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Author Topic: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro  (Read 14211 times)

Road Hog

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2016, 09:47:14 PM »

"New Urbanism" and "Arkansas" is a Venn diagram that does not intersect. And that isn't a bad thing at all.
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AHTD

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2016, 01:39:00 PM »


Quote from: froggie
Unless there is a state law or the state legislature has specified funding for this (and please elaborate/specify if so), this one is flat out false.  At the Federal level, Congress did away with dedicated Interstate Maintenance funding with MAP-21, merging it with NHS funding to form the National Highway Performance Program.  Checking the Little Rock NHS maps, this is funding that doesn't necessarily have to be used on an Interstate, but could also be used on Roosevelt Rd, Arch St (south of Roosevelt), Broadway St (both of them), La Harpe Blvd/Cantrell Rd, University Ave, or Pike Ave, amongst others...


See this link for a breakdown of funding for the project: https://connectingarkansasprogram.com/corridors/9/i-30-pulaski-county/#overlayOpen

Sure, some of the funds in this breakdown can be used off the Interstate - we were trying to convey these monies couldn't be used for transit, pedestrian, or city-owned local arterial development as has been proposed by some.
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AHTD

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2016, 02:00:38 PM »

Could they add some toll lanes to Little Rock's freeway system? Or would that be impractical?
If memory serves correct, tolls are verboten along Arkansas highways

That's not good for Arkansas and road funding prospects.  I'm assuming they have no toll roads at all then?

No, there are no toll roads. I think there have been talks in the past to change the law to allow toll roads, but that hasn't really gotten anywhere.


Actually the Arkansas Highway Commission already has tolling authority. Two recent toll studies have provided mixed-results.

The first was for the Bella Vista Bypass. An investment-grade study concluded tolls would not cover the cost of the highway and that by the time bonds were paid back, the interest would be more than what it would cost to build the two remaining lanes of what's there now.

The other toll study was an I-40 corridor study between central Arkansas and West Memphis to see if adding a third lane on this route could be funded by tolls. The study found that it wouldn't pay for the extra lane, however, if all three lanes were tolled, then it would pay for the new lane + the O&M for the original two. Sounds like a good deal, right?

One catch - the Feds won't allow states to toll existing interstates (at this time). There is, however, a pilot program in which 3-5 states are tolling (or have authority to toll) existing interstates. Our understanding is that at least one of these states may not be able to participate in the pilot program and drop out.

Arkansas has positioned itself to be eligible for the pilot program should the opportunity come along.

Stay tuned....
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silverback1065

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2016, 02:04:30 PM »

Could they add some toll lanes to Little Rock's freeway system? Or would that be impractical?
If memory serves correct, tolls are verboten along Arkansas highways

That's not good for Arkansas and road funding prospects.  I'm assuming they have no toll roads at all then?

No, there are no toll roads. I think there have been talks in the past to change the law to allow toll roads, but that hasn't really gotten anywhere.


Actually the Arkansas Highway Commission already has tolling authority. Two recent toll studies have provided mixed-results.

The first was for the Bella Vista Bypass. An investment-grade study concluded tolls would not cover the cost of the highway and that by the time bonds were paid back, the interest would be more than what it would cost to build the two remaining lanes of what's there now.

The other toll study was an I-40 corridor study between central Arkansas and West Memphis to see if adding a third lane on this route could be funded by tolls. The study found that it wouldn't pay for the extra lane, however, if all three lanes were tolled, then it would pay for the new lane + the O&M for the original two. Sounds like a good deal, right?

One catch - the Feds won't allow states to toll existing interstates (at this time). There is, however, a pilot program in which 3-5 states are tolling (or have authority to toll) existing interstates. Our understanding is that at least one of these states may not be able to participate in the pilot program and drop out.

Arkansas has positioned itself to be eligible for the pilot program should the opportunity come along.

Stay tuned....

Are you sure about the existing interstate comment?  They are floating an idea to toll 65 and 70 throughout the state here in Indiana. 
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AHTD

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2016, 02:46:33 PM »


Quote
Are you sure about the existing interstate comment?  They are floating an idea to toll 65 and 70 throughout the state here in Indiana.

Yes. See this link - the answer is found under "Question 6" - https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/revenue/road_pricing/tolling_pricing/section_129_faqs.aspx

ALSO- the FAST Act places a time limit for pilot states to implement. If they don't, they will be required to relinquish that authority and allow other states to step up.

Perhaps your state is in the pilot program or like us, getting their ducks in a row so they're eligible if the opportunity presents.
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silverback1065

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2016, 02:48:47 PM »


I really feel like the feds are hamstringing states here, they won't fund roads, and when states want to toll to pay for them, they won't allow it, so what else can you do but raise taxes? Maybe we could just ignore it and hope it'll fix itself.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 07:12:54 AM by silverback1065 »
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2016, 02:52:47 PM »

If there was ever an approval to toll eastern 40 in Arkansas, why not just make it 8 lanes or at a minimum, 8-10 lanes for the 40-55 overlap.
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froggie

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2016, 10:08:48 AM »

Quote from: AHTD
See this link for a breakdown of funding for the project: https://connectingarkansasprogram.com/corridors/9/i-30-pulaski-county/#overlayOpen

Sure, some of the funds in this breakdown can be used off the Interstate - we were trying to convey these monies couldn't be used for transit, pedestrian, or city-owned local arterial development as has been proposed by some.

Perhaps not as much as others would like, but to say none of it could be used for transit/pedestrian/local arterial is still false.  The 5% coming from NHPP funding could be used on the arterial streets I mentioned upthread (which are all on the NHS), including pedestrian facilities along those streets.  Depending on the source of Federal funding used to pay back the design-build, as well as that going to bridges (since there is no longer a dedicated Federal bridge funding pot), the funding may or may not be able to go to transit or other bike/ped facilities.  If you're using Federal Surface Transportation Program funds to pay back the design-build part or the bridge part, then the answer is YES.

It does look like the majority of funding is coming from this "Connecting Arkansas Program".   Do you have a link with more information on that program?

Also, I've read recently that this project will eliminate the Little Rock streetcar without replacing it.  Is that true?  If so, why is AHTD doing that?  Sounds like something that could potentially open the department up to a lawsuit.
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RBBrittain

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2016, 03:49:26 PM »

Quote from: AHTD
See this link for a breakdown of funding for the project: https://connectingarkansasprogram.com/corridors/9/i-30-pulaski-county/#overlayOpen

Sure, some of the funds in this breakdown can be used off the Interstate - we were trying to convey these monies couldn't be used for transit, pedestrian, or city-owned local arterial development as has been proposed by some.

Perhaps not as much as others would like, but to say none of it could be used for transit/pedestrian/local arterial is still false.  The 5% coming from NHPP funding could be used on the arterial streets I mentioned upthread (which are all on the NHS), including pedestrian facilities along those streets.  Depending on the source of Federal funding used to pay back the design-build, as well as that going to bridges (since there is no longer a dedicated Federal bridge funding pot), the funding may or may not be able to go to transit or other bike/ped facilities.  If you're using Federal Surface Transportation Program funds to pay back the design-build part or the bridge part, then the answer is YES.

It does look like the majority of funding is coming from this "Connecting Arkansas Program".   Do you have a link with more information on that program?

Also, I've read recently that this project will eliminate the Little Rock streetcar without replacing it.  Is that true?  If so, why is AHTD doing that?  Sounds like something that could potentially open the department up to a lawsuit.
Good place to reopen the thread. Last things first: The streetcar issue has been resolved. Earlier plans for 30 Crossing placed the replacement AR 10 (Cantrell/Clinton, fka Markham Street) interchange at Third Street, which would have killed the Clinton Presidential Center arm of the streetcar line; that was immediately challenged as AHTD would have had to repay the Federal funds used to build it. Current AHTD proposals would make AR 10 either a SPUI at Second Street (my preference) or a "split diamond" configuration spread across Fourth, Capitol & Sixth Streets (Little Rock's preference); neither would require any changes to the streetcar line.

An overview of the Connecting Arkansas Program is at https://connectingarkansasprogram.com/overview/ . It is state bond money funded by a temporary 1/2% state sales tax for 10 years. Per the text of the constitutional amendment authorizing it at http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2011R/Bills/HJR1001.pdf , the money can only be used for "four-lane highway improvements", which presumably includes 30 Crossing even though it already has more than four lanes. (It was in CAP from the beginning; additional money was needed after AHTD realized the Arkansas River bridge needed replacement instead of widening.) That could include transit and/or pedestrian features on four-lane state highways; indeed 30 Crossing already includes shoulders designed for occasional use by Rock Region Metro (CAT) buses to avoid congestion. It presumably can NOT be used for city-owned facilities, stand-alone transit or pedestrian facilities, etc.; it has to be a "four-lane highway", presumably a state highway. (Allowing for greater than four lanes that would include I-30, I-40, US 67/167 and AR 10, all part of 30 Crossing.)

Of course, the main issue in Little Rock media seems to be the people who want to turn I-30 into a boulevard; but it seems the folks here understand "New Urbanism" won't work in Arkansas. (Besides, even Portland, OR -- the opponents' favorite example -- didn't close I-5 completely; they just moved it across the Willamette River from downtown, NOT an option for I-30.) The boulevard plan reminds me of the Martha Mitchell "Expressway", which only accelerated Pine Bluff's decline; you do NOT build a boulevard where a freeway is needed, no matter what you call it. :p I also like to remind folks that basically the same people used the same "Field of Dreams" traffic theory to oppose the widening of I-30 to Benton; that obviously didn't work.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 03:51:35 PM by RBBrittain »
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RBBrittain

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2016, 04:20:48 PM »


Are you sure about the existing interstate comment?  They are floating an idea to toll 65 and 70 throughout the state here in Indiana.

Yes. See this link - the answer is found under "Question 6" - https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/revenue/road_pricing/tolling_pricing/section_129_faqs.aspx

ALSO- the FAST Act places a time limit for pilot states to implement. If they don't, they will be required to relinquish that authority and allow other states to step up.

Perhaps your state is in the pilot program or like us, getting their ducks in a row so they're eligible if the opportunity presents.

However, the I-40 study missed the answer to Question 9 (bold per web page, italics added):
Quote
Question 9: May an existing toll-free bridge or tunnel be converted into a toll facility under 23 U.S.C. 129(a) if it is reconstructed or replaced?
Answer 9: Yes. Under 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(1)(E), an existing toll-free bridge or tunnel may be converted into a toll facility as part of a project to reconstruct or replace the existing facility. This authority applies to bridges and tunnels that are located both on and off the Interstate System.
Thus, the primary tollbooth for the I-40 project -- at the White River Bridge -- can be built as part of its replacement project WITHOUT going thru the pilot program. (The other proposed tollbooths could be added later if we get into the pilot program.) Per Question 13 that authority includes all lanes (both new and added), unlike Question 6; and per Question 15 toll proceeds after maintenance (and presumably debt service) can be used for any lawful transportation program, including widening the rest of I-40.

I don't think it's too late to add a toll facility to the White River Bridge project; in fact, per Question 11 tolling apparently can start as soon as the contract for the replacement bridge is awarded. I would suggest AHTD enter into a contract with one or more of the Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas tolling authorities (preferably NTTA, which already has 100% ETC *and* full interoperability with Oklahoma, both IMO necessities for this plan to work) to get a toll facility on that bridge very quickly.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 04:39:28 PM by RBBrittain »
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froggie

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2016, 09:08:44 AM »

Thank you for the funding and streetcar clarification.
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bjrush

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2016, 07:43:32 AM »

They just say no to tolls, no to any income tax hikes, no to any sales tax hikes, no to any property tax hikes and hell no to any hikes in the gasoline tax. The roads will just magically build themselves with power of prayer. Maybe throw in some fairy pixie dust too. That will deal with the dangerous, sky high cost inflation going on with infrastructure.

That actually isn't true. Voters approved a half cent sales tax for Highway funding in 2012
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Woo Pig Sooie

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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2016, 09:43:56 AM »


Are you sure about the existing interstate comment?  They are floating an idea to toll 65 and 70 throughout the state here in Indiana.

Yes. See this link - the answer is found under "Question 6" - https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/revenue/road_pricing/tolling_pricing/section_129_faqs.aspx

ALSO- the FAST Act places a time limit for pilot states to implement. If they don't, they will be required to relinquish that authority and allow other states to step up.

Perhaps your state is in the pilot program or like us, getting their ducks in a row so they're eligible if the opportunity presents.

However, the I-40 study missed the answer to Question 9 (bold per web page, italics added):
Quote
Question 9: May an existing toll-free bridge or tunnel be converted into a toll facility under 23 U.S.C. 129(a) if it is reconstructed or replaced?
Answer 9: Yes. Under 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(1)(E), an existing toll-free bridge or tunnel may be converted into a toll facility as part of a project to reconstruct or replace the existing facility. This authority applies to bridges and tunnels that are located both on and off the Interstate System.
Thus, the primary tollbooth for the I-40 project -- at the White River Bridge -- can be built as part of its replacement project WITHOUT going thru the pilot program. (The other proposed tollbooths could be added later if we get into the pilot program.) Per Question 13 that authority includes all lanes (both new and added), unlike Question 6; and per Question 15 toll proceeds after maintenance (and presumably debt service) can be used for any lawful transportation program, including widening the rest of I-40.

I don't think it's too late to add a toll facility to the White River Bridge project; in fact, per Question 11 tolling apparently can start as soon as the contract for the replacement bridge is awarded. I would suggest AHTD enter into a contract with one or more of the Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas tolling authorities (preferably NTTA, which already has 100% ETC *and* full interoperability with Oklahoma, both IMO necessities for this plan to work) to get a toll facility on that bridge very quickly.

Good idea.
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Re: I-30 Corridor Little Rock Metro
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2016, 09:51:31 AM »

They just say no to tolls, no to any income tax hikes, no to any sales tax hikes, no to any property tax hikes and hell no to any hikes in the gasoline tax. The roads will just magically build themselves with power of prayer. Maybe throw in some fairy pixie dust too. That will deal with the dangerous, sky high cost inflation going on with infrastructure.

That actually isn't true. Voters approved a half cent sales tax for Highway funding in 2012
I believe that was voting to continue one already in place, but set to expire.
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