Arkansas Transportation

Rock Region Metro transit buses CAT central arkansas transit
David Monteith / KUAR

Rock Region METRO plans to share details of proposed route and system changes at a series of public meetings beginning Tuesday night. Becca Green, director of public engagement, said the changes proposed appear minor, however it’s hoped they’ll have a big impact.

“They transfer into things that are very meaningful for our riders,” said Green. “In some cases there’s a more direct path to a shopping destination, that’s a major destination on a path, or in some cases there are less transfers, or better stop placement, things like that.”

Black Lives Matter Interstate 40 bridge over Mississippi River
KATV, Channel 7 News

Hundreds of protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied a key bridge over the Mississippi River Sunday night, blocking an interstate highway for hours before officers moved them off.

Traffic on Interstate 40 stopped in both directions after Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto the bridge. Police in squad cars tried to stop them, but several hundred had already made their way up the ramp, and the crowd swelled to more than 1,000.

Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s call for the Good Roads Foundation to devise a long-term state highway funding plan could result in a proposal by the 2017 session of the Arkansas Legislature, according to Craig Douglass, the non-profit's executive director. 

He says the advocacy group will be organizing stakeholders in the coming weeks to address funding for the state Highway and Transportation Department.

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) discussing changes to eligibility verification for Medicaid in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol in early August.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is asking the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation to drum up statewide support for long term highway funding solutions in Arkansas.

Hutchinson spoke at the foundation's annual meeting Thursday. He reiterated that he does not want to seek a tax increase through the Legislature to pay for road improvements, and he hopes any plan to seek a new tax would go before voters.

The foundation rebranded itself in 2015 to promote adequate funding and financing for the state's highway and road needs.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Traffic at Arkansas’ three largest commercial airports improved in May, and shipping on the Arkansas River has recovered from the rain-induced slowdown in 2015, according to information in the June edition of the Arkansas Transportation Report.

Drone Amazon
AP / NPR.org

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing drones that it says will help it manage its warehouse inventory more efficiently, and which it says could be rolled out in the next six to nine months across its distribution centers.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Highway Commission is studying whether to add part-time toll lanes to Little Rock area freeways, a move that supporters said could alleviate traffic for commuters and help efforts to expand mass transit in the region.

The commission on Wednesday approved partnering with Metroplan, the planning organization for the central Arkansas area, to study adding "high occupancy toll" lanes to the region. The study will likely take six months to a year to complete.

Governor Signs Arkansas Highway Plan Into Law

May 23, 2016
Highway funding legislature
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Legislature finished up a three-day special session Monday that concluded with Governor Asa Hutchinson signing a $50 million state highway funding appropriation that was initially rejected by the Senate’s transportation committee.

Jeremy Gillam Arkansas House of Representatives
ArkansasHouse.org

Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to raise nearly $50 million for the state's highways in the coming fiscal year.

The Senate on Monday approved by a 21-10 vote Hutchinson's proposal to tap into the state's surplus, investment returns and other funds to pay for the state's road needs. The measure now heads to Hutchinson's desk.

Lawmakers approved the plan shortly before adjourning a special session that began last week on the proposal.

Governor's Radio Column: Paving The Way

May 21, 2016
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)
Governor's Office

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of May 20, 2016:

  We all learn from history and that includes Arkansas history.

In 1911, the Arkansas Legislature met for the first time in the new State Capitol. The building was still unfinished, but it was “finished enough” for legislators to meet for a general session.

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