Arkansas Transportation

David Monteith / KUAR

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is making a second attempt at a federal grant that would bring an estimated $14.5 million for renovations on University Avenue.

The school's application for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation was unsuccessful in 2015. UALR's chief government relations officer, Joni Lee, said she's hopeful a few changes will yield a positive result this year.

A rendering of an expanded I-30 corridor in downtown Little Rock.

The public is invited to review differing plans for an expansion of Interstate 30 in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock Tuesday night.

Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation spokesman Danny Straessle says officials will present miniature models and share the latest possible plans, including an either eight or 10 lane increase from the existing six lane road.

David Monteith / KUAR

City streets in central Arkansas can sometimes be a dangerous place to be a pedestrian. Local leaders hope to reduce the number of accidents between vehicles and people crossing busy streets by promoting Pedestrian Safety Awareness month.

At a press conference Monday near Little Rock's most dangerous intersection to cross, Mayor Mark Stodola said, “More pedestrians were involved in vehicle crashes on a half-mile stretch of Broadway here in downtown Little Rock than any other street in central Arkansas, which is of course why we are here today.”

hutchinson medicaid
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Failure to pass his Arkansas Works program could lead to the cancellation of a planned special session for highways, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A five-year plan for Arkansas highway construction and maintenance projects totaling $4.8 billion is ready for public review and comment.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the more than 350-page plan includes nearly 700 large and small projects that the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is planning from 2016 to 2020.

The centerpiece of the statewide transportation improvement program draft is a project to remake the Interstate 30 corridor through North Little Rock and downtown Little Rock. The $631 million project is the plan's most expensive item.

Forty years in the making, Interstate 555 in Arkansas is about to become a reality.


Arkansas highway officials and others will designate 44 miles of U.S. 63 as Interstate 555 on Friday. The route runs from I-55 near Turrell to U.S. 49 in Jonesboro.


Upgrades have been going on since the 1970s, but having the highway designated as I-555 was hung up because of a federal law prohibiting farm equipment from interstate highways.


Broadway Bridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas highway officials are delaying plans to close the 93-year-old bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock until this fall at the earliest. 

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Director Scott Bennett told reporters Wednesday the state had initially hoped to close the Broadway Bridge by May or June as part of its $98 million project to replace the span. He said the six-month closure of the bridge could occur as early as this fall or as late as next summer.

Metroplan Board Endorses Sales Tax For Buses

Feb 24, 2016
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A regional infrastructure and transportation policy panel Wednesday endorsed a quarter cent sales tax that would expand public transit services in Pulaski County. The Metroplan Board of Directors, which consists of mayors and county judges from central Arkansas, passed the resolution in a voice vote after hearing a presentation by Rock Region Metro Executive Director Jarod Varner.

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

Rock Region METRO, formerly known as Central Arkansas Transit, is asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase which would generate a projected $18 million, all earmarked for public transit. According to Executive Director Jarod Varner, the additional revenue would allow the organization to be more responsive to current passenger needs and attract new riders.

“Our system is anchored in a funding structure that was developed in 1986 and so it's very difficult to make major service changes. We want to modernize what we do,” said Varner               

Talk Business and Politics

Editor’s note: The Arkansas Transportation report is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA. Other transportation industry related stories can be found on the Arkansas Transportation Report landing page.