Arkansas Transportation

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a $1.8 million bid for improvements to 25 interchanges on several highways in seven counties.

The commission announced Tuesday that Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc. of Topeka, Kansas was awarded the contract.

Big Rock Interchange I-630 I-430
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A short-term funding bill that will authorize appropriations for federal-aid highway, highway safety and public transportation programs passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House Wednesday.

The 312-119 vote on H.R. 3038 drew support from members of the state’s congressional delegation as Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, French Hill, R-Little Rock, Steve Womack, R-Rogers and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, all voted yes.

Central Arkansas Transit Authority CATA bus
David Monteith / KUAR News

Central Arkansas Transit Authority unveiled its new compressed natural gas fueling station Tuesday, which is the first step in a plan to transition its entire fleet of  buses to CNG instead of diesel within the next 10 years. 

“It is helping us modernize out fleet. CNG is much more cost effective than diesel, it’s better for the environment, and through this project we’ve shown that there’s a strong partnership between both the public and private sector to fund important trends in infrastructure,” says Jarod Varner, executive director for Central Arkansas Transit Authority.

Big Rock Interchange Tom Schueck Mark Stodola Scott Bennett
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Drivers will soon be able to use all of the ramps at the Big Rock Interchange in west Little Rock, where interstates 430 and 630 meet. After more than five years of construction, the $150 million project to allow traffic to flow more smoothly is nearly complete.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Flights with nonstop service to Little Rock, Arkansas, are set to return to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport after a two-year absence.

Southwest Airlines announced it will fly two daily non-stop flights to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport starting Jan. 6. The Lambert-St. Louis airport has also recently announced the launch of three new nonstop flights.

Flights to Austin, Texas, and Jackson, Tennessee, began Sunday. Nonstop flights to Portland, Oregon, are set to begin Wednesday.

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.