Arkansas Transportation

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Sign
commons.wikimedia.org

Thousands of travelers on Delta Airline’s inbound and outbound flights in Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and Fort Smith faced uncertainty and were left scrambling to find other travel options as a power outage at the nation’s second largest airline has impacted Monday morning travel nationwide.

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

The cost of a bus ride in central Arkansas is under review after voters denied a quarter-penny tax increase to Rock Region Metro earlier this year.

A policy, which will outline if and when to consider fare increases, as well as more clearly defining who qualifies for discounted passes, will be proposed to the board of directors in the coming months.

Becca Green, director of public engagement for the transit system, says no specific fare increases have been proposed yet.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Major work to two runways at Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is about to begin, with airport officials hoping to minimize the impact on travelers.

The airport’s general aviation runway, known as Runway 18/36, is to close by the middle of August and not reopen until February, says airport spokesman Shane Carter. That will shift arriving and departing planes to one of two commercial runways.

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.

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