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New interchange design picked for congested west Little Rock road

Plan sends traffic over intersection

By Noel Oman

This article was published September 25, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

a-map-showing-the-single-point-urban-interchange-alternative-for-cantrell-road

A map showing the Single-point urban interchange alternative for Cantrell Road

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has chosen a single-point urban interchange to improve traffic flow on a congested section of Cantrell Road in west Little Rock.

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Print Headline: Cantrell, Parham junction selected

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Comments on: New interchange design picked for congested west Little Rock road

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NoUserName says... September 25, 2017 at 6:32 a.m.

This will be a disaster much like the 630/430 mess. It isn't the light at Rodney Parham and Cantrell. It's the 4 lights in quick succession. The commercial overbuilding without taking into account traffic. All you really need to widen Cantrell. Oh, and this ADDS a light right before the flyover which, of course, is the city MO. And that shiny new on ramp? It's the 430 backup that usually causes the problems. Now you're dumping traffic from BOTH sides onto 430. Disaster...

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RBBrittain says... September 25, 2017 at 8:51 a.m.

Funny, NoUserName, that you acknowledge the biggest single problem on this section of Cantrell -- the 4 lights in a row -- yet you immediately IGNORE that fact and claim just widening Cantrell will fix everything. ArDOT's proposal will eliminate two of those lights -- Rodney Parham with the SPUI *plus* Southridge (the one opposite the shopping center) by rerouting the street to the roundabout just north of Rodney Parham -- and could still eliminate a third by redesigning access to the shopping center, *PLUS* it widens Cantrell. It does add a light between Rodney Parham & I-430, but that's to accommodate traffic now using the SB-to-EB loop ramp that's being eliminated to remove a conflict with the EB-to-NB loop ramp (which won't be affected by the new light); that light shouldn't block traffic as much as the existing lights do. And that shiny new on ramp? It eliminates the left turns across Cantrell that causes backups on BOTH sides, and allows for SEPARATE merges onto I-430 for WB & EB traffic to reduce the effect of those inevitable 430 backups on Cantrell. I don't have a civil engineering degree, but I get what Scott Bennett is doing here. Where did you get YOUR engineering degree?

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RBBrittain says... September 25, 2017 at 9:03 a.m.

Also, I think the article misconstrues the benefit of a SPUI (single point urban interchange). Eliminating the light on Cantrell is the benefit of using a freeway-style interchange in general, as opposed to the previously proposed "continuous flow interchange" (which would NOT have eliminated the light, and actually would have added MORE lights; it would have improved traffic coordination, but not as much as the SPUI). The point of using a SPUI is to minimize lights on Rodney Parham; all the left turns will go thru the "single point" light on Rodney Parham underneath the Cantrell overpass (NoUserName mislabeled it a "flyover"), which should increase traffic flow for all other traffic there.

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reader12345 says... September 25, 2017 at 9:13 a.m.

So if you're going south on 430 and want to go east toward downtown, how will you do that? It looks like they're eliminating that ramp. I'm sure there's an answer but I don't see it.

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RBBrittain says... September 25, 2017 at 9:24 a.m.

@reader12345: I went to ArDOT's own map in part to answer that very question. In the initial design, that traffic will proceed west from the existing WB Cantrell exit on a ramp parallel to Cantrell; at Rodney Parham, it will loop under Cantrell (an unusual "Texas turnaround" within a SPUI) and merge with traffic from Rodney Parham going to EB Cantrell. The separate left-turn lane from the WB Cantrell ramp onto EB Cantrell (the one NoUserName complains will add a light) is now listed as "future construction"; perhaps they'll see how the "Texas turnaround" / SPUI combo works first.

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RBBrittain says... September 25, 2017 at 9:29 a.m.

One clarification I need to make: Though Southridge will be rerouted to the roundabout, per ArDOT's map that will NOT eliminate the Southridge light; instead, the separate light for the shopping center will be merged with the Southridge light. (A variant on undoing the NIMBY move Walton Heights folks pulled some years ago by blocking the city from connecting Southridge & Pleasant Ridge at one light, one of the biggest contributors to the present "4 lights in a row" mess we have now.)

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reader12345 says... September 25, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

RBBrittain, so you'll have to go west and do a u-turn? Yuck, that won't be any fun for people who commute to downtown from Maumelle or points north of there.

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LR1955 says... September 25, 2017 at 10:17 a.m.

All options suck

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NoUserName says... September 25, 2017 at 10:18 a.m.

"ArDOT's proposal will eliminate two of those lights"
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And add one at Pleasant Valley BEFORE the flyover which will mean little difference in traffic patterns. LR doesn't know how to do light timing.
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"And that shiny new on ramp? It eliminates the left turns across Cantrell that causes backups on BOTH sides"
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No, it doesn't. Most of the time that backup is due to the 430 backup. You will STILL have that backup on Cantrell. Mark my words.
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"Where did you get YOUR engineering degree?"
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Hopefully not where the LR engineers got theirs. Can you drive around LR and think these guys have any clue what they are doing? As for misnaming it a flyover, it was ArDOT that specifically pointed to 430/630 as the model.

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abb says... September 25, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.

I had a client come to Little Rock, thinking of moving his company here. Stayed several days. He loved the people, food, 4 seasons, and West Little Rock homes. However, he is choosing another city. He absolutely hated our education, crime, and especially I 630 going down to 3 lanes from 7! He asked if the designer was flogged in public?!

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