This didn’t have to happen. But the highways gods — construction lobby, unaccountable Department of Transportation and the Chamber of Commerce — said it must.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation puts what lies ahead mildly:
We still don’t have a clear picture of how the state plans to pay for the $1.3 billion-boondoggle known as 30 Crossing nor what other work will suffer because of diversion of money to the 10-lane project through the heart of Little Rock. Money swapping is necessary because the Arkansas Supreme Court said money raised by a temporary sales tax for four-lane highways couldn’t be spent on this 10-lane monstrosity (or other similar widening projects.)
Two lawsuits in state court and one in federal court aim to either halt construction until more financial details are known or alter the shape of this $1.3 billion project (which will create untold new demands on connecting streets and highways). One state court hearing on a preliminary injunction is set at 9 a.m. Wednesday in circuit court.