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story.lead_photo.caption A map showing the work to begin on I-630 project

Five Little Rock residents went to federal court Wednesday in a bid to stop work on an $87.3 million project to a widen a section of Interstate 630 until the environmental impact of the project is assessed, including generating additional noise in residences along the interstate and travel disruptions.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court said the project between Baptist Health Medical Center and South University Avenue doesn't qualify under federal law to be excluded from requirements that state highway officials prepare an environmental assessment or a more intensive environmental impact statement on the project.

The contractor, Manhattan Road & Bridge Co. of Tulsa, has been staging equipment for several weeks, but began formal work on the project Monday. The Hughes Street overpass is scheduled to be demolished as soon as this weekend.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • hah406
    July 18, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.

    Too late. You should have filed suit in the previous several years that this project was being planned. Waiting until after it has started isn't playing by the rules.

  • RBBrittain
    July 18, 2018 at 2:33 p.m.

    Absolutely right, hah406. I read the environmental assessments of this project (they DO exist, contrary to the plaintiffs' claims repeated in this article), which included detailed analysis of its noise impact on the nearby neighborhoods; that's why they're putting up noise barriers north of I-630. (The neighborhoods to the south either weren't affected as much or told ARDOT they didn't want the barriers.) This is even more last-minute than the Clarendon bridge lawsuit whose injunction was just dissolved.

  • Murphy01
    July 18, 2018 at 2:35 p.m.

    I don't know about it being to late, but it is chicken s#%t.

  • RBBrittain
    July 18, 2018 at 2:50 p.m.

    @Murphy01: It's too late because I knew this project was coming when I was still living in midtown before I moved to Jacksonville (already a hotbed of freeway construction) in 2016. Contrary to what this article says, ARDOT *DID* do an environmental assessment; I read it. These are just a few NIMBYs who wanna use noise as an excuse to stop the project entirely.

  • Murphy01
    July 18, 2018 at 3:12 p.m.

    Yes we all knew it was coming. I was simply replying to what the first poster commented on. He said "to late", he was probably being sarcastic. When I said I didn't know about it being to late I was referring to the timing of a lawsuit, though I suppose it's never to late to file a lawsuit against another party. That's why I said it was chicken s#%t.

  • RBBrittain
    July 18, 2018 at 5:06 p.m.

    What he said was "too late" with two O's, as in they waited till the start of construction to sue, instead of back when the environmental assessment came out. Some lawyers think it's best to wait till the last possible minute to sue, but IMO it only makes the case harder to win.

  • TheBatt
    July 18, 2018 at 5:46 p.m.

    The studies and planning has been going on for years. This should have come up far earlier.

  • NoUserName
    July 18, 2018 at 5:54 p.m.

    Yup. Should have done this earlier. I also file this under too late. Or, the plantiffs can bear the cost of the delay if they lose.

  • BRADO1
    July 18, 2018 at 6:31 p.m.

    How about the whiners just move to another state and take some of their friends with them? There are plenty of environmentalist wackos on the left coast where they can hold hands with them and chant "ohm".

  • NoUserName
    July 18, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

    There CAN be legitimate complaints that NEED to be addressed in court. That isn't necessarily whining. As I said, though, the plantiffs should have to show cause as to why they waited until the project started. And if they can't...