Dear Mahatma: With a major highway construction project ongoing in the Little Rock area, can we expect cameras for viewing the construction of the new bridge across the Arkansas River? Not often do we get to see projects like this in our town. -- Bill in NLR
Dear Bill: The Arkansas Department of Transportation tells us that 10 cameras are installed along Interstate 30 where improvements are being made in what is called the 30 Crossing project. That is, improving roughly 7 miles of Interstate 30 in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.
As Saddam Hussein promised the Mother of All Battles, 30 Crossing is the Mother of All Highway Projects in Arkansas. To date, anyway.
None of those 10 cameras are focused on the bridge itself. The closest are at the River Market interchange and at Washington Avenue in North Little Rock. ArDot says those cameras allow a glimpse of what is happening over the river.
The cameras can be seen on idrivearkansas.com. On the home page, click on the traffic light icon on the right, then click on traffic cameras. Chose a camera and enjoy.
Be warned, though, that the number of cameras across the state, and especially in Pulaski County, rivals the stars in the sky. Watching these cameras can consume much valuable time.
Vanity plate seen around town: MY TAG.
Dear Mahatma: I've recently had to travel to Little Rock daily for medical reasons. For a week I saw the same large pieces of furniture sitting beside the concrete median on U.S. 67/167 near the McCain exit. Who's responsible for removing such things? With a few chairs added it could have been a mini-flea market. -- Just Wondering
Dear Just: Wonder no longer. (BTW, the mini-flea market quip is very good.)
The responsibility for picking up trash on the side of the road -- state, U.S. and interstate highways -- falls to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. What we used to call the "Highway Department." The agency says it sends out its crews immediately when news of such trash in the right of way becomes known to it.
This leads to three thoughts.
Firstly, that ArDot has the iDrivearkansas.com website. And the website has a button to report a problem. Use that button, tell ArDot about trash on the side of the road, and let the crew do its work. We have personally done this, and seen results.
We also wonder, cosmically, why so many people lose so many mattresses.
Secondly, "Picking Up Trash on the Side of the Road" is an excellent title for an alt-country song. We're working on the lyrics even as we speak.
Thirdly, we once asked the Highway Department about the weirdest trash picked up by its crews. The answer, at that time, was a dead, one-eyed, blue-eyed horse.
Vanity plate seen on a Jaguar: GRFLDED.
Our correspondent says Grateful Dead, the rock group.