Traffic, it's unavoidable in and around West Little Rock, especially at the 430/630 interchange. That's why the Highway Department hired consultants to study the area, and recommend ways to improve the traffic flow. Monday, officials have their first rough draft of recommended changes. FOX 16 explains what changes could lie ahead for the interchange, better known as Dysfunction Junction.
"I've been stranded, for an hour," said Teshia Bowman.
Teshia Bowman is like the more than two hundred fifty two thousand motorists that like it or not, braves the 430/ 630 interchange at least once a day. A task she says, isn't good for her mood, or her nerves. "It's very, very frustrating, I've been late for work, I have to leave, thirty to forty five minutes early," said Bowman.
The 430/630 Interchange was built thirty years ago, long before all the development was here. Highway officials say if they knew West Little Rock was going to explode like this, they would have designed this intersection a lot differently.” If we had a crystal ball, we could change a lot of our designs, over the years, but we don't have that," said Randy Ort. Without a crystal ball, Ort says the Highway Department opted to hire a Dallas based consulting firm, to study this intersection, and offer solutions to improve the flow of traffic. The study should wrap up this year, but these rough drafts hold some suggestions, including one that focuses on adding and removing exit ramps. Ort says no one disputes that the intersection is congested, in fact we found out it's one of the three busiest in the state, but while everyone agrees that this traffic can be a nightmare, Ort says not everyone will agree on how the highway department will foot the bill. "I think it's safe to say it will cost fifty to sixty million dollars," said Ort. Once the study is complete, highway engineers will look at all the suggestions, if any are liked, the public will get its chance to voice their concerns. But don't expect construction, for at least a few years.