper highway. Who I wonder is pushing  US 67 because it is not  even considered by Missouri now.
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bugo

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 04:40:20 PM »

AHTD is building freeways where it is easy and cheap to build them: US 67, AR 549, I-49 through Ft Chaffee, I-530.  They don't want to tackle building a freeway through the Ouachitas.  I don't expect I-49 to be finished 50 years from now.
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Grzrd

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 08:23:32 PM »

Quote
The group hopes to hear the State Highway Commission's decision on whether to move forward sometime this summer.
I think that is a good place to start tolls in Arkansas. Let that area pay for it.

This (behind pay wall) article indicates that AHTD told North Belt Freeway supporters on June 12 that they would need to come up with some of the money to pay for the project:

Quote
If central Arkansas planners and local governments want to see construction start soon on the $500 million North Belt Freeway in northern Pulaski County, they need to put up a chunk of the money, the Arkansas Highway Commission decided Tuesday.
“What skin in the game can you bring?” commission Chairman Madison Murphy asked a central Arkansas planning group.
Financial partnerships with local governments have worked well to speed up highway construction projects in Northwest Arkansas and other parts of the state, said state Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett.
Increasingly, road-building funding for those local partnerships has been a 50-50 split, he said. But such partnerships haven’t been used much in the central part of the state, Bennett said .... In March, state highway officials didn’t include any money for the North Belt project in the department’s latest statewide transportation improvement plan for 2013-16, raising doubts that the long-dormant project could survive .... Highway officials also noted that Metroplan didn’t say it would support a longstanding idea to build the freeway as a toll road. Murphy estimated that a toll road would leave a smaller funding gap for the state and local governments to fill — about $180 million .... Highway commissioners decided Tuesday to draft a letter to Metroplan asking for central Arkansas counties and cities to help fund the North Belt and to commit to the toll-road idea.
McKenzie told highway commissioners that he would take the proposal to his board. He described members as “skeptical but amenable” to the toll-road idea. Later Tuesday, McKenzie said a new toll-road study would have to be done for his board to consider making the route a tollway .... When told of the commission’s statements, Maumelle Mayor Mike Watson, president of Metroplan’s board, said Tuesday afternoon that tolling could be a “viable option” to finally move forward with the route.
“I do think it’s a possible way to fund it,” Watson said. “The Highway Department has needs all over the state, and they can’t put all of their money into central Arkansas ..."

At least AHTD is paying lip service to recognizing the needs of the rest of the state.
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M86

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Re: Little Rock: North Belt Freeway
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 05:27:58 AM »

AHTD is building freeways where it is easy and cheap to build them: US 67, AR 549, I-49 through Ft Chaffee, I-530.  They don't want to tackle building a freeway through the Ouachitas.  I don't expect I-49 to be finished 50 years from now.
If AHTD are building freeways where it is easy and cheap, they should've built the Bella Vista Bypass by now... And widen the accident-ridden I-540 between Bentonville and Fayetteville.  Fail, fail, fail.
I love Missouri, in the fact that they have installed signage for the coming of I-49... Gotta love the ambition... And it looks like I-49 will be signed to the northern end of the BV bypass. 
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