Friday, May 06, 2016

TOP STORY >> Meeting on I-30 Monday

The state Highway Department will hold a town-hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Jacksonville Community Center to discuss the planned improvements to I-30 that will include easing traffic congestion on I-40 and Hwy. 67/167 and making them safer.

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher encourages the public to attend to learn more about the project and ask questions.

Although the highway project will be in North Little Rock and Little Rock, it is important to Jacksonville commuters and other drivers north of the Arkansas River, Fletcher said.

The junction where Hwy. 67/167 merges with I-40 and I-30 is dangerous and chaotic for drivers. Traffic on Hwy. 67/167 heading to downtown Little Rock must change lanes quickly to get on the I-30 bridge, while competing with cars and trucks on I-40 heading west that must quickly merge right.

It’s a high-volume, high-speed area that bottlenecks for hours every morning. The delays are made worse as westbound traffic on I-40 enters I-30.

It’s part of the daily grind for thousands of central Arkansas residents.

Plans call for reconfiguring lanes so that drivers on Hwy. 67/167 can remain in their lanes to connect with I-30, and I-40 drivers won’t have to switch lanes to continue west.

The I-30 bridge could have as many as eight lanes. It will be a lengthy project with the planning and design starting now and construction set to be complete by 2022.

It’s one of several highway modernization programs across the state, including the widening of Hwy. 67/167 from Jacksonville to Cabot.

“It’s crucial that our local people get involved. The I-30 expansion is as much a local as a regional issue. The idea is to create a safer road system for all for all of us,” Fletcher said.