LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Plans to rebuild the Broadway Bridge will continue...that's according to an official with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
Another proposal still being discussed: connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock via Chester Street, a suggestion endorsed by Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, and Mayor Patrick Hays of North Little Rock.
But those plans will require additional study, according to Randy Ort of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
After years of planning and meetings for a new Broadway Bridge:
"We're moving forward with that. A lot of public input. A lot of public interest," Ort said.
Ort says that while the proposal of a Chester Street crossing has some merit and benefits...
"It's something we don't feel is a viable option in place of the Broadway Bridge project," Ort said.
So the Broadway Bridge project will continue as planned to replace the bridge in 2013.
But not everyone agrees.
"It would be nice if they'd build the Chester Street Bridge first and then they could tear it down, then traffic is not going to be a nightmare," said a resident of Little Rock.
"Well that's going to make traffic back up so that's probably one of the things I would be concerned about the most," added another resident.
"That bridge is going to have to be closed to traffic for the duration of that construction. And that's one very important factor we're looking at in this replacement project," Ort said.
On Tuesday afternoon, THV received a copy of a letter from the Transportation Department to Mayor Stodola and Mayor Hays.
The letter stated it is not possible to plan a Chester Street Bridge in the time allotted, considering the federal funds must be used in 2013.
Immediately thereafter, THV spoke with Mayor Stodola who said he is disappointed and has further questions to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
The Mayor would like to know how much money the Department has obligated for other bridges around Arkansas in 2013.
As it stands now, the exact cost of the new Broadway Bridge will not be determined until the design is set, but there are approximately $58 million in federal funds set aside for the project.