Arkansas Good Roads Magazine - Fall 2021

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GOOD ROADS The Award-Winning Magazine of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation

Foundation Good Roads. Good for All.

Fall 2021

The Future of Road Transportation In Arkansas


Elevating Arkansas. Garver’s John Cantabery knows it goes beyond roads. It’s about linking communities and bridging gaps to make people’s lives a little easier. And with projects all across the state fulfilling a longtime wish for better connectivity in Arkansas, those gaps are becoming fewer – and those links even stronger.

GarverUSA.com

John Cantabery, PE

2   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021 Roadway Team Leader

GarverUSA.com


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Contents

From the Executive Director Executive Board ARDOT: Maintaining the State’s Roadsides Clearing trees; ribbon cutting set for Bella Vista Bypass.

Research and Education Center

New facility at U of A provides opportunities for civil engineering students.

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The Future of Transportation in Arkansas

Embracing change will be the key to success in the next decade.

New Technology

Arkansas company quietly revolutionizing the future of road repair planning.

Economic Development

Highway project helps deliver Tyson feed mill to Hempstead County.

By the Numbers

ARDOT has more than 100,000 acres of right-of-way to maintain.

Q&A: Stanley Hill

Farm Bureau VP on how he got into governmental relations and the importance of good roads to Arkansas farmers.

Transportation Connections

Promotions and latest projects among AGRF member companies and organizations.

Around Arkansas: Hot Springs

American Pharoah statue and murals in Spa City bring art into the public sphere.

Side Roads

Rotary honors Bob Crafton; what’s in the infrastructure bill.

Back Talk

Remarks from leaders and officials on highways and infrastructure.

ON THE COVER: Traffic makes its way along Interstate 30 in Arkansas at sunset. Road construction, engineering and automobiles are changing. New technology will alter how roads are built and how the public travels on them. (ARDOT Photo by Rusty Hubbard)

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From the Executive Director

Looking to the Future Together By Joe Quinn, Executive Director If the passage of Issue 1 taught us one thing it was that working together for the greater good of all increases the chances of success with any project. Along the lines of working together, our friends Park Estes at the Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association and Angie Cooper at the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers did not hesitate recently when I asked if we could start sending their members our Good Roads magazine. They said “absolutely,” go ahead and send it. So welcome today to our new readers, who share with us an understanding that we are all stronger when we stand together. While some sectors of the economy continue to struggle with pandemic-related issues, the highway and transportation world in Arkansas appears to be thriving right now. The passage of Issue 1 has in many ways moved the larger discussion from how to pay for roads, to what new technologies can we use to build the most efficient transportation systems. It seems liberating not to be in meetings or hallway conversations where our members mention that they hope to “go after” funding for something at the next legislative session. In this issue you can read about the future of engineering as seen through the eyes of Jerry Holder. Holder runs a large piece of business for Garver USA but remembers his days as a young engineer walking through farmers’ fields making notes on what would become I-49. Sitting in Jerry’s office as he talked about I-49, I could not help but think about the fact that in his lifetime, the business went from engineers walking through cow fields with pieces of paper, to incredibly sophisticated software that Jerry’s young engineers use to see every curb or manhole cover when they are doing design work. 4   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021

Also looking to the future, inside you can read about an Arkansas startup called Roadway Management Technologies. The company has put together a truly innovative product that will allow local officials to track areas that need road repairs using vibration technology. It’s a radically different system that allows cities and towns to gauge the efficiency of road repair work in a way that saves money and time. It’s crowd-sourcing technology using vibrations on hundreds of vehicles to track in live time where a road department needs to be using its resources and people. And finally, the entire Good Roads membership is proud of our member companies who responded so aggressively to get the repair work done on the I-40 bridge at Memphis that was shut down from May to August for repair work. For a few months the national infrastructure dialogue was centered on that bridge, and our member companies showed the engineering and construction expertise that many people don’t think about when everything is “normal.” Thanks also to ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor, who was transparent and open about the bridge break and the repair effort from day one. Her administrative and field teams went to work the day the bridge was closed and showed quiet professionalism each day as complex plans were put in place to expedite the reopening. Fall is finally here and after everything we all missed in 2020, it sure seems nice to be out on Arkansas roads doing the things we love, whether it’s heading to a Friday night football game or going to one of our remarkable state parks. It’s a good time to think about the things that really matter in life. So, buckle the kids in, drive safely, put the cell phone down and go see where those Arkansas roads can take you.


Executive Board

2021 EXECUTIVE BOARD Dan Flowers – North Little Rock President D.B. Hill, III – Little Rock Vice President Bob Crafton – Rogers Secretary/Treasurer Harold Beaver – Rogers JoAnne Bush – Lake Village Mark Hayes – Little Rock Clay McGeorge – Little Rock Robert Moery – Little Rock Shannon Newton – Little Rock Chris Villines – Searcy Jim Wooten – Beebe

Dan Flowers President

D.B. Hill, III Vice President

Bob Crafton Secretary/Treasurer

Harold Beaver Rogers

JoAnne Bush Lake Village

Mark Hayes Little Rock

Clay McGeorge Little Rock

Robert Moery Little Rock

Robert S. Moore, Jr. Arkansas City

Shannon Newton Little Rock

Chris Villines Little Rock

Jim Wooten Beebe

ARKANSAS GOOD ROADS FOUNDATION The Arkansas Good Roads/ Transportation Council was established in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt and tax-deductible organization. In 2015, the council was re-established as a foundation in order to be a more visible and credible voice on behalf of the mission of the Arkansas Highway Commission and the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The purpose of the foundation is to promote adequate funding and financing for the planning, development, construction, and maintenance of a safe and efficient highway, street, road, and bridge system, including transportation enhancements. The work increases statewide economic growth, private sector job creation and retention, and improves the quality of life in all Arkansas counties, municipalities, and communities.

(Non-Voting Member)

Joe Quinn, Executive Director goodroadsfoundation@gmail.com Bill Paddack, Editor wbp17@comcast.net Celia Blasier, Designer celia@bestmanagement.net


ARDOT

Tending Arkansas’ Highways The Benefits Of Selective Tree Clearing

By David Nilles, ARDOT One of the joys of traveling the open road is the scenery along the way. Whether it is wide-open spaces or wooded areas, observing the world passing by outside the window is enjoyable. The Arkansas Department of Transportation puts a great deal of effort into maintaining the view out of our car windows. There is mowing to be done, brush needing clearing, plantings for the ARDOT Wildflower Program and occasional tree clearing. Chances are you have seen a roadside area where trees and vegetation have been trimmed back or perhaps removed all together. Contractors performed this type of work last fall along Interstate 30 in Nevada and Clark counties as well as on Highway 67 north of Jacksonville. Safety Concerns ARDOT receives more inquiries about tree clearing than any other type of roadside care. Though sometimes not popular with motorists, there are safety and environmental reasons to keep the trees trimmed. Over the past 50 years or so, trees outside of the mowed areas have grown to a substantial size. These trees have a negative impact as they grow closer to the roadway due to their roots migrating under the roadway subgrade. “Tree limbs overhanging the interstate may look nice overhead but they are terrible for roadway structure and stability down below,” said former District 3 Engineer Steve Frisbee, who is now ARDOT’s assistant chief engineer for operations. 6   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021


ARDOT “On Interstate 30, tree roots were growing under the pavement subgrade contributing to major cracking along interstate shoulders. This resulted in water infiltration and deterioration of the roadway. It is similar to how trees growing too close to a house will cause foundation problems. “Clearing the area of large trees protects the roadway structure from this damage guaranteeing stability and smoothness of our interstates for years to come.” Tree clearing provides other safety benefits as well, such as: a wider clear zone for vehicles that lose control and depart the roadway; a reduced chance of trees falling across the roadway; and improved clearing of snow or ice from the pavement after weather events.

“Tree limbs overhanging the interstate may look nice overhead but they are terrible for roadway structure and stability down below.” – Assistant Chief Engineer for Operations Steve Frisbee

More Benefits There are also environmental benefits. The cleared areas provide more sunlight for roadside wildflower habitats that enhance beauty and benefit pollinators. The extra sunlight promotes faster growth. “The wildflower areas are pretty to look at and are important because they help combat declining honey bee and butterfly populations,” Frisbee said. He added that there are also mowing issues to be considered. “Over the years, trees had grown up next to and, in many cases, into the standard 30-foot mow zone the department likes to maintain.” Though selective tree clearing may initially jolt the senses, without a doubt, there are long-term benefits for our highways and the roadside areas surrounding them. (ARDOT Photo by Rusty Hubbard)

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ARDOT

September Ribbon Cutting Set For Bella Vista Bypass at Border Construction will soon be complete on the Bella Vista Bypass, meaning the 18.9-mile stretch will become a new Interstate 49 segment connecting Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas at Bentonville when it opens in late September or early October. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 30 at the Arkansas-Missouri border. The bypass corridor will provide a faster and safer way in and out of Arkansas via I-49, as well as provide direct access to the business and residential parts of Bella Vista and Bentonville which will provide more connectivity in Northwest Arkansas. The bypass will allow motorists to circumvent Bella Vista to the west and south on a four-lane interstate. The project is also known as the Interstate 49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector, a nod to its regional importance. Emery Sapp & Sons is the primary contractor for the new interchange at Bentonville, new lanes

of the bypass from Benton County 34 to the state line and Missouri’s portion of the project. Arkansas officials awarded bids in July 2019 and broke ground in October of that year on two sections needed to fill missing links on the Arkansas side. Missouri awarded a $58.7 million contract April 1 to Sapp & Sons to build the final five miles of I-49 between Pineville and the state line in McDonald County. Work started May 11 with completion expected by Sept. 30. The regional goal has been for both Arkansas and Missouri to build their parts and meet at the state line this fall, according to regional planners. The ultimate goal is completion of the 278-mile section of interstate between Fort Smith and Kansas City, Mo. Bella Vista is the only stretch where traffic has to leave I-49 and continue on U.S. 71 to travel. Allowing motorists to bypass Bella Vista and its multiple traffic signals should reduce travel times and improve safety, planners have said.

Construction earlier this year on the Bella Vista Bypass, which will allow motorists to circumvent Bella Vista to the west and south on a four-lane interstate. (ARDOT Photo)

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LOOK OUT for Walkers & Cyclists Don’t add to the statistics. Visit: ardot.gov/sharetheroad

7,051.

That’s how many PEDESTRIANS and CYCLISTS died in traffic crashes in 2019. If you drive, walk, or bike to your destinations, you are entitled to this life-saving information: GO with Care, and GET THERE!

As a motorist, commit to being alert and sharing the road with both pedestrians and bicycles. Watch for others and slow down. DRIVE with Care—Get There! As a pedestrian, give extra attention to your surroundings on busy roadways and intersections. Keep your head up, eyes open, and use the crosswalk. WALK with Care—Get There! As a cyclist, be visible and ride alert. Ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws. BIKE with Care—Get There!

Message brought to you by the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office.


University of Arkansas

New Research Center Opens Facility will provide space and opportunities for civil engineering students for decades to come.

From left, Gus Vratsinas, Scott Bennett, Dan Flowers, Grady Harvell, Jim McClelland, John Burkhalter, Bert Parker, Dan Williams and Andy Davis participate in the ribbon cutting. (Photos courtesy of U of A)

The Civil Engineering Department and the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas celebrated the completion of the Grady E. Harvell Civil Engineering Research and Education Center, or CEREC, on July 20. First conceived as a project goal by the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering in 1999, the goals for the center are providing a facility that will allow students and faculty to conduct research and provide teaching laboratories related to material testing and full-scale material testing. It will also allow the University to consolidate research labs that are currently spread across three facilities on separate campuses. “Practical research is one of the essential elements of a good engineering education,” Grady E. Harvell, president and COO of W & W|AFCO Steel and a U of A alumnus, said during his ribbon-cutting speech. “It’s 10   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021

gratifying to see this research center become a reality. The research done here will develop more efficient and cost-effective construction methods for steel, concrete and timber in Arkansas as well as the nation.” The facility has been named in honor of Harvell for his contributions and his driving force bringing CEREC into reality. Ample Space The 37,400-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will provide space and opportunities for civil engineering students for decades to come. Along with hosting several graduate-level courses, CEREC provides sufficient space for 15 faculty members and 75 students to conduct research. “We can now do full-scale testing of structural members, which is a luxury that very few labs across the country have,” Bette Poblete, a doctoral student in


University of Arkansas civil engineering, said. Students who study at CEREC will have an impact on the national and global future of civil engineering. “Engineers who will design and build structures in our state, our nation and our world will be educated and trained here,” Dr. Micah Hale, head of the Civil Engineering Department, said. “Faculty members will conduct the research at CEREC which forms the basis for national and international design codes and building codes.” In fact, CEREC faculty and students are already hard at work testing materials. Two Phases The facility, built at a cost of $14 million, is the first phase of a two-phase plan. Phase one includes a structural high bay with strong floor and laydown yard, concrete and steel materials labs, and a fabrication shop. Phase two will include geotechnical and asphalt testing labs, laboratory, classroom and certification spaces for the Center for Training Transportation Professionals. Funding for the facility came from sources located across the country, including Grady and Linda Harvell, the office of the governor of Arkansas, the Arkansas

The Grady E. Harvell Civil Engineering Research and Education Center.

Department of Transportation, Garver, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Nucor Yamato, Jim and Pat McClelland, APAC, the Sunderland Foundation, the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineers and many others. It was a team effort to benefit civil engineering students, the state of Arkansas and the nation. CEREC falls under the direction of Dr. Gary Prinz, an associate professor of civil engineering. “With Dr. Prinz leading this lab I think this facility and the University of Arkansas will become a leader in steel research,” Harvell said. “It’s a dream come true to know that this facility will stand for decades to come.”

SINGLE POINT URBAN INTERCHANGE INTERSTATE 49 + HIGHWAY 71B BENTONVILLE / ROGERS, ARKANSAS

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Future of Driving

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Future of Driving

The Future Of Transportation In Arkansas By Joe Quinn everyone made it through.” As Good Roads members try to find their way Jerry Holder runs the transportation division at to the new normal of the post pandemic world, it’s Garver USA. The company is thriving with 850 a logical time to think about what comes next for employees spread over 13 states. Holder says two companies that design, finance, build and transport issues he thinks about a lot as he navigates the products on our roads. In just 18 months, we have struggled through Covid, passed Issue 1 that stabilized company in the post Covid world are technology and Arkansas road funding, seen the worst winter weather recruiting young talent. Holder says the company uses software that crowd the state has ever experienced and been through a sources traffic patterns in sophisticated new ways. turbulent legislative session in a state shifting ever As he puts it, “Think about the Waze app you use further to the political right. Angie Cooper is executive director of the Arkansas to find an address, and what we buy is that concept on steroids. It gives us very precise data to make Society of Professional Engineers. She also runs decisions as we design roads, and traffic patterns that the American Council of Engineering Companies route trucks around downtown areas. We don’t just of Arkansas. She has spent years in the association look at how many vehicles pass one point; we are management world and knows the nature of her looking at where the driver’s trip started and what is engineers is to contemplate the future in an analytical the destination.” way. On a windy afternoon she sits at a table outside When Holder was a young engineer, he managed a west Little Rock Starbucks and reflects on what the the design of I-49 from the Bobby Hopper Tunnel year has been like for engineers. to Fayetteville. In 1990, with plans tucked under his “We were like everyone arm, he spent weeks walking else with most people learning to work remotely,” she said. Embracing change in a through farm fields to look at the proposed route. At the “Maybe it was easier for us in smart, sophisticated, time it was one of the most some ways because engineers are often out of the office anyway cohesive fashion will be sophisticated design projects Garver had done. Holder when they go in the field to the key to success in convinced his company inspect and manage job sites. the next decade. to buy a software package Every company had slightly with large screens that the different safety protocols, but Opposite page: Traffic heads west down Interstate 30 before the 430 exit in Little Rock. Looking ahead, the state’s leaders – as well as drivers in Arkansas – must be willing to embrace and prepare for future changes in transportation. (ARDOT Photo by Rusty Hubbard)

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Future of Driving Arkansas Department of Transportation had said was necessary for the complex design work. More than 31 years later, a young engineer working for Holder could likely avoid walking the whole 20-mile route by sitting at a desk and using Google Earth. In 1990 Holder would take still pictures of a construction site and drop off the film to be developed. Now his teams take digital photos and shoot video on phones. The fundamentals of engineering design work are easier now and look to advance even more in the coming years.

content is just something that has great value for our business.”

Electric Cars and Flying Cars Lorie Tudor is the first woman to oversee ARDOT. She understands how much road construction and engineering has changed in her long career at the department, but she says the changes that are now coming are astounding. Tudor says, “I just sat through a venture capitalist presentation on the third dimension. It’s incredibly hard to describe how much potential this has in terms of data collection to better Talent and Telling the Story understand how people travel and to increase the Holder now spends much of his time looking for mobility we all have.” the bright young talent who can maximize the new So, what is the third dimension? Think of an air technology for Garver. “Talented young engineers are taxi shuttling passengers on demand around urban hard to find and keep,” he said. “We offer wonderful areas. It sounds futuristic, and it is, but Tudor points health benefits, and we employ a couple of wellness out, “We all understand that big changes are coming, coordinators who work with our people at an on-site but in some ways, I’m starting to think they are gym. We want our team to be able to go for a bike coming even faster than most people envision.” ride at lunch. We want our people to feel involved If the third dimension is complex, what is not and proud to be here as the first thing a new engineer complicated is that electric cars on a mass scale are looks at when considering any job is the culture of the coming as fast as a sleek Tesla on a country road. State company.” Sen. Mat Pitsch, R-Fort Smith, is aware Arkansas One thing changing for the engineering community needs to be thinking about building an infrastructure is a growing awareness that it’s time to better tell the of electric car charging stations. “I really worry that story of what engineering firms do to design roads, we are probably only three or four legislative sessions bridges, bypasses, bike trails and airports. The number away from a time when Ford and GM announce they of engineering firms that have joined Good Roads in will only build electric cars,” he said. “We need to recent years has grown, and engineers were quick to work together to be ready for that day.” step up and fully engage in the effort to pass Issue 1 Tudor agrees with Pitsch that Arkansas preparing last year. We live in a digital age where we all must be for electric cars is not some next generation storytellers to promote our own industry. No company, discussion. It needs to happen now. “On paper the region, agency or industry can stay relevant without number of electric cars in Arkansas is a very small joining the public discussion about what the future number today but that will change fast,” she said. could or should look like. “This is coming quicker than we think, and the private Sitting in his sleek office, Holder grins and shakes sector will play a key role. The politics of charging his head as he says, “One thing I never, ever thought stations will be complicated in some ways. I don’t see I would do is approve the hiring of an in-house the state installing charging stations in rest areas when videographer. But now I the more efficient way to Building bike trails and paths see it was a great move. do it will be to have the We create videos for all in 2021 will make us better private sector competing our digital platforms to offer the best price.” at strategically managing that tell our story. And we create videos for all mass transportation 20 Biking to Work kinds of internal uses. cars are not the years from now. onlyElectric Creating video and digital change the road and 14   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021


Future of Driving bridge community Accepting the Changes The passage of Issue 1 to will deal with in For Arkansas leaders, the a large extent means that immediate challenge will be the immediate future. Walmart is embrace and prepare for adequate highway funding to building a stunning the changes that lie ahead in a will not be an annual cohesive way. Defining the right new home office in Bentonville. It is debate, and that means we transportation strategies will more of a campus not be easy but getting 72 of 75 can all spend more time integrated into a counties to approve a sales tax community than talking about transportation extension for roads in the middle any traditional of a pandemic wasn’t easy policy and planning version of an either. But it did remind us that “office.” The rather than funding. anything is possible when we are company has willing to work together. laid out an ambitious plan to have 10 percent of the Covid has taught us a great deal about how company workforce come to work via non-traditional something like a “Zoom call” could just become part transportation in the years ahead. Bicycling will not be of the culture almost overnight. Holder says it’s a something people do for fun and exercise on Saturday. reminder that the community meetings he attended for It will be a fundamental part of getting to work and years to get public input on a road or bridge project picking up dinner on the way home. are probably a thing of the past. Building bike trails and paths in 2021 will make us A young mom can now have her computer on better at strategically managing mass transportation looking at the community meeting while at the same 20 years from now. The next generation will have no time fixing dinner for her kids and telling them to start desire to get in a car, make it through three red lights, their homework. park the car, walk into a store to buy bread and milk, Driving to a town hall, or a high school gym, to and then repeat all that to get back home. The way we hear the presentation already seems outdated. Garver think about quick, local bike travel now will make us has been retained by the Oklahoma Department of better at designing local travel strategies two decades Transportation to manage all its virtual community from now. hearings. There was no design or engineering work in It’s probably reasonable to be somewhat skeptical the work Oklahoma wanted done, but Garver knew that flying vehicles will open the third dimension and managing virtual meetings was a skill set that is good change urban transportation habits in our lifetime. But for business in the future. in 1988 cell phones were first appearing on the mass There is no doubt that on many levels new market. technology will change how we build roads and travel They were the size and weight of a brick and either on the road, or above the road. came in a carry bag. They also cost $4,000. Who Perhaps a greater challenge than adjusting to the would have predicted in 1988 that only 33 years later technology will be getting to a point of widespread everyone on the planet would have a sleek version of acceptance that the changes are coming whether that phone in their pocket that takes great pictures, Arkansas likes it or not. Embracing change in a smart, orders dinner and lets you see what your high school sophisticated, cohesive fashion will be the key to friends now look like? success in the next decade. All of that happened with cell phones in only three The passage of Issue 1 to a large extent means decades, so it’s likely that we cannot even begin to that adequate highway funding will not be an annual envision the travel and infrastructure changes that will debate, and that means we can all spend more time happen during the lifetime of a child born today in Van talking about transportation policy and planning rather Buren or Pea Ridge. than funding.

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New Technology

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New Technology

Arkansas Company Quietly Revolutionizing The Future of Road Repair Planning By Joe Quinn Candler McCollum grew up in Little Rock, graduated from Catholic High and went off to Auburn University. His career led him to Goldman Sachs where he was involved with crowd-sourcing technology. Crowd sourcing means instead of one company analyzing data collected for a specific project, data is collected from hundreds or thousands of sources each day in real time. In the infrastructure world it’s a critical part of understanding how millions of drivers use hundreds of thousands of roads each day, and the impact the use is having on the roads. McCollum is now a founding partner in an Arkansas-based company that could realistically change the way road and highway departments are managed across the United States. Roadway Management Technologies (RMT) has developed sensors that go on vehicles to monitor the quality of road the vehicle is driving on a daily basis. Cabot has already put sensors on 40 city-owned vehicles, and every mile every vehicle travels each day feeds data about the quality of the road into sophisticated RMT software. This means a road department knows how fast a road is deteriorating, which repair projects should be done first, and what the exact cost of repairs will be An ARDOT employee plows snow off a bridge over Hurricane Creek on Highway 46 northeast of Sheridan a few years back. RMT’s system now enables communities and departments to see exactly which roads had been heavily damaged by a freeze and where repair work is most needed. (ARDOT Photo by Rusty Hubbard)

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New Technology on a stretch of road. When all of this is combined, “The key for any city or town a county or city can easily build a precise strategy is to extend the life of a road on how to maximize tax dollars being spent on upgrades and repairs. by doing the right work Traffic volume is not the only factor changing at the right time.” the quality of roads each day. “Last winter we saw the worst cold weather Arkansas had experienced – Candler McCollum in decades,” McCollum said. “When the weather Example finally warmed up, our system allowed communities • A pizza parlor owner calls the road department to say to see exactly which roads had been heavily damaged that during a heavy rain a tree has fallen across the by the freeze and where repair work was most needed. street in front of the store. Instead of understanding how a road has changed from • The city logs the work request into the RMT year to year, our system can show a mayor or county software. judge how much a road deteriorated last week.” • The system then pushes the work request to an app Ken Kincade has been mayor of Cabot for almost on the phone of the employee that has been assigned three years. During the ice and brutal cold in February, to the task. he quickly came to understand the value of the RMT • Each department employee has a key fob on his approach. “A storm like that leads to a lot of cracking person which connects to the the vehicle to monitor and potholes,” he said. “It takes weeks to get crews when employees arrive on site. to every problem that is called in, but with the new • The crew navigates to the location provided by the system we were able to identify and prioritize the RMT app and removes the tree. When the work problem areas much quicker than we would have been is complete the field crew uses the app to upload able to a few years ago.” before and after work pictures and the time it took to As the RMT team built out the technology to allow complete the job. for the passive collection of real-time road condition • The RMT system can then tell a supervisor that the data, it became apparent the system had other uses to job took three people and two trucks 75 minutes to road departments. It could be utilized to intake and complete. Based on the pay rate of each of the three track requests from the public for a road repair, and it employees, the system then gives the department could be used to track the labor costs of any job a road the ability to see the specific cost of each job and department touches. the specific time worked by one employee on one assignment. • The system can also be used to show a supervisor how long an employee spent at the department shop or warehouse before leaving to work for the day.

RMT software uses color graphics to give users a detailed look at the current status of all area roads.

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Prioritizing Projects McCollum says, “So we are really offering our customers three things. Real-time pavement performance analytics and suggestions to see where road work is needed, the ability to very precisely track incoming internal or external work requests to the department, and fleet tracking to monitor location and detailed reports


New Technology of every vehicle within a fleet.” The RMT system also changes the political landscape in terms of giving elected officials a new tool to show taxpayers why repairs made today can save money compared to repair costs delayed until next year. When the RMT system indicates two miles of county road is showing “red” on the tracking map, the operator can plug in that day’s market cost of road repair work and precisely define what current overall repair costs will be for that job. Then it becomes easy for any community to prioritize projects that need attention. In Cabot, Mayor Kincade recently led an effort to pass a $10 million road bond issue election. The measure passed with a remarkable 82 percent of the vote. Kincade says the maps created by the RMT system have dramatically changed how a mayor can show the community road problems. “The system gave us the ability to stand at town hall meetings and show people in great specificity the work that the city needs to do on roads,” he said. “Everyone who lives in Cabot knows we have road problems, but the RMT system allowed us to show voters exactly where their money would be spent if the bond issue was approved. They looked at the maps and could see there was nothing random about the projects we identified as priorities. People could see our request for funding was built on objective based data.” The days of a mayor standing at a community meeting asking voters to approve a new bond issue on faith will change forever if any community leader can turn to a large screen and show people the exact condition of roads around their homes. The pavement performance analytics technology can also flag needed work that is not yet visible or easy to spot. If a culvert collapses under a road, the system will be able to identify the issue as soon as a vehicle travels down that road, before the road collapses and becomes a bigger safety issue. This helps municipalities spot problems earlier when repair costs are generally lower.

road preservation. The key for any city or town is to extend the life of a road by doing the right treatment on the right road at the right time. A community that is proactive can extend the life of most roads by 40% and that means millions in savings.” As RMT continues to expand this crowd-sourcing data approach to more communities, and the collected data grows, it inherently creates a far larger and valuable picture of the general state of roads in a community or region. The RMT work is now attracting interest at the federal as well as the state level. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking at the system as a way to define how much road damage has taken place during a forest fire or hurricane. That RMT data could then be used to help define how much emergency money the city or county should be reimbursed after the disaster. Today there are nine communities in Arkansas that have the sensors installed on city vehicles, but conversations with other communities are underway. There is little doubt that the days of a road department supervisor cruising around in a pickup truck to spot areas that need repair are ending. Technology will make the work faster and less expensive.

New Approaches McCollum has spent years putting this passive data collection system together and believes it will revolutionize the road repair world, “This industry right now is all about finding new approaches to Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 19


Economic Development

Highway Project Helps Deliver $65 Million Tyson Foods Feed Mill to Hempstead County State and local officials unveiled a new, improved section of highway in Hempstead County that helped bring a new Tyson Foods feed mill to the region. On June 21, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting event spotlighting a new Highway 195 overlay. This project increased the load limit of a 14-mile stretch of Highway 195 from 32 tons to 40 tons. This highway improvement was part of a larger effort to bring a $65 million super feed mill to Hempstead County. The feed mill will employ 50 workers. Essential Project “After much work and planning with several different agencies, success came in building a new feed mill located several miles from the community of Fulton, Arkansas, and Tyson Foods will be expanding its operations at the new feed mill. They will be enhancing their productivity and will eventually add to their work force with the community,” Hempstead County Judge Jerry T. Crane said. Steve Harris, president of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation, said the highway project was essential for the growth of local

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industry, particularly Tyson Foods. “With the continual growth of Tyson Foods in Southwest Arkansas, this is the next step,” Harris said, in reference to the highway overlay. In addition to increasing the highway’s load capacity, the project is designed to increase safety and efficiency for local industries. Tyson Foods is the largest industry partner in the region, and Harris said the new feed mill will allow the company to increase its capacity and production at multiple nearby sites. Tyson Foods also operates a hatchery and nearby poultry processing plants in Hope and Nashville. Cooperative Effort State and private partners shared costs for the improvement project. The Arkansas Department of Transportation contributed $4.5 million for the project as part of a partnering program, with Tyson Foods providing $3 million and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission providing $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants. “It was a very cooperative effort by multiple entities,” Harris said. “Through the hard work of Hempstead County Economic Development working with Tyson, our Arkansas state representative, the Hempstead County Quorum Court, and the governor and his staff allowed us to form a partnership to see the project become successful for our community and state,” Crane said. Harris also praised ARDOT for quickly completing the overlay project, noting that the department finished it ahead of schedule. The Tyson feed mill, which sits on a 320-plusacre site with rail access, is currently under construction with an estimated completion date of February or March 2022.


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Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 21


By the Numbers

11%

As officials debate infrastructure funding and pouring more money into broadband access, data suggests many of Arkansas’ schoolchildren and adults who preferred to work from home spent the pandemic with sub-par access to high-speed internet, particularly in the state’s least-wealthy counties. As measured by Microsoft, in about half of the state – 38 of 75 counties – no more than 11% of households actually have high-speed access, a USA Today analysis shows. An ARDOT employee mows along Highway 167 south of Ash Flat. (ARDOT Photo)

Construction work continues on the first of two phases of the 30 Crossing Project in Little Rock and North Little Rock. (ARDOT Photo)

No. 1 Priority Metroplan, the officially designated

16,000+

The Arkansas Department of Transportation maintains over 16,000 miles of road. ARDOT’s Maintenance Division assists in maintaining a safe, efficient and aesthetically pleasing highway system by providing leadership, expertise and support.

100,000+

ARDOT has more than 100,000 acres of right-of-way to maintain.

$945.7M

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration officials say the state ended the fiscal year with a surplus of nearly $1 billion. That’s more than double the state’s previous record. The department said the state ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a surplus of $945.7 million. Net available revenue for the fiscal year totaled more than $6.8 billion. The state’s previous record was the $409.3 million surplus accumulated in the 2007 fiscal year.

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metropolitan planning organization for the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area, recently “strongly” endorsed as its “primary regional priority” the full funding and completion of the 30 Crossing Project. The first of two phases – now under way – of the almost $1 billion venture along a 6.7-mile corridor through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock centers on replacing the bridge over the Arkansas River and a new interchange for downtown Little Rock along with some widening and other improvements.


To Our Valued AGRF Members: Thank You!

Thanks for supporting us and helping us tell the story of why good roads and bridges matter. For membership information, please contact Joe Quinn at 479-426-5931. ACEC/A AGC Arkansas Alec Farmer APAC-Central, Inc. APAC-Tennessee, Inc. Arkadelphia Alliance Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association Arkansas Concrete Arkansas Department of Transportation Arkansas Farm Bureau Arkansas Municipal League Arkansas Poultry Federation Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Arkansas Trucking Association Ash Grove Cement Company Association of Arkansas Counties/ County Judges Atlas Asphalt, Inc. (Jamestown Investments) B & F Engineering, Inc. Bank of Delight Bob Crafton Bobby Glover Burns & McDonnell Cashion Company Clark Machinery Company Commercial Bank - Monticello Contractor’s Specialty Service Company Cowling Title CPC Midsouth Crafton-Tull & Associates Crisp Contractors Curt Green & Company, LLC D.B. Hill Contracting Dan Flowers Delta Asphalt Dermott Industrial Development Dumas Chamber of Commerce Eagle Bank and Trust Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce First Community Bank of Batesville

FM Structural Plastic Technology Forsgren, Inc. Garver LLC Golden Triangle Economic Development Harold Beaver Hines Trucking Inc. HNTB Corporation Horatio State Bank

Hudson, Cisne & Company Hutchens Construction Company I-49 International Coalition Jack Buffington Jeffrey Sand Company Jensen Construction Company Jim Wooten JoAnne Bush Johnnie Bolin Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Kiewit Company Koss Construction Company

LaCroix Optical Company Larco, Inc. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Lion Oil Company M & T Paving and Construction Company, Inc. Marie Holder Maxwell Hardwood Flooring McGeorge Contracting Company, Inc. Michael Baker Int’l Midwest Lime Company Millar, Inc. Mobley General Contractors Monticello Economic Development Commission NE Ark. Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority NWA Council Ohlendorf Investment Company OK AR Chapter American Concrete Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce Philip Taldo Razorback Concrete Company Riceland Foods, Inc. Riggs CAT Robert Moery Robert S. Moore, Jr. Rogers Group, Inc. Ronnie Duffield Gravel Company Ryburn Motor Company, Inc. Scott Equipment Springdale Chamber of Commerce SW AR Planning & Development District Tyson Foods, Inc. University of Arkansas Upper SW Regional Solid Waste Management District Walmart Weaver-Bailey Contractors, Inc. Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 23


Q & A: Stanely Hill

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Q & A: Stanley Hill

A Career Change Proves to Be The Right Road for Stanley Hill By Bill Paddack Friendly, dependable, hard-working, a great Regions Bank), and was on my chosen career path, listener, organized, committed, responsible, so I thought. My degree is in finance and banking. prepared – those are just some of the traits that have First Commercial was publicly traded and held helped Stanley Hill build a distinguished career annual stockholders meetings here in Little Rock. A in government relations at Arkansas Farm Bureau good friend of mine who worked in the marketing Federation. department called and asked me if I would serve as But working as a lobbyist wasn’t something he’d a greeter at the 1993 stockholders’ meeting, and I ever planned on. Far from it. reluctantly agreed. He’s now vice president for public affairs and Well, I’m at the meeting reception doing what I government relations for Farm Bureau and a former was asked to do, greet guests, and make sure their president of both the Arkansas Society of Association needs were taken care of, etc. It was there that I met Executives and the Arkansas Society of Professional Mr. Jack Justus who was executive vice president Lobbyists. However, back in 1993 he had a job (CEO) of Arkansas Farm Bureau at the time. In our he liked in a different field and had no thoughts or conversation I shared that we have a family farm in plans of changing careers. With a B.S. in business Hot Spring County (recognized as a Century Farm in administration, finance and banking from the 2012 by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture – University of Arkansas, he was happy working for a The J. V. Hill Farm, established in 1890), and that I bank. was a loyal Farm Bureau member. The conversation Then a little networking happened and he soon had went very well, and we exchanged business cards and a decision to make. We’ll let him fill in the details in agreed to meet again soon. the following Q & A, in which I followed up the next “We want to see our we also asked him about the week and we met at Mr. importance of good roads to Justus’ office. I thought state prosper – that’s Arkansas farmers and what that I was there to sell why Arkansas Farm him additional banking travel apps he likes to use. Bureau continues to be products or services, How did you get involved in either personally or for the a voice for improving organization, but he quickly governmental affairs and what do you like best about this line and for investing in our brought employment into of work? the conversation. He said state’s transportation I got my start in lobbying to me, “Surely you don’t in a roundabout way. I was a infrastructure.” want to sit behind a desk commercial loan officer for and make loans for the rest – Stanley Hill First Commercial Bank (now of your career.” I guess it was a rhetorical question. Then he said, “I want you to Opposite page: Stanley Hill addresses participants at Farmers’ Day at the Capitol, an event where Arkansas farmers and consider coming to work here on our lobbying team.” ranchers meet with state senators and representatives to speak Now this totally surprised me. Because while very with them about important agriculture issues. (Photos by Bryan opinionated about matters of government, among Pistole, Arkansas Farm Bureau) Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 25


Q & A: Stanley Hill other things, I had not given any thought to doing work as a lobbyist. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have a positive viewpoint of lobbyists or their roll in the process. Yet, I was intrigued by Mr. Justus’ interest in me filling that roll for the Farm Bureau. After some soul-searching and Stanley Hill prayer, I accepted the offer of employment – that was 28 years ago, and I have no regrets and I am very fortunate to have served in this capacity for all these years. The others on the lobbying team at the time, Robert Evans and Rodney Baker, took me “under their wings” and taught me how to lobby; it was on-the-job training. The similarity to my role as a banker was the interpersonal relations and advocating for the needs of others. Helping people, particularly farmers and ranchers, address needs surrounding their lives, and promoting good government solutions to various issues are what I like best about my work. As part of your job, you’re on the road a lot – speaking to and meeting with Farm Bureau members all across the state – so you are obviously well acquainted with our roads and highways. Why do good roads matter to Arkansas farmers? Why should improving and investing in our infrastructure be a priority? Farm Bureau has a long standing policy that “we support better farm-to-market roads,“ and lobbying for highways and roads to be better maintained and improved has been a constant throughout my career here. Farm Bureau has the distinction of being a longtime member of the Good Roads Foundation. Most recently we were very much committed to the passage of Issue 1, which appeared on last fall’s general ballot and passed by a good margin. County roads and state highways and safe bridges are essential lifelines to every farm and ranch in this state. Without these, it would be mostly impossible to transport crops and livestock in a timely way. What are some highways you are on frequently and what are your thoughts of them? 26   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021

County Farm Bureaus are the focus of our state federation staff, which means that, as a staff, we are on the roads and highways of Arkansas constantly, in every direction and year-round. This, of course, adds to the importance and our emphasis on a good system of safe and adequate roads, highways and bridges. I am personally on I-30 and I-40 and U.S. Highways 65 and 70 frequently, and while those sections undergoing reconstruction/improvements presently can be challenging to maneuver, the improvements are appreciated. Any other thoughts on Arkansas roads? A thoughtful and well-maintained infrastructure is vital to all industry and the basis of safe travel, and a good quality of life. We want to see our state prosper – that’s why Arkansas Farm Bureau continues to be a voice for improving and for investing in our state’s transportation infrastructure. What are your favorite travel apps? My favorite travel apps are Waze and Inrix – must haves when traveling long distance.

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Join Us, Please! Good Roads works with our members to tell the story of the need for funding and financing to help all communities develop, build and maintain roads and bridges. This drives the local economy and makes the roads safer for all of us. We have corporate and individual membership rates available. The award-winning Good Roads magazine reaches more than 1,200 key stakeholders. If you want to put your message in front of an elite audience of state legislators, mayors, county judges, Good Roads members, engineers and the companies that build roads and bridges, this is the best way to do it. This is the only in-state publication that offers you an easy way to reach this very specific audience. Arkansas Good Roads Foundation goodroadsfoundation@gmail.com 479-426-5931

Arkansas Good Roads @arkansasgoodroads AR Good Roads @ARGoodRoads

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 27


Transportation Connections

People, Projects, Promotions Spencer Thomas John Mathis, has been promoted Jr., has been to staff land selected as the surveyor in the area maintenance Surveys Division supervisor for at ARDOT. He the District 7 has a bachelor’s Union County degree in education John Mathis, Jr. maintenance crew. Spencer Thomas from the University He began work with of Arkansas in Fayetteville and ARDOT as a single axle truck driver an associate’s degree in surveying in 1996. from the University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton. A Darren Ramsey registered land surveyor, he began has been selected his career with ARDOT as a surveys as the bridge job helper in 2009. superintendent for ARDOT’s Eddy McKelvy District 9 bridge has been selected crew. He began his as the shop employment with Darren Ramsey supervisor for the the department as District 7 shop a temporary employee on the Boone crew. He began County maintenance crew before work with ARDOT being placed in a full-time single axle truck driver position on the Eddy McKelvy as a mechanic in 2005. district bridge crew in 2005. Shane Wood has been named district maintenance engineer in District 10. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering with an emphasis Shane Wood in civil engineering from Arkansas State University and is a registered professional engineer. He began his career with ARDOT as a temporary employee before being hired as a civil engineering technician in 2003.

Latina Sisco has been promoted to section head for reports and costs in ARDOT’s Fiscal Services Division. She has a master’s degree Latina Sisco in accounting from Henderson State University and began with the department as an accountant in program management in 2016.

Jeremy Kester has been promoted to shop supervisor in ARDOT’s Equipment & Procurement Division. He began his career with Jeremy Kester the department in 2013 as a single axle truck driver in District 6. Linda DeMasi has been promoted to section head of GIS/ Data Management in ARDOT’s Environmental Division. She has a master’s degree Linda DeMasi in economic development and a bachelor’s degree in both history and geography from UCA as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UALR. She began her career at ARDOT in 2001 as an environmental analyst. James Branstetter has been selected as the area maintenance supervisor for the District 9 Benton County James Branstetter 2 maintenance crew. He started at ARDOT as a general laborer in District 9 in 1990.

Transportation Connections is compiled by Good Roads Editor Bill Paddack. Possible items for inclusion can be sent to him at wbp17@comcast.net. 28   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021


Transportation Connections

Erica Adams has been named assistant division head for ARDOT’s Program Management Division. She has a bachelor’s degree Erica Adams in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and is a registered professional engineer. She worked for the department as an engineering intern prior to being hired in 2002 as a civil engineer in roadway design. Dustin Treadway has been selected as the resident engineer for District 5’s RE Office #52 at Batesville. He has a bachelor’s degree Dustin Treadway in engineering with an emphasis in civil engineering from Arkansas State University and is a registered professional engineer. He began his career with ARDOT as a temporary employee prior to being hired as a civil engineer in 2002.

Lakisha Rice has been selected as the section head for the chemistry lab in the Materials Division at ARDOT. She has a bachelor’s Lakisha Rice degree in chemistry from the University of Mississippi. She began her employment with the department as a chemist in 2008.

During the May 2021 meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Findlay Edwards, a civil engineering associate professor Findlay Edwards at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, was elected to serve as Region 4 director. Region 4 is composed of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Founded in 1852, the mission of the ASCE is to advance civil engineering and protect the public health, safety and welfare.

Deric Wyatt is the new District Six engineer for ARDOT. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering with an emphasis in Deric Wyatt civil engineering from Arkansas State University and is a registered professional engineer. He began his career with the department as an engineering student intern in May 2002 and was hired full time as a civil engineer at Resident Engineer Office #05 in Osceola in 2003.

Construction is nearly complete on a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) designed by Crafton Tull at Interstate 49 and Highway 71B (Exit 85) between Rogers and Bentonville. The SPUI, when it was bid in 2018, was the first of its kind in Arkansas. Left turns intersect at a common point in an SPUI, moving traffic more smoothly. Once construction is complete, Highway 71B will go from five 11-foot lanes to six 12-foot lanes. Construction was completed on the 239-foot-long Interstate 49 bridge above the SPUI in 2020.

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 29


Transportation Connections Mark Headley has been named the division head of System Information and Research at ARDOT. He has a Mark Headley bachelor’s degree in engineering with an emphasis in civil engineering from Princeton University and is a registered professional engineer. His career with the department began in 1991 as a civil engineer. Dr. Norman Dennis, a professor of civil engineering and senior associate dean of the College of Engineering at the University Dr. Norman of Arkansas in Dennis Fayetteville, retired in July after 25 years working on the U of A campus.

Brad McCaleb has been named division head for ARDOT’s Transportation Planning and Policy Division. Brad McCaleb He has a master’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M and is a registered professional engineer. He has more than 25 years of combined experience in transportation planning, traffic engineering, highway design and construction inspection, including work for the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texarkana Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Bryan/College Station (Texas) Metropolitan Planning Organization. He began his career with the department as a staff planning engineer in 2015

Melana Cotton has been selected as the staff program development engineer in the Program Management Melana Cotton Division at ARDOT. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is a registered professional engineer. She began her employment with the department as a civil engineering intern before being hired as an engineer in the System Information and Research Division in 2014.

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Around Arkansas

In Plain Sight THE SCENE: Bronze statue of the phenomenal American Pharoah at the main entrance to Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. WHERE: 2705 Central Avenue, Hot Springs THE HORSE: The bronze statue, by artist James Peniston, is a lasting tribute to the scrappy, short-tailed horse who captured the imagination of racing fans in 2015 when he became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Prior to winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the sweet-natured American Pharoah won the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. The statue was unveiled in January 2018. (Photo by Bill Paddack)

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 31


Around Arkansas

TITLE: Playing Cards

TITLE: Quapaw

Artistic Murals Add Color to Downtown Hot Springs

WHERE: 204 Malvern Avenue

WHERE: 424 Central Avenue

32   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021

ARTIST: Eyecon Studios (Photos by Bill Paddack)

ARTIST: Pepe Gaka


Around Arkansas

TITLE: Black Broadway

WHERE: 350 Malvern Avenue ARTISTS: Pepe Gaka, Anthony Tidwell and Cutwell 4 Kids

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Around Arkansas

TITLE: Verna’s Dream

WHERE: 320 Central Avenue

TITLE: Quapaw Mountain Biking

ARTIST: Pepe Gaka

WHERE: 515 Quapaw Avenue ARTIST: Selah Rodgers

34   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021


Side Roads

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• Rip Rap • Seal chips • Roadbase

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AGRF Board Secretary/ Treasurer Bob Crafton was one of three longtime business and civic leaders honored by the Rogers Rotary Club recently with the Dick Daniel Distinguished Citizen Award at a luncheon at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Bob Crafton Proceeds from the event benefited the Railyard Park and Rogers Public Schools. Crafton co-founded the architecture and engineering firm Crafton Tull in 1963. He retired in 2000. His lengthy civic involvement includes service to the Rogers School Board, Rogers Airport Commission, Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, NorthWest Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees and the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, of which he served as board chairman. The club’s award honors those who have contributed to Rogers over a long period of time and is named for the late former president of Daisy Manufacturing Co.

Save the Date 2021 AGRF Annual Meeting November 10, Little Rock

Save the Date Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 35


Side Roads

Infrastructure Bill

What’s in it is why it’s a really big deal. As Good Roads goes to press, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, after being revised and passed by the Senate, awaits action by the House. Here’s a look at what’s included in the bipartisan bill. In total, the deal includes $550 billion in new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years. Amounts are from the Congressional Budget Office. Roads and Bridges Repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges is a big priority. The package calls for investing $110 billion for roads, bridges and major infrastructure projects, including $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation. The White House says the deal also contains $16 billion for major projects that would be too large or complex for traditional funding programs. Also included is $11 billion for transportation safety, including a program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities, especially of cyclists and pedestrians.

Rail and Transit The bill would provide $39 billion to modernize public transit, including repairing and upgrading existing infrastructure, making stations accessible to all users, bringing transit service to new communities and modernizing rail and bus fleets and investing $66 billion in passenger and freight rail. Power and Water Systems As approved by the Senate, the bill would invest $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid. It calls for building thousands of miles of new power lines and expanding renewable energy. It would provide $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure. Environment The bill would provide $21 billion to clean up Superfund and Brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells, according to the White House.

Broadband It would provide a $65 billion investment in improving the nation’s broadband infrastructure. Airports, Ports and Waterways The deal would invest $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports and promote electrification and other low-carbon technologies, according to the White House. Electric Vehicles The legislation would provide $7.5 billion for zeroand low-emission buses and ferries, aiming to deliver thousands of electric school buses to districts across the country, according to the White House. Another $7.5 billion would go to building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers. 36   Good Roads Foundation |   Fall 2021

A stretch of Napa Valley Drive in west Little Rock that could use some more repair work. State and local officials across the country will have their eyes on Washington, D.C., this fall to see if Congress passes President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package. The legislation includes billions to modernize roads, highways, bridges and transit systems while expanding high-speed internet systems and the nation’s network of electric vehicle charging stations. (Photo by Bill Paddack)


Good Roads Magazine Wins Award From ASAE For the second year in a row, Good Roads magazine has won an Excellence in Communications Award from the Arkansas Society of Association Executives. Good Roads Editor Bill Paddack accepted the award at a banquet at The Graduate hotel in Fayetteville.

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 37


Why Should You Join the AAPA?

Networking Advocacy Resources Information Safety Contact AAPA at: office@arasphalt.com (501) 219-1100 38   Good Roads Foundation

|   Fall 2021

Education Representation Partnership Unity And more! More information at: www.arasphalt.com Summer 2019 | Good Roads Foundation

27


Back Talk

“Fort Smith struggles with, as you all know, the truck traffic in downtown.” – Keith Gibson, Arkansas State Highway Commission member, as he discussed with area residents on July 29 a study commissioned by ARDOT to determine the feasibility of a new U.S. 64 river crossing into downtown Fort Smith. He said downtown merchants and property owners and the city have long worked with ARDOT to find a way to move traffic off Garrison Avenue because truck traffic disturbs those wanting to eat outside at downtown restaurants and interferes with a more pedestrian-friendly Garrison Avenue.

“It’s been under consideration and in the semi-planning stage. Now it’s actually ready for the official planning part of it, so it’s high on the list right now.”

– Gard Wayt, executive director for the I-49 Coalition, as ARDOT moves to the next phase of project development for the construction of Interstate 49 from Highway 22 in Sebastian County to Interstate 40 in Crawford County.

“Champion economic growth” and “actively market and support efforts to build economic assets.”

– Key goals stressed by Roy Andrews, project manager at Pickering Firm, Inc., as he laid out the vision for the intermodal port in Arkansas between Van Buren and Fort Smith at a meeting of the Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority in July. Andrews explained how the highway, river and rail systems in the area, as well as Arkansas’ central U.S. location, make for an optimum spot for this intermodal port.

“It was a bus, with a driver and all of the things you’d expect a bus to have except for the diesel smoke and the noise.”

– U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, after taking an electric bus for a spin in Eugene, Ore.

“Every transportation decision, every transportation policy is also a climate decision. It’s also climate policy whether we recognize it or not. And we’re going to recognize it.

– U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Fall 2021 | Good Roads Foundation 39


Arkansas Good Roads Foundation P.O. Box 25854 Little Rock, Arkansas 72221

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