The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and Metroplan, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and local governments, are conducting a study of potential improvements to connect points within northern Pulaski County and to connect northern Pulaski County to Interstate 40 and Highway 67/167.
The study will provide multiple opportunities for public involvement and solicit feedback on alternative alignments. While several studies were previously conducted in this area, this study will take a fresh look at potential alternatives that focus on connecting arterials in the northern Pulaski County region by using existing roadways where possible. Freeway or tolled alternatives will not be considered for the Connector Study. Logical segmentation will be identified for new alignments for the Connector to allow for phased implementation over time.
The study team will use a range of analysis tools to perform a comprehensive review and evaluation of potential solutions using selected performance measures. The study will consider the effect of each alternative on mobility, system reliability, congestion, traffic operations, safety, environmental impacts, and costs.
The study began in December 2019 and is scheduled to be completed by late 2021.
Project Manager: Daniel Byram
Motivations For The Study
The study will determine effective solutions that agree with the goals of the Arkansas Long Range Intermodal Transportation Plan (LRITP) and Metroplan’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) by improving mobility and safety, minimizing environmental impacts, and supporting a quality of life that is valued by residents and business owners alike. The study will explore new alignments that may use existing roadways as a means to increase connectivity. The motivations of the study are to:
- Identify a cost-effective alternative that serves and meets the needs of the state and local communities.
- Decrease travel time between destinations in northern Pulaski County, while relieving congestion on Highway 107 and other north-south routes in the study area.
- Improve connectivity in the study area to better accommodate and promote growth and development.
- Develop context sensitive alternatives that minimize negative impacts to the community and the environment and maximize the use of available land for right-of-way (ROW).
- Provide information in a timely manner to support funding decisions.
Public & Stakeholder Involvement
The study will collect public and stakeholder input into the decision-making process. The study team will use existing community networks to arrange small group ‘conversations’ with local businesses or community organizations. Public meetings will be scheduled at a time and in a manner that will make the meetings as accessible to the interested members of the public as possible.
The first meeting will introduce the purpose and process of the study and provide an opportunity for public input on the goals, objectives, and potential alternatives for the study. Alternatives will be selected for evaluation based on public and stakeholder feedback and professional judgement from review of data. The second meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to provide input on the evaluated alternative alignments and whether they serve as appropriate solutions. In addition to the public and stakeholder meetings, the study will also use an Online Interactive Community Forum to virtually display study details.