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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: So many barrels, so many questions about interstate work in, around Little Rock

by Frank Fellone | March 5, 2022 at 3:33 a.m.

Mahatma: Little Rock is surrounded by orange barrels. We've got the mess on the east, which used to be known as Interstate 30. On the west, we've got the Interstate 430/Cantrell Road debacle. I'm sure it will all be great, but I'm having a heckuva time visualizing what will be where -- exits and on-ramps, fly-overs and expanded lanes. I know it's been in the paper before, but that was long before this misery began. -- Gordon

Dear Gordon: Here are questions asked by us and answered by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Hope this helps. The questions are in bold face.

The 30 Crossing website has simulations. One is for eight through lanes/split diamond. The other is for six through lanes with collector-distributor lanes/split diamond. Which one is under construction?

Six lanes with collector-distributor lanes is what is being constructed.

These simulations were created in 2016. Are there updated simulations?

There is a newer simulation that is currently being reviewed and edited but has not been released. There isn't a specific date for its release but should be soon.

Are there simulations for the I-430/Cantrell project?

Yes. The video simulation for the I-430/Cantrell project can be found at our Vimeo page. From our website at, scroll to the bottom and click the Vimeo icon. Scroll down on the Vimeo site to the video titled "State Highway 10 Widening (SPUI option)" and click.

What is the daily traffic count on the I-30 bridge? How much of that is local traffic?

The average daily traffic count on the I-30 bridge downtown is 115,000 vehicles. There is no way to determine how much of that traffic is local.

What are finish dates for the I-30, I-430 and Cantrell Road projects?

For 30 Crossing, January of 2025.

For the I-430 bridge, July of 2022.

For Cantrell Road, July of 2023.

Dear Mr. Mahatma: Regarding all the overdue temporary paper license tags, I'm stumped to think of another for-profit business in this great state that isn't taxed (that was a pun) with collecting and remitting sales taxes. Also, is Mahatma a title you bestowed upon yourself? -- Maddy

Dear Maddy: You refer to what makes readers of this column boil over -- people without proper license plates, driving around with those paper temps the car dealers put on, putting off paying their sales tax.

One of our favorite readers recently saw one that was 18 months expired. Another reader saw one six months expired.

Should car dealers collect the sales taxes and send them off to the state, the way Wal-Mart does on the billions of dollars it collects in revenues in this small, wonderful state? That's a question for the General Assembly to answer. Please ask your local state senator and representative.

About Mahatma, this was bestowed upon us by our boss man back in the day, that day being about 15 years ago. He wanted a column name that denoted wisdom.

As if.

Vanity plate on a red Mercedes: BUGBABY.

Print Headline: Projects in LR tough to picture


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