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If central Arkansas planners and local governments want to see construction start soon on the $500 million North Belt Freeway in northern Pulaski County, they need to put up a chunk of the money, the Arkansas Highway Commission decided Tuesday.

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Arkansas, Pages 9 on 06/13/2012

Print Headline: Want North Belt? Ante up, state says


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Archived Comments

  • Panhandleslim
    June 13, 2012 at 5:57 a.m.

    I say forget it. If Sherwood hadn't complained many years ago over the route and allowed builders to build housing in it's path, it could have been done or almost done by now at a third of the cost. As a taxpayer I believe the money would be much better spend fixing the roads that exist and are in terrible shape.

  • JimDavis
    June 13, 2012 at 9:41 a.m.

    Panhandleslim, you don't know of what you speak. The original route that was presented went across already existing housing areas. That would have been expensive to condemn and numerous people would have been displaced. The new route could have been built almost 20 years ago and not displaced anyone, but the Highway Commisssion had other priorities, and still does. The notion that local governments are going to participate in funding Interstate connectors is ludicrous. I didn't notice Chairman Murphy mention how much the Northwest Arkansas cities contributed to the building of I-540. Sherwood is not the culprit here. From the last meeting of Metroplan, I noticed that Mayors Fletcher of Jacksonville and Townsell of Conway spoke about the necessity of this route, and even Mayor Stodola said that it was a "regional" priority. OK boys, time to put your money where your mouth is. This road is not a vital link to Sherwood, and the unnecessary and political delays that have stalled it for years are now standing in the way of Sherwood's growth. I agree with Panhandleslim that it is time to forget it and move on, or find another route. There is just no commitment on the part of AHTD to build this road. Planning is easy, executing takes a little more money and guts, and AHTD has a big shortage of both. Someone show us the figures of how much Little Rock and North Little Rock spent to get I-440 or I-430 built.