Arkansas Transportation

Union Pacific train crash hoxie

The two Union Pacific crew members who were killed after two freight trains collided head on early Sunday have been identified.

Railroad spokesman Jeff DeGraff says engineer Chance Gober of White Hall, Arkansas, and conductor Roderick Hayes, of McKinney, Texas, died in the crash. DeGraff says both were in the train traveling southbound and died of their injuries. DeGraff says two other employees were injured.

Trains Collide
Darrell Nicholas

Authorities say two Union Pacific train crew members were killed and two were injured when two freight trains collided in northeast Arkansas. Arkansas State Police said in a statement they were called to the site about 3 a.m. Sunday in Hoxie.

Union Pacific spokesman Brandon Morris says two cars caught fire, one carrying diesel and one carrying an alcoholic beverage. He says the fire was out about 10 a.m.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Kendell Snyder said no health hazards had been detected from the fire.

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A new report says central Arkansas has one of the lowest rates in the country for people who walk or ride a bicycle to work.

Metroplan released its 2014 Demographic Review and Outlook Tuesday, analyzing demographic and workforce trends. The full report can be viewed here

Jonathan Lupton, research planner for Metroplan, says only 1.3 percent of commuters pedal or walk to their jobs.

State highway officials will begin holding public meetings on how to improve Interstate 30 in central Arkansas.

Plans to connect highway traffic around Bella Vista have been indefinitely postponed after Missouri voters rejected an amendment to fund their state's portion of the project.

The measure was voted down on a statewide ballot Tuesday. The Interstate 49 bypass was defeated as part of a larger amendment to provide $540 million per year for Missouri highway and road construction through a statewide sales tax.

A Missouri engineer says the project was estimated to cost Arkansas taxpayers $150 million and Missouri taxpayers $50 million.

Fuel efficiency, cost effectiveness, cleaner air are all benefits a handful of local officials are praising with the dawning of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority's new, soon to be introduced natural gas fleet.

CATA is being recognized for its efforts to convert its fleet of buses to use Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, as a fuel. The conversion comes as city leaders increasingly talk up the benefits of bolstering public transportation in the area. The authority will be receiving 15 new CNG buses, starting next summer, says executive president Jarrod Varner.

I-30 interstate bridge arkansas river

A $450 million bridge building project in Little Rock has been halted by the Federal Highway Administration.

The agency wants engineers to explore other ways to ease congestion on the Interstate 30 corridor near the Arkansas River. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports it may take six to nine months for officials to decide whether to replace or rehabilitate and modify the existing bridge.

Initial planning has begun to consider providing express bus service between Conway, Little Rock and North Little Rock.

The urban planning organization Metroplan recently conducted a study to determine the feasibility of providing the public transit service.

Study Director Casey Covington says community feedback shows there would be support for the idea, but there are initial, monetary challenges.

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

Road crews building traffic islands and hanging signs will close lanes at Little Rock's Big Rock interchange next week.

The state Highway and Transportation Department said Friday that the eastbound lane of Financial Center Parkway from Hermitage Road to Interstate 630 will be closed so crews can build traffic islands amid a construction project.

Work will take place next Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Next Tuesday night, a westbound lane of Interstate 630 will be closed near its intersection with Interstate 430 so crews can hang overhead signs.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office is providing residents more information about vehicle recalls.

To determine whether a vehicle's been recalled, McDaniel says motorists can visit the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration website, . There, consumers can search NHTSA's database by year, make and model for information about recalls, investigations and complaints.

The database also includes information about recalls of child restraints, tires and other equipment.