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Toll lanes to be studied in Arkansas . . . again


The Arkansas Highway Commission has voted to study adding part-time toll lanes to Little Rock area freeways, which supporters say could alleviate traffic for commuters and help efforts to expand mass transit in the region.

The commission approved partnering with Metroplan, the planning organization for the central Arkansas area, to study adding "high occupancy toll" lanes to Pulaski, Faulkner, Saline and Lonoke counties. The study will likely take six months to a year to complete.

"There are a lot of things being done in urban areas around the country and we want to see if it could be implemented in Arkansas and how it would work," Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett said.

Arkansas currently doesn't have any toll lanes in the state, though the idea has been debated in the past. Bennett said the department is currently studying HOT lanes for a portion of Interstate 30 between south Little Rock and Benton.

McKenzie and Bennett said the study would look at pricing options for using the HOT lane, demand for such a lane and who can have access to the lane during non-peak hours. In a letter to Bennett in March, McKenzie also said the time the lane is toll could expand as demand grows.

McKenzie said the lanes are far from a certainty and cautioned drivers to not expect to pay for driving on any of the region's highways anytime soon.




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You are here: Home News In Brief Toll lanes to be studied in Arkansas . . . again