Arkansas Transportation

Hernando de Soto Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between West Memphis, AR and Memphis, TN.

The FBI wants law officers assigned to areas around the Mississippi River bridges at Memphis, Tennessee, to keep an eye on the spans after a vague threat that one would be blown up. FBI spokesmen said Tuesday the threat was unsubstantiated but that local police were still notified.

Two cross-country routes traverse the Mississippi River at Memphis - Interstates 40 and 55. They remained open.

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Pulaski County.

Officials at the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department said Monday that the purpose of the project is to replace a Highway 70 bridge that spans the Union Pacific Railroad, just west of the State Fairgrounds.

James Construction Group, LLC of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was awarded the contract totaling more than $10.6 million for the project.

Travelers will come across 28 miles of lane closures on major Arkansas roads during the upcoming holiday season.

The state Highway and Transportation Department said Friday the longest restriction will be along eight miles of Interstate 530 from Little Rock to near the Sheridan exit.

Interstate 40 will have lane restrictions in both directions for five miles near West Memphis, for five miles in eastbound lanes near Brinkley, and four miles in both directions near Russellville.

Interstate 40 Interstate 55 West Memphis
peggydavis66 / Wikimedia Commons

Heading into the Christmas travel season, the number of people traveling in Arkansas and nationwide will begin increasing this week. Clinton National Airport and the Arkansas State Police are preparing for busy air traffic and roadways. 

Hope Union Pacific
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Union Pacific Railroad says it will double the speed of its trains passing through Hope.

The Texarkana Gazette reports the company will increase speeds from 30 mph to 60 mph. The speeds will be increased in 5 mph increments until Dec. 22.

A Union Pacific spokesman says the company had been restricting the speeds through the city but is making the change after completing signal and track improvements. He says more collisions occur with slower trains and that drivers will have to wait less time at crossings.

Interstate 30
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas drivers will encounter 28 miles of lane closings on major highways over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The  Highway and Transportation Department said Friday that four major highways will have construction-related lane closures: Interstates 40, 430 and 530, plus U.S. 67.

The new Interstate 49 from Texarkana, Arkansas, to Shreveport, Louisiana, is now officially open. Highway officials and others from Arkansas and Louisiana gathered at the state line Monday for a ribbon cutting to open the segment.

The interstate will eventually connect Kansas City, Missouri, with New Orleans. In Kansas City, the interstate will connect with Interstate 29 to create a 1,700-mile interstate from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to New Orleans.

The Uber app connects passengers with drivers using personal cars who are not direct employees.

There is now another option besides taxis and buses to motor around Little Rock but it may not be legal. The ride-sharing service Uber began operations in Little Rock Thursday. It connects would-be passengers and drivers using personal cars through a mobile app.

In recent months the city of Little Rock has been crafting a new ordinance to regulate Uber’s operation with their input.

Arkansas and Missouri Railroad excursion train
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on a train collision in northwest Arkansas that left dozens of people with minor injuries.

The collision happened Oct. 16 when an Arkansas & Missouri Railroad locomotive struck a passenger excursion train that had stalled on tracks near Brentwood. The locomotive had been dispatched to offer assistance to the stalled train.

Arkansas and Missouri Railroad excursion train
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two passengers on an excursion train that was struck head-on by another train in northwest Arkansas have filed civil lawsuits against the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.

Corliss Johnson of Rogers and Margaret Harkins of Lowell have filed separate lawsuits against the railroad in connection with the Oct. 16 collision. Fayetteville television station KHOG reports that both Johnson and Harkins say they paid $107 to ride the excursion train for a scenic tour.