Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ADOT) is preparing a $3.6 billion road project list, led by a $475 million effort to widen Interstate 40 between North Little Rock and West Memphis over 20 years.
The 31 projects outlined in the proposed plan would help relieve congestion on thoroughfares around the state, which has more than 8,000 roads with failing pavement ratings. A draft map of the projects also calls for spending $350 million in improvements to interstates 30 and 40 in Little Rock and North Little Rock.
Other projects include building two new sections of Interstate 49 from Highway 22 to Interstate 40 for an estimated $270 million and from an unincorporated area known as “Y” City to south of Greenwood for $270 million. Highway 67 improvements from Walnut Ridge to the Missouri state line would cost $180 million. A Highway 82 project would receive $160 million to widen the road from Texarkana to Lake Village. An estimated $150 million would fund construction of a two-lane Interstate 69 in southeast Arkansas, and $100 million would be spent to widen sections of highways 62, 63, and 412 from Huntsville to Black Rock.
The plan depends heavily on voters’ approval to continue a half-percent sales tax in perpetuity. The tax was originally approved in 2012 on a temporary basis. If the measure is successful, the sales tax revenues would fund a $1.8 billion road construction program and generate $205 million annually.
ADOT’s director expects to present a draft of the plan to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and finalize it by September 2019.