Arkansas Good Roads Magazine - Spring 2019

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Spring 2019

GOOD ROADS The Magazine of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation

Historic Roads & Bridges Funding Plan Passed

ARDOT Supports Engineering Center


Count on Ergon’s family of products to help make your roads the picture of health.

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2019 EXECUTIVE BOARD Dan Flowers – North Little Rock President D.B. Hill, III – Little Rock Vice President Bob Crafton – Rogers Secretary/Treasurer Harold Beaver – Rogers JoAnn Bush – Lake Village Mark Hayes – Little Rock Mark Lamberth – Batesville Michael Lincoln – Searcy Clay McGeorge – Little Rock Robert Moery – Little Rock Shannon Newton – Little Rock Tom Schueck – Little Rock Jim Wooten – Beebe Joe Quinn, Executive Director Bill Paddack, Editor Celia Blasier, Designer ARKANSAS GOOD ROADS FOUNDATION Mission Statement The mission of the Arkansas Good Roads foundation is to promote adequate funding and financing for the planning, development, construction and maintenance of a safe and efficient highway, road, street and bridge system, facilitating statewide economic growth, thus increasing private-sector job creation and retention.

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

President’s Letter

Impacting the Quality Of Life in Arkansas Dan Flowers, Board President

As President of the Executive Board of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation I want to take a moment to say thank you for continuing to support “Good Roads,” particularly in recent months. Working with others, we have been a part of the effort to support an historic road and bridge funding package during the recent legislative session. We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Hutchinson and members of the Arkansas General Assembly, who recognized the many needs on our state highway, county road and city street systems, statewide, and did something meaningful to deal with the problem! There are two major pieces to the new funding package. First, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 336 by Senator Terry Rice of Waldron, which will provide approximately $95 million per year, generated from registration fees on electric and hybrid vehicles, sales taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, and revenue from the casinos being built in Arkansas. That revenue will be distributed, annually, to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT), cities and counties beginning October 1, 2019. Lawmakers also referred to the people the opportunity to extend a current one-half cent sales tax that is presently dedicated to transportation. This was made possible by passage of House Joint Resolution 1018, by Representative Jeff Wardlaw of Hermitage. The public vote on this revenue source will take place during the general election in November of 2020. Successful passage of this measure, combined with the additional $95 million from S.B. 336, will generate an additional $300 million per year in state highway funding, plus an additional $114 million annually for cities and counties. The Arkansas Good Roads Foundation will be working over the next eighteen months to inform Arkansans about the need for the approval of this measure, which will provide significant new resources to improve our state and local roads and bridges. The Highway Commission and ARDOT have made important improvements to the state’s highway systems over the years with the limited amount of revenue available. However, the additional new revenue, if approved by the voters, will allow them to significantly accelerate maintenance and improvement to the state highway system in order to improve safety, reduce congestion, provide improved connectivity and facilitate economic development. Likewise, both county and city officials will be able to make much needed improvements to their road and street systems. This additional funding, combined with existing funds, is estimated to generate approximately 3,500 new jobs and $8.2 billion in economic activity over the next ten years. Currently, Arkansas has the 12th largest highway system in the U.S., but we rank 41st in funding available to maintain and improve the system. It’s certainly time for us to come together and make our highways, roads, streets and bridges better. Please check out our website at for regular updates on the activities of the Foundation. Thank you again for your interest in the development of our state and local road and street systems that will significantly impact the quality of life in Arkansas.

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A conceptual rendering of the new Civil Engineering Research and Education Center.

FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Department of Transportation has made a $1 million investment in a Civil Engineering Research and Education Center at the University of Arkansas to support the creation of a facility that will benefit students, researchers and companies across Arkansas. “The Arkansas Department of Transportation has been a tremendous partner for engineering programs across the state, and we’re grateful for this investment in the future of Arkansas’ infrastructure,” College of Engineering Dean John English said. “We have an outstanding faculty and student body ready to make great use of this facility, and we’re proud the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center will be accessible for civil engineering research programs across the state,” he said. “This facility will touch the lives of thousands of students as they pursue solutions that save money, improve safety and create a better quality of life for us all.” ‘Living Laboratory’ The Civil Engineering Research and Education Center will be located in the Engineering Research Center at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville, and will be a “living laboratory” for civil engineering 4   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

undergraduates at the university – the first of its kind in the state. It is expected to cost about $10.3 million. The planning process is substantially complete, according to Nick DeMoss, director of communications for the College of Engineering. The university has renderings, cost estimates and a site layout, he said. The university expects to break ground on the center in 2019, and construction is expected to take up to 18 months, DeMoss told Arkansas Business. Students will use the center’s design and construction process to explore topics in construction techniques and management; computer-aided design and drafting; plan development; construction materials; soil mechanics and foundation design; structural steel design and reinforced concrete design. The Civil Engineering Research and Education Center

ARDOT will also provide students with vital opportunities for hands-on experience through laboratory exercises and research activities and will truly be a statewide resource. Special Partnership “We’re deeply appreciative of ARDOT’s support of our students, staff and faculty through their funding to the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center,” Micah Hale, professor and head of the Department of Civil Engineering, said. “The center will be a one-of-a-kind facility in Arkansas and in our region, providing students and engineers from across Arkansas an opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research which will have impact at the local, state and national levels,” he said. “Our department has always had a special partnership with ARDOT, and with the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center we can continue this partnership to help address and solve the infrastructure needs of Arkansas, as well as addressing national-level needs, too.” ARDOT Director Scott Bennett is a graduate of the university’s College of Engineering and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering. He is a member of the Arkansas Alumni Association and the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering. “This funding emphasizes ARDOT’s investment in and partnership with the U of A,” Bennett said. “Our history with research at the U of A goes back to the beginning of the university’s research program in 1953, with over 200 research projects either completed or ongoing. Just in recent history, this partnership has resulted in $23 million in investment with an estimated return of $35 million in value. “The center will be a living laboratory for civil engineering students to gain practical experience for many years into the future,” he said. “As the state’s largest employer of civil engineers, we are looking forward to this new partnership leading to even more success for the U of A, for ARDOT, and ultimately for the citizens who use Arkansas’ transportation system every day.” CDI Will Be Contractor The grant is being awarded as part of the ARDOT’s Transportation Related Research Grant Program. The contractor for the project is CDI, and the architect is Treanor Architects, with Tim Maddox from deMx Architecture in Fayetteville working as the local architect.

PROPER LANE USAGE Signs Remind Motorists Of Existing Arkansas Law

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has installed signs across the state to remind motorists of an existing law that prevents vehicles from continuous travel in the left lane of a multilane roadway whenever it impedes the flow of other traffic.

Yellow “State Law” signs have been mounted directly above all “Slower Traffic Keep Right” signs already in place on applicable multilane highways. A total of 550 of the new “State Law” signs were produced at a cost of $8,300, ARDOT spokesman Danny Straessle said. The signs include 350 12” x 48” signs costing $16.60 each and 200 12” x 36” costing $12.45 apiece, he said. “The additional signs we’re adding are to remind drivers it’s a state law and not merely a suggestion for courteous driving,” Straessle said. Arkansas Code 27-51-301 states that motor vehicles shall not be operated continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway whenever it impedes the flow of other traffic. The law was passed by the Legislature in 2013. An ARDOT promotional campaign reminds motorists to “Be Polite, Keep Right.” It explains that impeding the flow of traffic by continuously driving in the left lane is a violation of Arkansas law. Slower traffic should keep right and allow passing vehicles use of the left lane.

ON THE COVER - Legislative and business officials watch on March 12 as Gov. Asa Hutchinson signs the comprehensive highway funding plan. Good Roads board member Shannon Newton, far right, was a key leader in moving the measure through the Legislature. (Photo Courtesy of the Governor’s Office)   Spring 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 5



‘It’s Very Important to Us That Our Highways Are Safe and Easy to Travel’ By Bill Paddack Between the daily commute and weekend trips, families often spend a lot of time on highways. And that means they value safe, well-maintained roads. That’s certainly the case for Amanda and Keith Hoelzeman of Maumelle. She’s director of media relations at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway, and he’s a partner in a marketing consultancy. They have two sons, Miles, 4 and Henry, 18 months. We asked Amanda about their driving habits – mornings find her heading one way and him another – and why they consider safe roads to be essential.

Amanda Hoelzeman buckles son, Miles, into his carseat.

Photo by Bill Paddack

Good Roads: Why do good highways and safety mean a lot to you and your family?

GR: What are your driving habits? How have they changed?

Amanda Hoelzeman: From our home, Keith and I each have a half-hour commute to work and to our kids’ school. In addition, my family lives in South Arkansas, and Keith’s family lives in Morrilton and in Northwest Arkansas. We travel the state’s highways and interstates on a daily basis, often covering a lot of distance on the weekends to see family. Since we spend so much time in the car, with our kids almost always in tow, it’s very important to us that our highways are safe and easy to travel. The widening of U.S. Highway 167 from just south of Little Rock almost to El Dorado has been especially nice and has made our travels much less stressful and much safer. Our family’s safety is our top priority, so having good roads means more to us than I can even express.

AH: For many years, I commuted to downtown Little Rock each day, which was never easy. The traffic over the Arkansas River Bridge on Interstate 30 was always snarled and congested. Now, each morning I drive from Maumelle up Interstate 40 to the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. In the six months I’ve been making the drive, I’ve never encountered traffic snags or delays. It’s been a welcome change. I’ve come to enjoy the quiet time in the mornings before I get to campus. I’m able to catch up on my podcasts (true crime is my favorite) and get my thoughts together before I start another full day in the President’s Office at UCA. Some mornings, the drive is especially beautiful, too. Right around the county line, between Pulaski and Faulkner, there’s a long straight stretch of the interstate with pasture

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Q&A on each side. Some mornings the fog settles over these open fields or over Lake Conway, and it is simply breathtaking. Any parent will tell you that sometimes, on the weekend, you just have to get out of the house and go for a drive. The kids are screaming and refusing to nap and you desperately need a change of scenery. On these days, we like to drive north of Conway up Highway 65, through Pickles Gap, Greenbrier and Damascus until we get to Rabbit Ridge Farms, just outside of Bee Branch. Rabbit Ridge raises free-range cattle, hogs and chickens, and they serve breakfast on some Saturdays. Even when they’re not serving breakfast, you can buy frozen meat from the store. We regularly take the short road trip. It’s a beautiful drive, the kids get a nap and get to see farm animals, and we get a much-needed breather. Find out more at We also occasionally drive to the Flippin/Mountain Home area to see old friends from college. We take Highway 65 to Highway 27 to Highway 14, which is a very scenic stretch that meanders past bluffs and cliffs and over the Buffalo River. I will also say that I think it’s easier to notice the changing of the seasons as you travel the interstate. When you see so much foliage at once, it’s easier to see the subtle, but collective budding of leaves and blooms at the beginning of spring and the slowly changing colors of leaves as fall approaches. This is something that makes my commute especially rewarding.

Keith and Amanda Hoelzeman with sons, Miles and Henry.

GR: What roads are you on frequently? AH: I take Interstate 40 and Highway 365 daily. Keith takes I-40, I-30, I-630, I-430 and Highway 365 on a daily basis. Whew! When we visit family in South Arkansas, we take I-40, I-530, U.S. Highway 167, U.S. Highway 15 and sometimes Highway 82. To visit Keith’s family in Morrilton, we typically take I-40, Highway 365 and Highway 64. Then to go to Fayetteville, we take I-40 and I-49.

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By the Numbers

THE GOVERNOR’S HIGHWAY PLAN 3¢ The increase in sales tax per gallon of gasoline

to be added under Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway plan. The current excise tax is 21.5 cents a gallon.

The increase in sales tax per gallon of diesel to be added. The current excise tax is 22.5 cents a gallon.

vote by which 71-26 The the state House of

Representatives approved Senate Bill 336 by state Sen. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, which will raise $95 million for state highways.


A semi-trailer truck rolls into Ola (Yell County) on state Highway 7-South/28-West. (Photo by Bill Paddack)

The additional registration fee to be added to hybrid vehicles, along with a $200 fee for electric vehicles.


Estimated number of jobs annually the governor’s office says the plan will create.


According to ARDOT, under the governor’s highway plan, the number of miles it would be able to improve of the 7,900 miles of the Arkansas highway network that carries 90% of all traffic daily.

$35 m


The plan will draw on dedicated revenue from casinos for highway construction, with a commitment to fund at least this amount annually in new money.

The amount of economic activity the governor’s office estimates the plan will generate in economic activity.

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From the Executive Director

Navigating the 2019 Political Road Joe Quinn, Arkansas Good Roads Executive Director A legislative session at the State Capitol is a long and winding political road. To start with, we live in a divided political world where more people have moved to the political left or the right, and it often seems that few remain in the middle. In late 2018, as we contemplated how to pass a package of bills that would generate meaningful funding for roads and bridges, there were several things we worried about. We did not want to get approval for a modest amount of money, that would mean in two years we would be back here having the very same discussion. The second concern was that supporters needed to get a plan together, and a bill drafted, in a way that could be embraced by broadbased political interests. In the current political climate that can be a hard needle to thread. In the fall, Park Estes, executive director of the Arkansas Asphalt

Pavement Association, pulled a group of organizations together on an email chain to talk about what strategies might work best. This group became known as “The Coalition,” and the name later morphed into the “Roads and Bridges Funding Coalition.” Every member agreed it was time to do something real, and it was critical we not walk away from the session without additional funding. With 25 percent of our roads in failing condition, the clock was running. Same School of Thought There are three core elements to the coalition. First, the nonprofits, which are the Good Roads Foundation, the Arkansas Department of Transportation, the Arkansas Municipal League and the Association of Arkansas Counties. The second group is the industry leaders – Associated General Contractors, Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association, American Traffic and

Safety Services Association and Associated Builders and Contractors. The third element is the big Arkansas trade associations with large numbers of members – Arkansas Farm Bureau, The Poultry Federation, Arkansas Trucking Association and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. Early on Gov. Asa Hutchinson agreed to meet with us, and that meeting turned into a very productive session. The governor basically said to all the groups, “Are you willing to work hard to pass a package if we get it introduced? Are you willing to really engage your members and stakeholders to drive larger political support?” What was most apparent was that although everyone in the room had a slightly different perspective on how much money was needed, and where it should come from, everyone stayed on the same page. No one group was trying to do their own thing to the

Governor Asa Hutchinson joined legislative leadership at a Feb. 11 press conference at the state Captiol to announce his plan for building and repairing Arkansas roads.

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From the Executive Director

Let’s Shake on It

Gov. Asa Hutchinson greets, from left, Dan Flowers, Harold Beaver, D.B. Hill, III, Mark Lamberth, Joey Dean.

detriment of others. It is rare these days to find that type of unity across a large coalition. In the early days of the session, multiple legislators were drafting different versions of a highway plan,

but it seemed clear that once the governor announced his package that would become the draft that everyone would focus on. After the session had been underway a couple of weeks, the governor laid two things on the table

Speaker of the House Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado, speaking at the press conference in February as Gov. Asa Hutchinson looked on, expressed confidence that the plan would find support in the House.

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to start a serious discussion. The first was a referral to voters in November 2020 an extension of an existing half cent sales tax. If legislators were willing to send this to voters, and it passed, it would mean $293 million annually in new revenue. Of the $293 million, $88 million would go each year to cities and counties to make local decisions about road and bridge improvements. That would mean $205 million annually to the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The second piece involved legislative approval of a package that would send $95 million a year to ARDOT. New gas and diesel taxes would generate $86 million. After $28 million of that goes to counties, cities, and the state, that means $58 million to ARDOT. Another $35 million will come from taxes generated by casinos, and $2 million would come from new registration fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. Progress These two primary funding sources moved through the House and Senate as separate pieces of legislation. What quickly became clear was that rather than a debate over “no new taxes,” the discussion was about what really mattered in terms of the longterm interest of the state we love. Lawmakers seemed to agree that this

From the Executive Director

was a vote that would impact the quality of life our grandchildren will have. This was not a small change to an existing law that would be forgotten in three months. This vote mattered. ‘Great Day for Arkansas’ Both measures made it through the committee process and on to full Senate and House for approval. The photo on the cover of this magazine was taken as Governor Hutchinson signed the bills in the elegant governor’s conference room. It was a unique moment. A reminder that real leadership still matters, and that good men and women are still willing to come to the Capitol and stand up for the folks back home in a meaningful way.

“This is a great day for Arkansas,” the governor said as he was signing the bill. “A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, from the experts who crunched the numbers and crafted the bills to the legislators who took the bills to a successful vote with solid bipartisan support. “Our roads are vital to so many areas of everyday life. We need good streets to get to work, school, stores and doctor appointments. Our farmers need good roads to deliver their crops to the market. We need great highways if we are going to compete for the industry and business that are crucial to continuing to improve our quality of life. We have done this for ourselves

and for our future.” Thank You Now the real work begins of educating Arkansans on why the passage of the sales tax extension in November 2020 is so important. A vote yes will be a vote for safer, better, easier-to-drive roads. A vote yes gives your county judge or mayor or quorum court more of a say in which roads in your county need to be upgraded. But for right now it’s time to say a sincere thank you to the coalition members, Good Roads board members and legislative leaders who traveled a winding political road to do what is right for future generations.


jenny lind road / ingersoll avenue fort smith, arkansas

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Good Roads Member Profile

AGC’s Joey Dean

Longtime Arkansas economic developer values working collectively to benefit each other as well as the state. By Bill Paddack

Since Joey Dean has spent his career helping to develop and advance Arkansas’ economy, it comes as no surprise that he considers building strong relationships and working together toward a common goal to be importanat elements of any successful program, plan or project. A case in point, the coalition of business organizations that came together late last year as the Roads and Bridges Funding Coalition to help forge and support what would become a long-term highway funding plan endorsed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders and later approved by the full Legislature. “Collectively, our reach is wider,” Dean said on a late winter afternoon in his second-floor office at the Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. “It took the collected effort and leadership of the governor, the speaker of the House, the president pro tem of the Senate and our grassroots efforts. It worked.” Dean, who joined AGC Arkansas in February 2018, obviously relished the opportunity to be part of such a key success in his first legislative session as the organization’s executive director and to be on hand March 12 as the governor signed the largest and most comprehensive highway-funding plan in Arkansas’ 12   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

Photo by Bill Paddack

AGC Arkansas Executive Director Joey Dean

history. But then he’s always appreciated the adage “always strive to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Good Roads Member Profile Bumpers’ Office, Metro Alliance Dean graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Out of college, a summer internship in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Dale Bumpers turned into a permanent position as a legislative aide. He returned to Arkansas and in 1996 joined the staff of what was then the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission (now the Arkansas Economic Development Commission). He was named director of business development there in 2001. He later served from 2006-2015 in the dual roles of vice president, economic development at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Metro Little Rock Alliance, where he helped market the region’s strengths to prospective companies and site location consultants. Along the way, he’s been named by Arkansas Business in 2004 to the publication’s “40 under 40” and by Southern Business Development as one of the “Top Ten People Who Made a Difference” in 2008.

Association Information At a Glance AGC Arkansas Address: 523 E. Capitol Avenue Little Rock, AR 72202 Phone: 501-375-4436 Website: The Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., is a voluntary trade association of commercial general contracting firms (highway, building and utility), specialty contractors, and supply and service firms. Established in 1934, the Arkansas Chapter’s primary objectives are to pursue skill, integrity and responsibility in the construction industry, to provide training and to serve as the voice of the construction industry in Arkansas.

Contacts he made through the years came in handy when he sought the position with AGC Arkansas. “In my 20-year economic development career, I’d really gotten the chance to know a lot of the general contractors around the state,” Dean said. That gave him the opportunity

Being able to work with the construction industry to ensure that we promote and pursue skill, integrity and responsibility with a keen focus on safety and training is a worthy mission for an industry that helps significantly to grow our economy... to be exposed to many of the companies who are members of AGC Arkansas and form many relationships, making the transition to his new role easier. We asked Dean a number of questions regarding AGC Arkansas, the importance of an excellent highway system and, of course, working together. ‘Integrity and Responsibility’ Good Roads: You have long worked in economic development in Arkansas. What appealed to you about your position at AGC Arkansas? Joey Dean: One of the things I enjoyed about economic development is that I knew the work that I did and the role I played in recruiting companies to Arkansas and helping existing companies expand was going to directly have a positive impact on the lives of Arkansans and improve their quality of life and income. There was tremendous value for me in that. I feel the same way about my role with AGC Arkansas; it is just a little more focused on one industry sector. Being able to work with the construction industry to ensure that we promote and pursue skill, integrity and responsibility with a keen focus on safety and training is a worthy mission for an industry that helps significantly to grow our economy, and it appealed to me a great deal. GR: What would you like the public to know about AGC Arkansas and its members?

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Good Roads Member Profile JD: The Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, locally known as AGC Arkansas, was founded in 1934, so it has a long history in our state supporting the construction industry. Our membership covers all aspects of construction, including commercial and industrial contractors, utility contractors, highway contractors and then many associate members who all work closely with the general contracting industry.

we took the approach that we could be much more effective in approaching our goal of meaningful highway funding collectively, than we ever could individually. For about eight or nine months we have been meeting with 10 other organizations in Arkansas to develop a plan that we could promote together to the governor and the Legislature. The grassroots effort that was made to get this done was impressive to see and exciting to be a part of. The good news is that this funding package will address what is needed in every aspect of transportation, which is expanding and improving existing roads, repairing and replacing bridges and creating new roads. All of this will make driving in Arkansas better and safer for everyone. GR: Obviously, finding funding to maintain our roads and highways is significant to your members, but how is it also important to economic development across Arkansas?

Joey Dean visits with others attending the press conference.

What I quickly learned as soon as I joined this incredible organization is how committed our members are to AGC Arkansas, supporting our mission, specifically to promote and ensure safety for their employees. It is their number one priority. Our members may compete for business in Arkansas, but they understand they can better support their interests collectively rather than individually. Better and Safer Roads GR: Your members deal with infrastructure and construction needs across the state. As Arkansas (hopefully) receives more state and federal funding to address highway and bridge improvement, what are some areas you would like to see addressed? JD: Well, as you know, we have just been successful in getting historic highway funding passed in the 2019 legislative session. This took a tremendous amount of effort from many organizations and many dedicated people. Just like I mentioned above with our AGC Arkansas members, 14   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

JD: Well, I had a 20-year career in economic development, and I can say with confidence that a good and well-maintained transportation network is one of the two most important factors in successfully recruiting and expanding companies to our state. The other, of course, is access to a trained workforce. Workforce development is just as important in the construction industry, so it is another one of our focuses. GR: As Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislature deal with highway issues on the state level, what does AGC Arkansas

The Good Stuff Full Name: Joseph Cromwell Dean Hometown: England, Arkansas Family: Daughters Caroline, 18, and Corinne, 16. Hobbies: Hiking, fishing, anything outdoors. Favorite Restaurant: Locally chef-owned restaurants. Favorite Music: I like all kinds of music. Favorite sports team: Arkansas Razorbacks Favorite vacation spot: The beach – I love the beach – or the mountains. Favorite quote or slogan: Always strive to be part of something bigger than yourself.

Good Roads Member Profile The good news is that this funding package will address what is needed in every aspect of transportation, which is expanding and improving existing roads, repairing and replacing bridges and creating new roads. hope to see on a federal level as a divided Congress deals with our nation’s infrastructure and coming up with a sustainable long-term funding source? JD: In addition to being associated with AGC of America, we are also members of other national organizations with a focus on transportation and infrastructure funding. Two of those being the American Road &Transportation

Builders Association (ARTBA) and TRIP, which is a national transportation research group. I think most can agree that one of the best ways to promote and sustain our national economy is with a significant federal investment in transportation and infrastructure. My hope is that they can spend some time working on things like this, that they should be able to agree upon. GR: Why is it important for groups like AGC and Good Roads to work together? JD: As the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation was formed to educate the public on the need for better roads and to promote a safe and sustainable transportation network, it only makes sense that AGC Arkansas would be a strategic partner with Good Roads. Also, and as I have referenced several times, we can always accomplish more and reach greater heights by working together than we ever could by ourselves.

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Side Roads Pine Bluff Arsenal Access Road Bridge Added to National Register The Pine Bluff Arsenal Access Road Bridge No. 2280 at White Hall in Jefferson County is one of 17 Arkansas properties that have recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant properties. The bridge was built in 1942 to help provide access to the important military establishment. “The 1942 Pine Bluff Arsenal Access Road Bridge No. 2280 The bridge was built to provide access to the Arsenal. is a well-preserved example of a National Defense Highway Act of 1941 bridge in White Hall, Arkansas,” the nomination routes for the defense and military industries to adequately says. “The bridge was constructed as part of a national move goods, people and materials from location to location movement to construct adequate motor-truck transportation in the case of the United States’ entrance into war.”

Commissioner Robert Moore Honored for Work on Tourism Robert Moore, who serves on the Arkansas State Highway Commission, was inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 45th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in February in Hot Springs. The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole. Moore served for three terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives and was Speaker of the House for the 88th General Assembly. His tourism endeavors include working with Ruth Hawkins and Delta Scenic Byways to secure the National Scenic Byway recognition for Arkansas Highway 4 through Arkansas City. He worked with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in the late ’90s for acquisition of 10,000 acres surrounding Arkansas City now known as Choctaw Island Wildlife Management Area. He worked with Arkansas State Parks for the extension of the Delta Heritage Trail from Rohwer to Arkansas City and with the help of Gov. Mike Beebe secured major funding for completion of the paved levee trail. 16   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019


Bills Create Camden Expedition Scenic Highway, True Grit Trail Editor’s Note: This is Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s weekly address for March 22.

“True Grit” is one of my favorite novels, and I enjoyed both versions of the movie. I relate to the story because I spent a number of years as the U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Arkansas, the area where Rooster Cogburn upheld the law. Tourist sites related to movies remain popular years after the movie has left the theaters. The True Grit Trail will prove as popular. The state is wise to mark and preserve this trail to attract fans of the book, the author and the movies.

We have successfully tackled some tough issues in the 92nd General Assembly, but not everything I sign is as serious as a highway-funding bill, raising teacher pay or reducing the state’s top income-tax rate. Both of the bills I want to discuss today involve highways and tourism. The first bill, House Bill 1414, designates the Camden Expedition Scenic Highway, and guides Civil War tourists through Southern and Central Arkansas connecting five battlefields and other Civil War historic sites, including the Confederate State Capitol Building in Historic Washington State Park in Hempstead County; the Elkins’ Ferry Battlefield in Clark and Nevada counties; Fort Lookout on Rogers Street in Camden, Ouachita County; Fort Southerland on Bradley Ferry Road in Camden; Jenkins’ Ferry Battleground State Park in Grant County; and the Poison Springs Battleground State Park in This stretch of state Highway 22 at Barling is part of what will be designated Ouachita County, among others. as the True Grit Trail. This designation is important both for the preservation of Arkansas history and for attracting the Civil 32M Tourists in 2018 War enthusiasts who come to our state to see the sites. Tourism is Arkansas’ No. 2 industry. Every region of These sites create jobs, they produce local and state tax the state benefits from tourism – from the Delta Byways to revenue, and they bring business to the local economies. the River Valley to the Great Southwest. Tourism provides Because we have preserved so many of our sites, we have more than 67,000 jobs in Arkansas. given the Civil War tourists a reason to stay longer. Our preliminary reports show that more than 32 million Special Guest tourists visited Arkansas in 2018 and spent more than $7 The second bill, House Bill billion. That translates to $412 million in state revenue 1628, renames the portion of from travel spending and more than $162 million in local Highway 22 between Dardanelle tax revenue. and Fort Smith as the True Grit From January to November of last year, Arkansas Trail. This designation is in collected nearly $16 million through the 2 percent tax on honor of the novel “True Grit,” lodging and attractions. The great thing is that the people which Charles Portis, one of our who spent this money got a great view of Arkansas’ hometown authors, wrote. We hospitality and left loving our state. had a special guest from out of The numbers for last year are an increase over the town for this bill signing. The previous year, 2017, and we have every reason to believe actor John Wayne starred as we will top those numbers in 2019. Rooster Cogburn in the original film version of “True Grit” The tourism tax revenue collected each year is in 1969. John Wayne’s grandson, John T. Wayne, lives in reinvested into our tourism infrastructure to allow more Paragould, and he joined us in the conference room for the people access to hiking trails, biking trails, state parks and bill signing. historical landmarks across the state.   Spring 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 17

Side Roads Schueck Is New Chairman Of State Highway Commission

Hutchinson Appoints Fort Smith Businessman to Commission

Tom Schueck of Little Rock is the new chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission and as such he is now a member of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation Executive Board. Appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe, Schueck began serving on the commission in January 2011. He holds a civil engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis and has spent his career forming and managing companies that are involved in heavy construction. Other members of the commission include Vice Chairman Robert Morre, Jr., Alec Farmer, Jr., Philip Taldo, and Keith Gibson. Remaining commission meetings for this year are set for May 1, June 12, July 24, Septembr 4, October 23, and December 11. Meetings are held at Arkansas Department of Transportation headquarters in Little Rock.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed Keith Gibson of Fort Smith to a 10-year term on the Arkansas State Highway Commission. Gibson is president and chairman of the board of Pinnacle Communications and Pinnacle Telecom in Fort Smith. He has served as president of both the Arkansas Telephone Association and the Oklahoma Telephone Association. Gibson was an organizing member, stockholder and board member of Benefit Bank in Fort Smith. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s in business administration. He also received a juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1983. Previously, Gibson served as a Sebastian County justice of the peace and was on the Criminal Detention Review Committee from 2006-2008. Gibson replaces Dick Trammel, whose term expired Jan. 14.

928 Airport Road Hot Springs, AR 71913 Phone: 501-767-2366 Fax: 501-767-6859 Website: AN ARKANSAS FIRM PROVIDING QUALITY CIVIL/STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING AND SURVEYING SERVICES SINCE 1972 18   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

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Steve Forsgren, AGC Secretary Forsgren, Inc.

Mark Windle, AGC Vice President Manhattan Road & Bridge

Roger Marlin, AGC President Hydco



The Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., locally known as AGC Arkansas, is a voluntary trade association of commercial general contracting firms, specialty contractors and supply and service firms. Established in 1934, it is the oldest and largest commercial construction association in the state. Its primary objectives are to instill skill, integrity and responsibility in the construction industry, to provide training and to serve as the voice of the construction industry in Arkansas. Through AGC of America, the Arkansas Chapter monitors regulations and concerns coming from our nation’s Capital. AGC of America works closely with Congress and federal agencies in clarifying, interpreting and disseminating essential information so that the interests of the construction industry may be promoted and protected. AGC’s full-time lobbying team, legislative committee and state agency liaison committees vigorously promote and protect the construction industries’ interests in the state legislature and state agencies. The executive board of the Arkansas Chapter includes president Roger Marlin of Hydco, Inc., vice president

Mark Windle of Manhattan Road and Bridge Company and secretary Steve Forsgren of Forsgren, Inc. Together they have more than 100 years of combined experience in the construction industry. “AGC represents the full spectrum of construction,” Forsgren says. “Building, highway and utility all have a voice through AGC, and cooperatively, we can work better together than separately.” Windle says the association is a respected advocate for the construction industry and serves as its “voice and face” at the state and national level. Lobbying isn’t the only advantage of membership, Marlin says. “The networking of individuals that do what we do every day is invaluable,” he says. “The training opportunities through AGC are unmatched with any other association and to have each of our voices heard at the state capital are the reasons that a company should join AGC Arkansas.”

AGC Arkansas • 501-375-4436 • arkansasagc AGCArkansas

Special Promotion 20   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

Why Should You Join the AAPA?

Networking Advocacy Resources Information Safety Contact AAPA at: (501) 219-1100

Education Representation Partnership Unity And more! More information at:   Spring 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 21



You probably drive through a construction zone every day, but do you realize you’re driving through someone’s workplace?

BE ALERT. Lives depends on it. ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 10324 Interstate 30 | Little Rock, AR 72209 | |

22   Good Roads Foundation |   Spring 2019

Back Talk

– Congressman Steve Womack in a Feb. 5 speech in the U.S. House of Representatives where he also referred to the former chairman of the State Highway Commission and retired Arvest bank executive as “a pillar of my community, an exemplary businessman, dedicated public servant, dear friend and all-around great American.”

– Shannon Newton, president, Arkansas Trucking Association, at the Feb. 11 press conference at the State Capitol where Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced his highway plan.

– State Rep. Joe Jett, R-Success, in a Jan. 13 Talk Business & Politics article.

– State Rep. Monte Hodges, D-Blytheville, on the state of disrepair of roads throughout his district that includes Mississippi and Crittenden counties.

– State Senate President Pro Tem Jim Hendren, on highway funding prior to the start of the legislative session.

– President Donald Trump in his Feb. 5 State of the Union address.

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


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