Interstate 30 or I -30 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The highway runs from Texarkana on the Texas border to Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. Interstate 30 is 230 kilometers long in Arkansas.
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The terminus of I-30 in Little Rock.
I-30 begins in the twin city of Texarkana on the border with the state of Texas, where Interstate 30 enters Texas from Dallas and runs 2×2 lanes through Texarkana. The state line connects to US 71. I-30 runs generally northeast from Texarkana, through fairly flat terrain. The highway has 2×2 lanes across rural Arkansas. The landscape is densely wooded, you see little of the places on the route. I-30 crosses several tributaries of the Mississippi River, many of which are still small rivers here. Small towns such as Hope, Prescott and Arkadelphia are on the route.
West of Benton, US 70 connects from Hot Springs. Here the highway gets busier and from the town of Benton, I-30 has 2×3 lanes. It is striking that I-30 between Benton and Little Rock has largely frontage roads, the corridor of I-30 is urbanized with a lot of activity and commercial facilities. This part of I-30 is more like Texas than Arkansas.
Southwest of the state capital, Little Rock follows an interchange with Interstate 430, which forms Little Rock’s western bypass. I-30 then heads east initially, with 2×3 lanes along the south side of Little Rock, where the area is not yet fully urbanized. South of Little Rock then follows an interchange with two Interstate Highways, Interstate 440, which forms the eastern bypass of Little Rock, and Interstate 530 south to Pine Bluff.
I-30 heads north here into the town of Little Rock. The highway also has 2×3 lanes here and runs along the east side of Downtown Little Rock. Here is an interchange with Interstate 630, which forms the east-west axis through Little Rock. Then you cross the Arkansas River, after which you arrive in North Little Rock. Shortly thereafter, I-30 ends at an interchange with Interstate 40.
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The predecessor of I-30 was US 67, where I-30 is paralleled almost everywhere at a short distance.
Construction of I-30 in Arkansas began just before the Interstate Highway system was created, in 1954 between Benton and Little Rock. This section was in use in 1960 as the first section of I-30. On November 30, 1962, the interchange between I-30 and I-40 in North Little Rock was opened to traffic. I-30 through Little Rock was completed in 1963. The highway was built at a fairly rapid pace during the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1967, the section opened along Texarkana, as well as along Arkadelphia. The last missing section opened west of Prescott around 1973.
A major project was the widening of I-30 between Benton and Little Rock. This concerned the oldest section of the highway, which was widened to 2×3 lanes around 2003-2004 and largely has frontage roads. The section through Little Rock itself was presumably built directly with 2×3 lanes in 1963. Between 2019 and 2021, a 10-kilometer section between US 70 and Benton was widened to 2×3 lanes.
|Exit 111 US 70||Exit 131 Mablevale||32 km||1960|
|Exit 131 Mablevale||Exit 142 I-40||18 km||1963|
|Exit 98 Malvern||Exit 111 US 70||21 km||1966|
|Exit 0 Texas state line||Exit 12 Homan||19 km||1967|
|Exit 63 Gurdon||Exit 78 Caddo Valley||24 km||1967|
|Exit 12 Homan||Exit 18 Fulton||10 km||1968|
|Exit 54 Burtsell||Exit 63 Gurdon||15 km||1968|
|Exit 78 Caddo Valley||Exit 98 Malvern||32 km||1969|
|Exit 18 Fulton||Exit 30 Hope||19 km||1971|
|Exit 46 Prescott||Exit 54 Burtsell||13 km||1971|
|Exit 30 Hope||Exit 36 Emmett||10 km||1972|
|Exit 36 Emmett||Exit 46 Prescott||16 km||1973|
I-30 at I-530 in Little Rock.
It is planned to widen I-30 through Little Rock to 2×4 to 2×5 lanes, from I-440/530 on the south side of town to I-40 on the north side of town. The current 2×3 lane bridge over the Arkansas River is to be replaced with a 12 lane bridge, with a short parallel structure. The project will cost $630 million. The widening started in September 2020. The project should be completed in mid-2025.
About 52,100 vehicles cross the Texas border every day. Outside Texarkana towards Little Rock, this drops to 25,000 vehicles per day, fairly standard for longer distances outside urban areas in the United States. Little Rock is obviously a bit busier, after I-430 it rises to 81,000 vehicles, and 95,000 vehicles for downtown. 115,000 vehicles cross the Arkansas River every day.
|Exit 1||Exit 117||2×2|
|Exit 117||Exit 143||2×3||Little Rock|