North Little Rock Street Dispute Yields to Fairway Cove Development

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 22, 2013 12:00 am  

Both cities squabbled over how traffic would change if the bridge was allowed to connect with Sherwood.

“The Sherwood people believed if it was connected it would have a fantastically large volume,” Voyles said. “I think it would probably not; it would probably only have 5,000 to 6,000 cars a day.”

In the end, Sherwood swung its vote and sided with the neighborhoods.

“Sherwood passed a law that said the developer could not, if it built the street, it could not connect with Sherwood,” Voyles said. 

In 2000, North Little Rock erased the bridge from its master street plan. A group of residents who wanted the bridge sued the city over the issue. 

Five years later, Charlie Hight, an alderman in North Little Rock, introduced an ordinance to put the bridge back in the plan. Residents of the local neighborhoods were again incensed and piled into North Little Rock’s city council chambers to make their opinions known. 

Supporters maintained that the connection would relieve traffic in other parts of North Little Rock. Others felt that traffic would be disruptive. 

With almost equal support on both sides, the council backed away from the issue.

In 2006, the suit finally ended with Pulaski County Circuit Judge Collins Kilgore finding that a private developer could build a bridge as long as it led to a subdivision rather than a continuation into Sherwood.

“The master street plan is a document that says if you build a street here you must build it according to this standard,” Voyles said. “It doesn’t say you can’t build a private, local street.”

Metropolitan took that option and built the bridge on its own. The extension of Fairway doesn’t connect to Sherwood and instead ends in the cul-de-sac.

Voyles said concerned residents still check in with the city to make sure Fairway won’t be connected with Sherwood. But that seems unlikely, especially now that a large home is under construction at the very end of the cove.

“I don’t think it will once those nice homes are built there,” Voyles said. “People believe bad things are coming. I don’t know how to change that.” 

 

 

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