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Discussion On I-630 Widening Project Causes Some Conflict

A traffic project, only in the beginning stages, is already a concern for some Little Rock residents.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is taking a look at widening I-630 from University Avenue to I-30.

This is far from a done deal.

But, some folks are already raising red flags over the project.

Seven years ago, Lakresha Diaz and her husband bought a home on Welch Street that dates back to 1872.

She's spent a lot of time and money renovating the old Victorian.

Diaz says that's why she's so concerned about an I-630 widening project.

Her home sits feet away from the freeway and she fears it could be on the chopping block.

But the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Director says they're only in the beginning stages of studying this idea.

Diaz said, "But it's going to take out our houses that's the major concern. Noise and those things are a concern as well, but the biggest concern is how close will it be to our property."

Transportation Director Scott Bennett, said, "Do we need eight lanes? Do we need ten lanes? And that's part of the work that we will be undertaking within the next six months to a year. And I think we will have a clearer picture about this time next year."

We did talk to other people living near the freeway, and most neighbors told us with months of studies ahead, they're not worried about this issue just yet.

Community groups are already tossing around alternatives like adding a Chester Street bridge across the Arkansas River, reducing the width of an I-30 span or adding more transit services.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.


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