Arkansas Transportation

A Missouri construction company has submitted the lowest bid to replace a bridge over the Arkansas River to Little Rock.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports if state highway officials accept the $98.4 million bid by Massman Construction Co., the bridge should be out of commission for no more than six months.

Massman Construction Co. said in its bid documents that it expects the project to take about 2 1/2 years to complete.

State highway officials plan two public meetings for later this month to discuss Arkansas' long-term plan for rail service. The meetings are set for Sept. 23 in North Little Rock and Sept. 25 in Fort Smith.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is now coordinating the development of a statewide rail plan involving passenger and freight service.

Additional meetings are also planned in October in West Memphis, Monticello and Texarkana.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is set to open bids on 47 road and bridge projects totaling an estimated $303 million.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports three of the projects are expected to account for nearly two-thirds of the total cost. The Broadway Bridge replacement and 17-mile Interstate 40 rehabilitation are expected to exceed $80 million, while the third high-profile project, the widening of Interstate 40 between North Little Rock and Conway, is estimated to cost $30 million or more.

Signs are being placed on the Arkansas River Trail in central Arkansas to help emergency responders find people need help while on the trail.

The Arkansas River Trail Task Force says the "emergency medallions" will include a set of initials and numbers that are coded to longitude and latitude coordinates.

Callers can tell 911 dispatchers the initials and numbers to indicate their location on the trail.

Over 100 medallions will be installed along the Arkansas River Trail loop in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Senators, Federal Aviation Administration officials and other dignitaries are scheduled to help dedicate the new Conway airport. Friday's event will include multiple landings from area aircraft and a tour of the new terminal, among other events at the dedication. Conway officials say U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, Congressman Tim Griffin, Mayor Tab Townsell and others are expected at the afternoon event. The new airport will be known as Cantrell Field and will be located in the Lollie Bottoms area of Conway.

Conway airport
Conway Area Chamber of Commerce

After three years of construction work, Conway’s new airport is opening this week. A dedication ceremony is set for Friday, but planes will begin using the new facility in the city’s Lollie Bottoms area Monday.

It's on 430 acres and replaces an airport in the center of town that was about a third that size and had opened 1928. But as Conway grew around it, space was severely limited, with officials long considering a new location.

IDrive Arkansas logo
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Departmen

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is advising that lanes on some interstates and highways will be closed during the coming Labor Day holiday weekend.

The AHTD says lanes in both directions of Interstate 40 at West Memphis in Crittenden County and Russellville in Pope County will be closed and that a westbound lane of I-40 will be closed at Biscoe in Monroe County.

A lane of I-530 in both directions will be closed at Hensley near the Pulaski/Saline County line and a lane of U.S. 67 in both directions will be closed at Bald Knob in White County.

Oil train tanker cars
Rennett Stowe / Wikimedia Commons

Records on file with Arkansas' emergency managers show that as many as 33 trains carrying Bakken crude oil pass through the state in a given week.

Each train carries at least a million gallons - five times as much crude oil that spilled in Mayflower in March 2013.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Associated Press obtained correspondence railroads shared with the state in June. The railroads objected to the materials' release, but federal regulators said the information wasn't "security-sensitive."

Highway crews say cleanup operations at the site of a head-on train collision in northeastern Arkansas could keep a busy roadway closed into next week.

Two Union Pacific freight trains crashed Sunday morning near Hoxie. Two railroad workers died and another two were injured.

The accident occurred near U.S. 67, which remained closed Wednesday. Highway officials say the road could reopen this weekend, but with a chance it could be closed until Monday.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The construction of a new 2.1 million dollar Arkansas River Resource Center is heralding future economic development opportunities for the Port of Little Rock, according to city and federal officials. As KUAR’s Chris Hickey reports, the center’s presence is just one piece of a site that has become an economic engine for Central Arkansas.