ironchapman

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So what's the deal on this Episphere? I had a relative who lives closer to Little Rock make mention of it. I had no idea what she was talking about. There was an article in the Ark Dem-Gaz mentioning so far it's the only one in the world. Does anyone around the Little Rock area have any comments on it?

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The Epishpere is a located at the IMAX. Its a smaller verson with reclining seats and a lot of sound: IMAX 10,000 watts, Epishpere 20,000 watts. I think they do a different type of programming.

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It sounds interesting. It's interesting that the first one is actually in Little Rock. Did someone local have something to do with it? I'm just wondering how Arkansas managed to get the first one. Is it something like a mix between an IMAX and a planetarium? I guess that's a conception I picked up somewhere. If any of the Little Rock people happen to go to it, let us know what you think.

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The last time I went to the IMAX in LR was last year to see the NASCAR film. I would go more often if it was located some place else. It is located right outside the airport and there is nothing else to do around it. It is part of the Aerospace Center. A good idea that never really worked out.

Episphere Website

Edited by skirby

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I have heard mention of a North Beltway project possibly getting off the ground one of these days. What exactly is it? Would it be an expressway going through the northern area of North Little Rock?

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The last time I went to the IMAX in LR was last year to see the NASCAR film. I would go more often if it was located some place else. It is located right outside the airport and there is nothing else to do around it. It is part of the Aerospace Center. A good idea that never really worked out.

Episphere  Website

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I guess it usually works okay for me. When I go visit Little Rock I tend to do it when I'm visiting family in Pine Bluff. So it's rather conveient going to it from the south.

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I have another question. Are there any plans on widening I-40 between Liottle Rock and Conway in the future? I noticed when they worked on the bridges a while back they widened them for the possibility of another lane on each side. Even though I live in northwest Arkansas and think more money needs to be spent on roads up here. I do have to admit the stretch between Little Rock and Conway always seems to be rather congested, at least when I seem to drive it. I rarely have driven between Little Rock and Benton, is it anything like the drive between Conway and Little Rock? Those two directions seem to represent the highest growth areas in central Arkansas.

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I have another question.  Are there any plans on widening I-40 between Liottle Rock and Conway in the future?  I noticed when they worked on the bridges a while back they widened them for the possibility of another lane on each side.  Even though I live in northwest Arkansas and think more money needs to be spent on roads up here.  I do have to admit the stretch between Little Rock and Conway always seems to be rather congested, at least when I seem to drive it.  I rarely have driven between Little Rock and Benton, is it anything like the drive between Conway and Little Rock?  Those two directions seem to represent the highest growth areas in central Arkansas.

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Little Rock and Conway: don't know.

Between Little Rock and Benton: they just expanded it to a six-lane highway. It's taken years...i mean...this project was going on when i was a boy in late middle school. It finally finished this year. They had to convert the service roads on the sides to one way, and they had the build several new bridges spanning the highway so that it's possible to reach a store on the other side (it's much harder since your car can only travel one way). They had to cut off pieces of the service road where it was to narrow for the expanded interstate to pass. It really took so long because it was obvious they hadn't planned for expanding the highway when originally built. Just another example of Arkansas' lack of foresight regarding infrastructure. The expanded highway was much needed because the road from Benton it Little Rock was always jammed, always. Now it's much more clog free with 3 lanes going each way.

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I don't tend to go that way but I have heard the traffic between Little Rock and Benton was bad. Although if I had to pick I'd rather have a project done up here in northwest Arkansas, I do think they should do something about Conway to Little Rock. Especially since I-40 is a major national interstate. Now does anyone know anything about the 'North Beltway'? I still haven't gotten anyone to answe me about that one.

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When you talk about the North Beltway are you talking about the highway to run north of NLR between I-40 and 67/167? If so there is a problem with it going through Sherwood. Although there has been plans to build it since the 1940's there was never a right-of-way set aside. Sherwood did not like the last three routes so its back to the drawing board. Highway opening not for another ten years.

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When you talk about the North Beltway are you talking about the highway to run north of NLR between I-40 and 67/167? If so there is a problem with it going through Sherwood. Although there has been plans to build it since the 1940's there was never a right-of-way set aside. Sherwood did not like the last three routes so its back to the drawing board. Highway opening not for another ten years.

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Maybe that is the one. I've just heard something about that before but never heard any specific details or where exactly is was supposed to be. But that does sound like what I imagined.

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Since Johnny is in Philadelphia and away from Arkansas I will do what I can to post info on Little Rock. Even though I tend to let others who are closer to the area do so. There was recently a report of solutions to the traffic problems around I-630 and I-430 interchange. There are three points that would cost around $61 Mil. Adding ramps over the interchange linking the two interstates. Which would allow faster and less congested traffic. Building a bridge over Shackleford Rd on I-630 to allow traffic to move more freely towards the west. Placing barriers bnetween lanes at certain points to reduce the dangerous weaving that often takes place now. Here are some figures for the area roads. I-630 averages around 97,000 vehicles a day. I-430 around 83,000; Shackleford around 39,000; and Financial Centre around 33,000 a day. Does anyone more familiar with this area have anything to add?

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Since Johnny is in Philadelphia and away from Arkansas I will do what I can to post info on Little Rock.
Edited by Arkansawyer

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Just out of curiosity, did the NWA edition of the ADG carry this story, or did you hear of it elsewhere?

Now, from my own personal experience, this is an extremely dangerous area. I-630 abruptly stops at a traffic light, and cars often have to jam on the brakes, having been cruising at 65 mph down the highway, to come to a complete stop. The area becomes very congested, and is not the easiest place in which to maneuver a vehicle to the proper lane or exit. Put simply, it can be a traffic nightmare. I haven't read the whole article, so I don't know where it says the $61 million will come from, but I really hope they get on the ball and start these much-needed improvements under way.

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Yes it was in the northwest edition. They've gotten a lot better but for a long time our edition was basically your copy of the paper with the Northwest Arkansas Times (the local paper they bought out) added after it was reduced to a single section. I mean we would have movie listing for Little Rock and not even northwest Arkansas. Even after they added things like movie listings for northwest Arkansas they still had the Little Rock ones too for a long time for some reason.

I'm not an expert on this particular area. Does this have anything to do with the area in North Little Rock on I-40? Can anyone tell me what they are doing there? Seems like they've had it narrowed down for quite a while now and I'm not sure exactly what they are doing.

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Just out of curiosity, did the NWA edition of the ADG carry this story, or did you hear of it elsewhere?

Now, from my own personal experience, this is an extremely dangerous area. I-630 abruptly stops at a traffic light, and cars often have to jam on the brakes, having been cruising at 65 mph down the highway, to come to a complete stop. The area becomes very congested, and is not the easiest place in which to maneuver a vehicle to the proper lane or exit. Put simply, it can be a traffic nightmare. I haven't read the whole article, so I don't know where it says the $61 million will come from, but I really hope they get on the ball and start these much-needed improvements under way.

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i am not familiar with this area since i have never been to little rock. i-630, why would an interstate have a stop light? could you explain this for people who do not know what you are talking about?

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i am not familiar with this area since i have never been to little rock. i-630, why would an interstate have a stop light? could you explain this for people who do not know what you are talking about?

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I am not very familiar with Little Rock myself, but I believe I-630 is just a small interstate road that goes around part of Little Rock. After a while it basically just ends and eventually ends at a stoplight. I don't think it was exactly the greatest planning, but when it was built I don't think there was anything in that area where it ends. That and I think they might have also been running out of funds.

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Yep. It ends at a stoplight. If you've ever been on a toll bridge on a major highway (like those in N.O.), the situation is very similar. Everyone is speeding along and then the traffic lights come into view and everyone slows down abruptly.

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When I-630 was built, it was dubbed one of the greatest freeways in the country. It runs from downtown to West Little Rock. Sure, it ends at a stop light, but there are "full speed" ramps onto I-430 at that Junction if you are just passing through.

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For more info on the Northbelt Freeway simply go to the Metroplan Website.

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Thanks for the info. :D By the way welcome to the Arkansas forum. Sorry I haven't done so earlier.

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I-630 is an interstate that runs East-West through the core of the city of Little Rock only along a roughly 10 mile route through downtown as it comes off of I-30 and it ends as it meets I-430 which runs North-South. The terminal portion of the interstate continues on and ends at a stoplight and becomes Financial Center Parkway which in turn becomes Chenal Parkway, emptying into the high-growth suburban West Little Rock area. This area has the highest traffic counts in Arkansas as well as the interchanges with the most accidents on annual insurance reports. The Northbound ramp from I-630 onto I-430 gets backed up badly in the afternoons as does the entry from I-430 onto 630 in the mornings. There has been talk about a new interchange for 430 and 630 for some time as well as widening all of 630 to 8 lanes, which would be difficult. The biggest problem area in Central AR is the the initial portion of I-30 through downtown NLR and LR as it carries the highest counts in AR. It badly needs to be widened to 8 lanes but cannot be due to the fact the current bridge can only handle 6 lanes of traffic and widening the rest would create a dangerous bottleneck at the bridge.

I-40 is being widened through NLR to 6 lanes, the portion between NLR and Conway was just resurfaced and as of now it is not going to be widened further.

The North Belt Freeway has been partially completed, the first segment is I-440 between I-40 (where it used to end) and U.S. 67/167 and provides an alternate route to bypass downtown for people in the Northeast corridor (NE North Little Rock, Sherwood, Jacksonville, and Cabot). It is supposed to eventually run all the way around and connect to 430 forming a loop around the city. Federal funding is secured but the route through Sherwood is a problem as it is all developed already. There was some talk about making this a toll road to help pay for I-49 but that was squashed.

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I-630 is an interstate that runs East-West through the core of the city of Little Rock only along a roughly 10 mile route through downtown as it comes off of I-30 and it ends as it meets I-430 which runs North-South.  The terminal portion of the interstate continues on and ends at a stoplight and becomes Financial Center Parkway which in turn becomes Chenal Parkway, emptying into the high-growth suburban West Little Rock area.  This area has the highest traffic counts in Arkansas as well as the interchanges with the most accidents on annual insurance reports.  The Northbound ramp from I-630 onto I-430 gets backed up badly in the afternoons as does the entry from I-430 onto 630 in the mornings.  There has been talk about a new interchange for 430 and 630 for some time as well as widening all of 630 to 8 lanes, which would be difficult.  The biggest problem area in Central AR is the the initial portion of I-30 through downtown NLR and LR as it carries the highest counts in AR.  It badly needs to be widened to 8 lanes but cannot be due to the fact the current bridge can only handle 6 lanes of traffic and widening the rest would create a dangerous bottleneck at the bridge. 

I-40 is being widened through NLR to 6 lanes, the portion between NLR and Conway was just resurfaced and as of now it is not going to be widened further.

The North Belt Freeway has been partially completed, the first segment is I-440 between I-40 (where it used to end) and U.S. 67/167 and provides an alternate route to bypass downtown for people in the Northeast corridor (NE North Little Rock, Sherwood, Jacksonville, and Cabot).  It is supposed to eventually run all the way around and connect to 430 forming a loop around the city.  Federal funding is secured but the route through Sherwood is a problem as it is all developed already.  There was some talk about making this a toll road to help pay for I-49 but that was squashed.

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I had thought the talk of the North Belt Freeway being a toll roas was for it to pay for itself. But what do I know I'm not from that area. It will be nice to see I-40 being six lanes at least through North Little Rock. Although having it six lanes to Conway would be nice too. As long as it doesn't take away money from road projects up here in northwest Arkansas. :D

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Some are reposts.........:

New condos via renovations are also coming to the following locations... thanks to Tower Investments of CA.

Arkansas Building

3-story historic office building

Planned condo, office and retail conversion - to begin 2005

ArkansasBldgPhoto2.jpg

Boyle Building

12-story historic office building

Planned condo, office and retail conversion - to begin 2005

boyle.jpg

Historic YMCA Building

4-story downtown building- across street from Metro Bank Tower (40 stories)

Planned condo- office and retail conversion - to begin 2005

YMCA%20Artist%20Rendition%201.jpg

Interior Courtyard of YMCA

YMCA%20Artist%20Rendition%202.jpg

Lafayette Building

10-story historic office building

Planned condo, retail & office conversion - to begin 2005

lafayette.jpg

MM Cohn Building

5-story historic office building

Planned condo, retail & office conversion - to begin 2005

MMCohnBldgPhoto.jpg

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I think Little Rock is already in the second stage you're talking about. We've had a lot of success with urban living here already, and the the new projects, which keep coming, are getting bigger.

Besides 300 Third, here are some of the notable new residential projects in downtown.

First Security Center:

14 stories mixed-use building

$25 million

24 condominiums

The parking deck in the picture is new $6.5 million River Market Parking Deck.

dtp_int_photo_1stsecurity.jpg

Capital Commerce Center:

7 stories mixed-use building

$14 million

16 condominiums

ccc_backside.jpg

Commerc2.jpg

Rainwater Flats Condominiums:

$3.5 million

20 condominiums

trf_rend.jpg

Site plan:

trf_site.jpg

Argenta Square:

$5 million

56 apartments

This project provides downtown housing to a lower-income demographic. The area in which it

was constructed was formerly run-down lots and empty rental housing.

argentar_.jpg

Argenta Place:

mixed-use building

$11 million

28 condominiums

The picture of this is large, so I provided a link to it.

These are some of the new projects, but many more old downtown buildings have been renovated and turned into residential units as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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