Arkansas Transportation

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is urging a committee looking at ways to increase highway funding to think creatively, but is also warning them to think about the politics of trying to find new revenue.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the 20-member working group he formed to look at the state's highway funding shortfall, the Republican governor said Wednesday he wants the panel to look at how other states are paying for their road needs. The working group is set to deliver its recommendations by mid-December.

Five Arkansas Airports To Share $1.8 Million Federal Grant

Jun 24, 2015

At least five airports around the state on Wednesday received a combined $1.8 million from the Department of Transportation to support facility upgrades and expansions, members of the state’s congressional delegation said.

Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., along with Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, said the grants went to airports in Desha, Franklin, Johnson, Lee and Mississippi counties.

The airports receiving funding are as follows:

Highway Funding Group Follows Blue Ribbon’s Footsteps

Jun 23, 2015
Interstate 30
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

On Wednesday, the 20-member Working Group on Highway Funding will hold its first meeting to discuss the state’s road funding options. Six years ago, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance did the same thing.

That committee was formed by Act 374 in 2009 and brought together 24 legislators, local officials, representatives from the financial and construction industries, and others. Sen. John Paul Capps, D-Searcy, was chairman.

David Monteith

Central Arkansas Transit Authority, or CATA, will host the first of six public meetings Monday evening as part of its ongoing rebranding project.

Executive Director Jarod Varner hopes the meetings will gather information about the types of improvements to public transit area residents want and are willing to pay for.

“Basically state law allows for a quarter-cent of sales tax (revenue) to be dedicated to transit, so that’s one thing we’ll talk to the community about," Varner said, "what we’d be able to fund with that dedicated source of funding.”

Road crews will close an exit to the Baptist Health complex in Little Rock this weekend during work on an access ramp.

The exit from Interstate 630 eastbound and Interstate 430 northbound will be closed Saturday and traffic diverted to nearby Barrow Road. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said Wednesday that workers will remove a temporary barrier wall and mark the pavement as work approaches an end around the Big Rock interchange in west Little Rock.

A rendering of future renovations of Robinson Auditorium Center Music Hall.
City of Little Rock

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says renovation work at Robinson Center Music Hall will close a portion of Highway 10 in Little Rock. The renovation work will require closing eastbound and westbound lanes on Friday at 7 p.m. until Monday at 6:00 a.m., weather permitting. 

Eastbound lanes will be closed Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on each day, weather permitting. State highway officials also say that improvements to Interstate 30 will require a lane closure in Saline and Hot Spring County.

Congressman Crawford: Highway Bill Just Needs Funding

May 27, 2015

A new version of the 2012 federal highway authorization law quickly could be passed with few changes out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., a committee member. The problem is finding a way to pay for it.

A proposal to change Arkansas' driving while intoxicated law to prevent losing more than $50 million in federal highway funds is heading to the state Senate for a vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to make DWI an offense for which prosecutors don't have to prove intent. The measure would only apply to alcohol-related DWI offenses.

An earlier version of the proposal had failed before the panel on Tuesday.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A measure filed Thursday by Arkansas's Fourth District Representative would direct expanded Medicaid funds to the ailing Federal Highway Trust Fund. Republican Bruce Westerman's bill would direct expanded medicaid funds to the Fund. The bill would lower the amount the federal government contributes to state Medicaid programs, expanded under the Affordable Care Act, by returning the federal matching rates to pre-expansion levels.

House Passes Highway Bill Extension, Supported By Arkansas Delegation

May 20, 2015

Faced with the expiration of the federal highway funding law and the impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund, the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed the stopgap Highway Transportation Funding Act to continue highway funding authority through July.

The vote was 387-35 in favor of passing the extension. All four members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation voted yes. The bill next goes to the Senate.

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