Arkansas Lawmakers Seek Answers From Highway Officials

Mar 9, 2014

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

State legislators are planning to question highway officials about the response - or lack of response - as sleet and snow piled on Arkansas roadways and left motorists stranded for hours.

Winter weather raked much of Arkansas a week ago and left roads slick statewide, but Interstates 40 and 55 in eastern Arkansas became choked with traffic that was also clogged by a mix of construction zones and jackknifed tractor-trailers.

Legislators will open two days of hearings on the subject Tuesday.

Republican state Sen. Bill Sample, chairman of the Senate Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee, says roads in adjacent states were much clearer than in Arkansas. And Gov. Mike Beebe has criticized the highway department's storm response as too slow.

Highway department Director Scott Bennett has declined comment.