News » Cover Stories

A quick trip

An I-630 timeline.

comment
cover_story2-1.jpg

1930 — John Nolen, a Massachusetts city planner contracted by Little Rock to come up with an overall city development plan, lays out the route for a cross-town expressway that vaguely follows the path of the current I-630.

1959 — Little Rock voters approve a bond issue that includes $1.2 million to buy property to be demolished for the proposed expressway. The same year, the city amends the master street plan to include an expressway from I-430 in the west to I-30 on the east, both of which were still in the planning stages.

1969 — The first, one-mile section of the freeway opens between Cedar Street and Park Street.

1970 — The state Highway Commission petitions the federal government to include the I-630 project in the interstate highway system. In November, U.S. Rep. Wilbur D. Mills announces that the project had been added to the federal system, with the U.S. government picking up 90 percent of the tab for construction.

1971 — The Arkansas Highway Commission renames the project the Wilbur D. Mills Freeway.

1973 — The second section of the freeway from Pine Street to Dennison Street opens in May 1973. ACORN files suit in federal court in November, saying the environmental impact statement for the eastern section of the project is inadequate.

1975 — In February, federal District Judge J. Smith Henley rules in favor of ACORN. Construction on the section from Dennison Street to I-30 is allowed to continue while the case is on appeal. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis eventually upholds Henley's ruling.

1977 — The section from University Avenue to I-430 opens in December.

1979 — Federal Judge G. Thomas Eisele rules in April that a new environmental impact statement filed by the state is adequate, allowing construction on the eastern stretch of the freeway to move forward.

1984 — The eastbound lanes of the freeway between Cross and Center Streets open in December.

1985 — The westbound lanes between Cross and Center open to traffic in April. The eastbound lanes between Center and I-30 open in July. The westbound lanes between Center and Interstate 30 open in September, completing the interstate between I-430 and I-30.

Add a comment

Clicky