A hearing is underway in federal court on a motion for a temporary restraining order to halt work on an Interstate 630 widening project in Little Rock until a lawsuit can be tried arguing the project didn’t have a necessary environmental impact assessment. Update: no decision today.
KUAR reports on morning testimony, which included witnesses called by plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Mays and Judge Jay Moody’s refusal to issue a summary judgment dismissing the case.
KUAR also reports that plans to remove the Hughes Street overpass Friday — work Moody had declined to stop — was delayed by technical difficulties and rain. That removal work will continue tonight.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation argues that the work isn’t major enough to require an environmental review. It will widen I-630 for more than two miles and create new demands on connecting roadways. Before it’s over it will require removal or major changes to three bridges on the route and close park space devoted to basketball courts. It will cause acknowledged increases in noise.
UPDATE: The hearing concluded at 6:40 p.m. today. The judge said he’d rule tomorrow. A delay in ruling is perhaps a hint of bad news for plaintiffs.