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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Projects on Arkansas 10 racing toward completion in 2023

by Frank Fellone | February 5, 2022 at 3:12 a.m.

O Great Researcher of the Roadways: I recently had the opportunity to navigate the area of Arkansas 10 just west of Interstate 430. It was a blast and brought back the days when I was into autocrossing. Please give my thanks to ArDot for the pleasure of legally driving maniacally on a portion of the public roads of Little Rock! What fun! How much longer this opportunity will be available? --Old Autocrosser

Dear Old: Arkansas 10 is, of course, Cantrell Road, where two major highway projects come together to form a perfect union of something daft.

For those who forgot, autocross is amateur racing. In its simplest form, traffic cones are arranged and spaced around a parking lot. Drivers compete to be quickest around the course. It's slalom racing with wheels.

This autocross track is created by the project to improve the Arkansas 10/I-430 interchange, widen part of Arkansas 10, and build a grade-separated interchange. All for the low, low price of $81 million.

Completion of the project, and presumably closing of the autocross track, is said to be early 2023. By our guesstimate, another year at least.

Dear Mahatma: What is the deal with Arkansas 7 South from Hot Springs? Work started months ago but nothing seems to be happening now. My wife and I travel this route several times a month and are looking forward to this improvement, but it seems that it has come to a complete stop. What gives? -- Puzzled in Arkadelphia

The Highway Department, also known as the Arkansas Department of Transportation, told us there was a delay while utilities are moved. That's done.

The whole job, expected to be complete by the end of this year, will widen 3.8 miles of parts of Arkansas 7 from Arkansas 290 south to Mitzi Parkway. The $11.5 million project will add turn lanes and replace a bridge.

Dear Mr. Mahatma: I'm sending a photo from Google street view that shows U.S. 167 south just before it merges onto Interstate 40 west. There is a guardrail on the right side of the road, but not the left. If you look at the bridge support to the left, it has been clobbered several times by cars careening off the road. Seems like someone put the rail on the wrong side of the road. -- Keeping to the Right

Dear Keep: Thanks for the photos. The bridge support looks like it's taken some shots over the years.

Let's ask Deric Wyatt, the engineer in charge of District 6 of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, if something is up with this.

Turns out there is a pavement preservation project underway on Interstate 40 from Arkansas 161 to Arkansas 31 that includes the addition of guardrails on the left side of the U.S. 67/167 ramp to I-40 west and on the right side of I-40 to the U.S. 67/167 north ramp.

This should address the matter of the bruised bridge support, Wyatt said.

Vanity plate: MYSFYT

Print Headline: West LR's 'autocross' ends in '23


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