Metroplan says public comments ran against an amended Central Arkansas transportation plan that would allow the widening of Interstate 30 to 10 lanes through downtown Little Rock.
The comments technically were on a change in wording from “operational improvements” to “capacity improvements.” The state highway department has demanded this change and stopped federal funding of area transportation projects until the Metroplan board approved the change. It can’t take effect until the end of the public comment period.
The comments won’t change anything about the 30 Crossing project though they could prove useful in the expected legal challenge of the project. Metroplan said it received 168 comments, with 127 opposed and 27 supportive. Another 14, in identical one-sentence statements from the same company, Clark Contractors, simply supported a “split diamond” interchange design that would free some land for park development. Metroplan counted that as essentially supporting the expansion of the freeway. Opponents have noted that a chunk of the “park” will lie beneath 10 lanes of
Generally speaking, supportive comments came from larger businesses (real estate and road construction people and others with Chamber of Commerce ties) and they claimed the road work would be good for economic development and safety. Opponents tended to come from smaller businesses and downtown residents who worried about degradation of the quality of life and questioned the need for the work.
You can read more of the summary here.
Here are the comments submitted in favor of the ditch.
And here are the comments in opposition.