Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

arkansas_buff

Conway Loop a Real Possiblity

Recommended Posts

Of the $2.3 billion slated for the state for highways over the next 5 years, $2.4 million of that is reserved for the proposed loop in Conway. This road has been on the drawing board for Conway now for over 2 decades. $2.4 million is only a fraction of the total cost (about $85 million), but it's a start. This is the first money of any amount set aside for the project.

Already there are major retail developments going up near the proposed area. These spots have been going fast in hopes that the loop would someday come. Maybe this is just what it takes to get the ball rolling for Conway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Of the $2.3 billion slated for the state for highways over the next 5 years, $2.4 million of that is reserved for the proposed loop in Conway.  This road has been on the drawing board for Conway now for over 2 decades.  $2.4 million is only a fraction of the total cost (about $85 million), but it's a start.  This is the first money of any amount set aside for the project.

Already there are major retail developments going up near the proposed area.  These spots have been going fast in hopes that the loop would someday come.  Maybe this is just what it takes to get the ball rolling for Conway.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I included this information in my comprehensive overview of transportation funds for Arkansas in the topic titled "Congress Passes New Transportation Bill." You can look there to find and discuss other projects' funding.

It doesn't seem too smart for businesses to set up hoping for the road. If they really need it, they'll close before it's built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I included this information in my comprehensive overview of transportation funds for Arkansas in the topic titled "Congress Passes New Transportation Bill." You can look there to find and discuss other projects' funding.

It doesn't seem too smart for businesses to set up hoping for the road. If they really need it, they'll close before it's built.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I believe the retail developments are a done deal... despite the road being built. I know the highway would be a big boost to business, but I don't think they're banking on it. Not based on the story I read on KTHV anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say I heard anything about this project. I guess I'm also not accustomed to hearing a city building a whole loop. Do you think they'd just slowly build it in sections when the money becomes available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression it wasn't a "loop" per se AROUND the city but rather a bypass.  Conway's roads are terrible.  It grew at a pace every bit as brisk as the NWA cities, going from 26,000 in the 1990 census to an estimated 51.000 in 2005.  Howver, nothing was really done to alleviate traffic and multiple tax requests to build roads and parks failed to pass.  Harkrider and Oak are worse than any streets in Dallas or Little Rock in terms of volume.

The biggest mistake made was not 6-laning I-40 from Conway to Little Rock.  Traffic on that road turns a 30 min commute into 3 times that as often as not and Faulkner Co's growth isn't braking at all.  If it were just a commuter highway it would be less of an issue but it's the number of commuters combined with the heavy semi/through traffic that makes it so miserable.  I wonder if at some point this will choke off Conway's growth though it has been getting a lot of new things like Kohl's, Target, Outback, Chili's etc that will help it become a little more self-sustaining.  It really needs to keep more jobs to sustain itself, though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It sounds like Conways' growth might be choked off before northwest Arkansas' growth happens to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like Conways' growth might be choked off before northwest Arkansas' growth happens to.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's really an apples and oranges type of thing. NWA will grow as long as more jobs are created. If job creation slows then growth will slow. Everything is essentially dependent on Wal-Mart though Tyson spurred a lot of immigration which helped fuel the numerical population growth.

Conway is a different matter, it's largely a commuter market. It is essentially competing with Lonoke County (Cabot, etc) as well as Saline County (Benton, Bryant) for people working in Pulaski Co. All 3 are strict dry counties (no liquor by the drink) with emerging retail but all 3 really have nice residential development ranging from upscale to moderate with reasonable prices. Conway has some distinct advantages over these communities in terms of existing infrastructure and the presence of UCA, CBC and Hendrix (with a combined 12k students), as well as nice topography and lakes. There is more of a corporate presence up there as well with a few small cos. However, it has a big disadvantages - longer distance to the major retail centers, restaurants, and downtown coupled with hellacious interstate traffic without a plausible alternate route. Meanwhile, I-30 has been 6-laned through Benton and 67/167 is largely finished - in addition the I-440 bypass loop now connects at Sherwood giving people in Sherwood, Jacksonville, and Lonoke Co a good alternate route to downtown/central LR.

Saline Co really seems to me to have the edge in this. Traffic going out that way isn't fun, either, but at least it's a shorter distance and Bryant is really a nice community. Meanwhile, it seems West LR development has picked up nicely and Little Rock itself seems to be growing again. Faulkner (and Saline for that matter) could really do itself a big favor by opting for liquor by the drink. Conway is a popular retail target right now but this is keeping it from having adequate restaurants and driving to LR every time you want a nice dinner is a growth impedance. Benton Co faced the same choice a few years ago and is much better off now because of their decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if it gets too bad around Conway I guess that will simply promote growth in the other counties surrounding Pulaski. I just wonder if there be a time that all of those areas get congested and people will eventually start turning to Jefferson County and Pine Bluff. If Pine Bluff can get something going they could at least try to capitolize on that aspect. Being a bedroom community is better than having your city shrink into nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if it gets too bad around Conway I guess that will simply promote growth in the other counties surrounding Pulaski.  I just wonder if there be a time that all of those areas get congested and people will eventually start turning to Jefferson County and Pine Bluff.  If Pine Bluff can get something going they could at least try to capitolize on that aspect.  Being a bedroom community is better than having your city shrink into nothing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You'd be amazed how many people commute from Pulaski, Lonoke, and Grant (Sheridan) Cos to Pine Bluff. There's no reason for flight to occur in the direction.

Saline and Lonoke Cos are both doing fairly well and Grant Co is slowly starting to become less rural and more suburban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd be amazed how many people commute from Pulaski, Lonoke, and Grant (Sheridan) Cos to Pine Bluff.  There's no reason for flight to occur in the direction.

Saline and Lonoke Cos are both doing fairly well and Grant Co is slowly starting to become less rural and more suburban.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah I know Pine Bluff isn't the greatest place, but I'm not sure if it's as bad as many people make it out to be. Although I admit I don't want to live there personally but I'm a little surprised more people aren't taking advantage at some of the cheapest real estate in the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.