Friday, April 22, 2016

TOP STORY >> Public hearing Tuesday on I-30

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher encouraged aldermen and residents to attend a state Highway Department public meeting to discuss the widening of I-30 from 5 until 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock.

During Thursday’s council meeting, the mayor said the proposed highway project, which calls for widening the I-30 bridge from six to 12 lanes, will improve traffic congestion and safety for commuters from Jacksonville and other cities north of the river.

The public hearing will be held at the Wyndham Riverfront’s Silver City Room at 2 Riverfront Place in North Little Rock.

The mayor said the junction has become dangerous because of the way the lanes merge, forcing southbound Hwy. 67/167 drivers and commercial trucks to cross I-40, often crossing two or three lanes in a short distance, to reach I-30. The same is true for I-30 drivers trying to make Hwy. 67/167 exit.

Fletcher encouraged Jack-sonville officials and residents to voice their concerns at the public meeting. Once plans are finalized, it will be too late, and he said, “We have the most to gain…I encourage the area to get involved in this process.”

He also hopes to get the Highway Department will hold a public meeting soon in Jacksonville.

The widening project has become controversial, pitting community activists in favor of making downtown Little Rock more accessible for pedestrians against Highway Department officials and everyday commuters who are often stuck in traffic several hours a week at the junction of Hwy.67/167, I-40 and I-30.