Arkansas Good Roads Magazine - SPRING 2023

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Award-Winning Magazine of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation Foundation Good Roads. Good for All. Spring 2023


A community’s roads connect us to jobs, healthcare, daily essentials, friends and family — and home. Ergon is proud to provide the materials and support needed to help build and maintain safe roadways across America, connecting us all to what matters most.


From the Executive Director

The Safety Issue: A Data & Numbers Perspective

30 Crossing: A Progress Report

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Connecting Arkansas Program

Arkansas Road Safety


12 10 32

21 22 34

David Haak Joins the Arkansas Highway Commission

Highway Commission Honors Good Roads Foundation

Changing the ARDOT Message as the World Changes

By the Numbers

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Nontraditional Roads & ARDOT

Side Roads

LRCVB Unveils 10-Year Plan for Little Rock Tourism

Congressman Westerman Celebrates Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Assignments

U of A College of Engineering Faculty Granted $3.5 Million for 3D Concrete Printing

B&F Engineering Acquired by Crafton Tull After 50 Years of Business

Transportation Connections Promotions and latest projects among AGRF member companies and organizations.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 3
ON THE COVER: I-30 traffic at sunset. (Photo courtesy of Rusty Hubbard, ARDOT)

The Safety Issue: A Data & Numbers Perspective

Thank you for reading this latest edition of Good Roads Magazine. We remain pleased with the feedback we get from members regarding what we have tried to do with the magazine. Our goal is to send you a magazine with articles about the real issues you are facing and how you deal with these challenges. If you have story ideas or would like to advertise, I am always available at 479-4265931.

In this issue, you will find our latest cover story on the ongoing effort to make roads safer for drivers, as well as for the men and women working so close to traffic each day to repair and build roads. This month, we are looking at the safety issue from a data and numbers perspective. In some ways, the statistics are almost counterintuitive. During the early days of Covid, when traffic on the roads was probably at record low levels, we saw an increase in accidents and fatalities. Some people think that was because the open roads meant fewer drivers were driving faster. Whatever the cause was, there is a lot to think about in the cover story we offer this month.

We also tell you about the newest Arkansas Highway Commission member appointed by Governor Sanders. David Haak told a great story at his first highway commission meeting, when he pointed out his first job out of high school was on an ARDOT road crew. That experience no doubt helped him understand the ARDOT culture and work ethic. It also paid about $1.50 an hour. He reminded the commission meeting audience that coming back to the commission as an appointee decades later means he is now

making less money as an unpaid commissioner than he was making so many years ago as a teenager. Welcome, Commissioner Haak!

The same day Commissioner Haak started on the commission was also the first time that new Highway Commission Chairman Alec Farmer chaired the meeting. Chairman Farmer has been involved in helping a wide range of Jonesboro community organizations and groups his whole life. His highway commission leadership is a natural continuation of a fully engaged life.

In his remarks about 2023 priorities, Chairman Farmer talked about safety, partnerships, and upgrading technology. The transition to a new chairman of the highway commission is always a reminder that the highway commission works to be non-political in a highly confrontational political world. The culture at commission meetings is one of respect and civility, and that doesn’t seem to change much over time.

In many ways, the backbone of that culture is the Mack-Blackwell Amendment that established the department and commission as an independent entity where decisions about roads and infrastructure are made based on needs rather than politics. During the coming year, we will all be talking more about why the amendment set the Arkansas road world up for success and created a climate of people working together for the greater good. Thanks for reading our magazine…and please remember that when you are driving, slow down and put the phone down.

4 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023 Executive Director’s Message
The transition to a new chairman of the highway commission is always a reminder that the highway commission works to be non-political in a highly confrontational political world. The culture at commission meetings is one of respect and civility, and that doesn’t seem to change much over time.


Executive Board


Harold Beaver

Graycen Bigger

JoAnne Bush

Alec Farmer

Curt Green

Mark Hayes

Lance Lamberth

Robert Moery

Shannon Newton

Chris Villines

Jim Wooten


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.

Joe Quinn, Executive Director

Kathryn Tennison, Editor

Celia Blasier, Designer

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Dan Flowers President D.B. Hill, III Vice President Crafton Secretary/Treasurer Dan Flowers President North Little Rock D.B. Hill, III Vice President Little Rock Bob Crafton Secretary/Treasurer Rogers Harold Beaver Rogers JoAnne Bush Lake Village Mark Hayes Little Rock Shannon Newton Little Rock Robert Moery Little Rock Chris Villines Little Rock Jim Wooten Beebe Alec Farmer Jonesboro (Non-Voting Member) Lance Lamberth Batesville Curt Green Texarkana Graycen Bigger Pocahontas


The 30 Crossing Construction Project that is Underway in Little Rock and North Little Rock is the Largest Construction Project ARDOT Has Ever Undertaken. The ultimate project stretches from the interchange at Interstate 440 in Little Rock northward to the interchange with Highway 67/167 in North Little Rock.

Recently, the Department held a news conference to celebrate a milestone in the project and to present an update on construction progress.

“The ultimate 30 Crossing project is making improvements to two Interstates, measuring a distance of just over seven miles, and is also building an impressive new bridge over the Arkansas 30 Crossing: A Progress Report River,” ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor shared as the event got underway.

Tudor went on to explain that construction crews had reached a milestone in the project as eastbound traffic was shifted in September to the newly built eastbound bridge. The eastbound and westbound bridges will better handle traffic flow and also provide better navigation for recreational boats and barges traveling the river below. Both eastbound and westbound bridges are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Construction crews began tearing down the old river bridge in September to make way for a second Interstate 30 bridge that will carry westbound traffic and be built adjacent to the new eastbound bridge. In addition to the bridge work, the project in the downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock will feature three through lanes of Interstate 30 with

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30 Crossing Progress Report

two collector-distributor lanes in both directions of Interstate 30.

Following Tudor’s welcome at the media event, Keli Wylie, Alternative Delivery Project Administrator, presented an overall update on the progress of the entire $633 million project.

“This is a very important corridor. It is the convergence of six major interstates and highways as well as the navigable channel of the Arkansas River and two Union Pacific railroad yards,” Wylie shared. Wylie congratulated Kiewit-Massman Construction, a joint venture of Kiewit Infrastructure South and Massman Construction who serve as contractors on the project, for their success in meeting projected milestones.

“Our construction schedule before crews began on-site work showed us switching traffic on this bridge

on September 1st,” said Wylie. “So, two years into the largest project ever constructed in ARDOT history, and the contractor is on time.”

Construction began in September of 2020. In recent months, contractors have met milestones that include the demolition of the Sixth Street overpass, demolition of the Cantrell Road/Highway 10 ramps and the opening of the new Ninth Street overpass. Recently on the north side of the river, crews hung girders over the Interstate 40 eastbound lanes. All of the work has been carried out while an average of 120,000 vehicles per day travel the corridor. By 2045, Wylie said state officials expect the figure to rise to 143,000 vehicles a day due to regional growth.

The demolition of the Cantrell Road/ Highway 10 ramps has left 16 acres of space between Rock Street and Cumberland Street that will be utilized as a green

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 7 30 Crossing Progress Report


space. “The City of Little Rock will present ARDOT with a plan for developing that space,” Wylie added. Wylie shared other highlights of the project that are in the works including:

• A new widened two-lane ramp from Interstate 630 eastward onto Interstate 30 east.

• A new exit ramp onto the frontage road at the interchange so traffic traveling from I-630 east can access downtown.

• A new entrance ramp leading from the McArthur Park area onto I-630 westbound.

“The scale of this project is just incredible,” Commissioner Marie Holder stated. “Construction has been underway for only two years, and it is amazing that we have already reached this milestone. I’m grateful for the partnership between ARDOT and the

cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. We also thank Governor Hutchinson and all of our Arkansas legislators who saw the need for this project. I want to also thank the residents and businesses located near the construction site and the motorists that travel this stretch every day for their patience and their commitment to safety during this project.”

Wylie shared that there has been no increase in traffic accidents in the construction zone since the project began.

Holder concluded by sharing the benefits the project will bring to the area.

“It will improve safety, connectivity and the quality of life for those who live and work here, those that visit and those who are just passing through.”

Construction on the 30 Crossing project is estimated to be completed in July 2025.

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30 Crossing Progress Report

Tip of the CAP 31


September 8 and October 26 were days of celebration for ARDOT and commissioners, staff, citizens, contractors and elected officialls gathered in El Dorado and Jonesboro, respectively, to celebrate the completion of the Connecting Arkannsas Program (CAP).

The CAP is one of the largest highway construction programs ever undertaken by ARDOT. The 31 projects making up the program were made possible by a 2012 voter-approved temporary ½ cent sales tax with revenue dedicated to road and bridge projects.

“With support of the Arkansas State Legislature, the Governor and Arkansas voters, the last 10 years have generated $1.8 billion, funding 31 projects and 200 miles of road improvements as part of this

program,” ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor told a crowd gathered at The Murphy Arts District in El Dorado. “The people I thank the most are the voters that approved the ½ cent sales tax.”

The 31 road projects that are part of the program stretch across the entire state.

“It took all of our legislators working together as well as the wisdom of the voters of Arkansas to pass the ½ cent sales tax that provided these improvements,” Highway Commission Chairman Robert S. Moore, Jr. told the crowd.

The events in El Dorado and Jonesboro were a way to recognize every project included in the program.

“I have attended many highway dedications, but this one is different,” stated Dan Flowers, President of

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Connecting Arkansas Program

the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation. “Normally, you dedicate a single highway or bridge completion. Today, we celebrate the completion of multiple projects that will significantly improve safety and mobility for motorists traveling Arkansas.”

Representative Matthew Shepherd addressed what a learning experience the sales tax effort was for him as he worked on the constitutional amendment.

“I had the opportunity to be engaged in this process in my first term in the House. I learned so much from Commissioners Robert Moore and Madison Murphy, and from Dan Flowers - ARDOT’s Director at the time. When it comes to highway funding and putting together a program of this magnitude, it takes champions who are willing to go to the mat for these issues.”

A Salute to Highway 167

Also part of the celebration in El Dorado was the completion of the widening of the Highway 167 corridor to four lanes. Motorists now have four lanes extending from the Louisiana state line northward to the Interstate 530 interchange near Little Rock.

“What a pleasure to celebrate completion of so many projects on Highway 167,” former Highway Commissioner Madison Murphy shared. “We can also celebrate the future of Highway 82. As this area of Arkansas grows, Highway 82 will be just as important to vitality, safety and mobility as Highway 167 has become.”

Murphy also stressed the importance of people working as partners.

“Partnerships are so important. They are how you make things happen. When you look at these highway improvements; the state, our cities

and our counties worked together and got things accomplished.”

Just prior to a symbolic ribbon cutting for Highway 167, Tudor tipped her cap to all involved.

The CAP event in Jonesboro was held on the campus of Arkansas State University.

“Like every other part of the state, northeast Arkansas has benefited from the CAP program,” stated Highway Commissioner Alec Farmer of Jonesboro. “We improved three miles on the Highway 18 Monette Bypass, widened two miles of Highway 18 to five lanes east of Manila and widened approximately 14 miles of Highway 412 to four lanes.”

“Infrastructure investment is what propels us and is going to move us even further into the 21st Century,” Congressman Rick Crawford shared in Jonesboro. “Your Congressional representatives from Arkansas work closely with ARDOT to prioritize what projects need to be earmarked. We make sure we are doing what we can to enhance infrastructure investment in Arkansas.”

“Thanks to everyone who put their trust in ARDOT to complete the CAP program,” Tudor shared.

The CAP celebration in El Dorado was sponsored by Murphy USA and the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation. The Foundation also sponsored the Jonesboro event.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 11 Connecting Arkansas Program

Arkansas Road Safety: Issue Overview

Since early 2020, highway crashes, serious injuries, and deaths have sharply increased by about 40 percent, but in highway construction work zones the increase was estimated at up to almost 70 percent. These numbers are causing the asphalt construction industry and experts to take notice. Speeding, raging, drinking, and distracted driving are ranked as top causes, and nationwide the high numbers held steady in the first quarter of 2022, up by about 7 percent over the same period in 2021, according to NHTSA.

In Arkansas, there were approximately 500 traffic-related deaths in 2019, but that number jumped to almost 700 in 2021. The state had the third highest increase in fatal crashes nationwide in 2020.

In 2021, two ARDOT employees were killed by a driver. Arkansas followed the nationwide trend in 2020 and 2021, but last year’s preliminary crash numbers dropped to pre-Covid levels. Agency and industry leaders aren’t convinced it’s a real reversal of the two-year upward trajectory. Instead, maybe a temporary blip. Work zone employees are feeling the brunt of this uptick, and contractors are worried about the safety of their employees. They’re seriously discussing work zone crashes, hoping to address this problem head-on.

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Arkansas Road Safety: By the Numbers

“People are shocked to learn that 857 people were killed in work zone accidents in 2020. In total, during that same time, there were about 102,000 accidents and about 45,000 injuries,” said Nathan Smith, Vice President of Engagement for the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA).

He was speaking at the Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) Quality Conference in January, which included about 320 association members from AAPA and Arkansas Good Roads.

Park Estes, AAPA Executive Director, agreed with Smith, saying, “It’s disturbing.”

Estes isn’t alone, and there’s growing concern about safety among AAPA and Good Roads members.

“This was in part because of the large increase of vehicle accidents since the start of the pandemic, and the numbers coming from various highway or road construction agencies are staggering and heartbreaking,” Estes said.

During his session, Smith said most injuries and deaths don’t happen to construction workers, but the majority involve passenger vehicle drivers and/or their passengers. “This means the industry or Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) can’t solve the problem without a change in the public’s driving habits,” Estes said.

The Covid Effect

Dave Parker, ARDOT Public Information Officer, said that during 2018 and 2019, work zone crashes were down to about 1,250 work zone crashes annually, resulting in about a dozen deaths and around 50 suspected serious injuries. That changed in early 2020, with ARDOT noting an increase to roughly 1,459 work zone crashes, 19 deaths, and 47 serious

suspected injuries, according to state numbers.

Parker described 2021 as “the peak year,” with the numbers more than doubling to 2,597 work zone crashes, resulting in 20 fatalities and 64 serious suspected injuries.

“It was a bad year, nationwide as well as in Arkansas,” Parker said.

In the highway business, there are some theories as to why the numbers dramatically jumped.

“With Covid…Things were different,” Parker stated.

Smith said, “Many industry experts thought it would be a safer time, [but] speeding increased. It was like roads were open racetracks. It was extraordinarily alarming to us.”

Most Americans were urged to stay home and mask up, and there were probably some who might have thought, “You can’t tell me what to do,” and rebelled, Parker said, explaining one theory about increased risky behavior on the country’s roadways.

“Road rage was high,” Parker said.

In 2020, the Arkansas State Police (ASP) issued 2,030 (speeding) citations; in 2021, they issued 2,452, an almost 21% increase, said Cindy Murphy, ASP Communications Director. Smith said, “Work boots on the ground report seeing cars whizzing by at 70 mph,” but speeding isn’t the entire problem, and it comes in second to distracted driving.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of work zone accidents and includes activities such as talking, texting, eating, programming navigation, drinking, and multitasking. In 2019, 7 percent of all fatal crashes were distraction-related, resulting in 3,142 lives lost, an increase of almost 10 percent over 2018 when 2,858 lives were lost due to distracted driving,

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 13
Arkansas Road Safety
Dave Parker Park Estes

Arkansas Road Safety

according to the NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

2019 Traffic Safety Facts.

Impaired driving is also a problem. According to NHTSA, from 2010 until 2019, each day about 28 people, about 10,000 annually, died from drunk driving. In 2020, alcohol related crashes killed about 11,654 – that’s almost 30 percent of all deaths, and more than a 14 percent increase over 2019 numbers.

Kids Do It, Too

“Every 15 minutes, a teenager will die due to drunk driving…60% of all teen deaths from car accidents involve alcohol,” states the website. According to the site, teens are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood-alcohol level of .08% than adults, and according to the CDC, since 2020, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the U.S.

It seems older teen males are more likely to be killed in a crash than their younger counterparts, and teens report they use their seatbelts less, but text and drive drunk more.

Drive-safely also reported some good news: Drinking and driving among teenagers has gone down by 54% in the past two decades through education. However, the American Automobile Association (AAA) said that about 58 percent of teen crashes are due to distracted driving.

A View from the Work Zone

According to an Associated General Contractors

2022 Work Zone Safety Study Survey, “Ninety-seven percent of responders believe highway work zones are either as dangerous or more dangerous than they were a year ago.” About 64 percent, up 4 percent, reported in the last 12 months there was at least one crash involving a moving vehicle at a highway work zone they operate. The numbers represent a 41 percent increase in accidents with injuries, up 7 percent from 2021.

In 2022, driver or passenger fatalities were up 3 percent over 2021.

A Sharp Reversal

In 2022 in Arkansas, work zone crash numbers plummeted, with 1,709 crashes, nine deaths, and 34 serious injuries.

Parker said, “These are preliminary numbers and not finalized, but they are encouraging. We saw a dramatic decrease in work zone crashes and fatalities, and suspected serious injuries. We are encouraged, but one death is too many,” Parker said.

Perhaps life is returning to a somewhat pre-Covid normal, but it’s too early to say for certain, he added. ARDOT’s safety campaign, “Slow Down, Phone Down”, is likely helping move the work zone safety numbers down, and with the last CAP (Connecting Arkansas Program) construction sites completed, there are fewer work zones across Arkansas.

Estes said, “It’s just a challenging time for a number of reasons.” Besides safety worries, the industry is also struggling with employee shortages and training new hires. It’s compounded by material delays and shortages, Estes explained.

More Work, More Work Sites

In the near term, the need to focus on the work zone safety effort matters because of additional state and federal funds increasing the number of road construction projects, meaning more work zones. There will be increases in large and small construction job numbers with the implementation of the STIP (Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs).

Over the next four years, there will be about 800 projects touching every county of the state, ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor said at Arkansas Good Roads November Annual Membership Meeting. The

14 Good
| Spring 2023
Roads Foundation
According to a report in July 2020, “Traffic fatalities began to increase dramatically in 2020 even as vehicle travel rates plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor

work will cover about 4,100 miles and includes the replacement or rehab of about 271 bridges, about 50 statewide Capacity Projects, and 80 miles of statelocal Capital Improvements projects.

Estes said, “This is good news for the road construction industry, but it also means we need to redouble our efforts to keep our employees and the traveling public safe.”

Additionally, Tudor said, approximately $200 million under the STIP plan will go to Safety Improvement.

Estes said, “It will take ARDOT and industry leaders working together to utilize this funding carefully and most effectively. We are already discussing superior practices and the issues that might arise over the next few years. We are partnering so everyone can work safely, do a quality job, and move to the next one.”

“We’ve made a lot of strides in the past year, creating a culture of collaboration and cooperation… We’re working together on safety,” Tudor said.

Arkansas Road Safety

Smith agreed, saying, “Raising awareness is of the utmost importance to the industry. We’ve got to do more than hope for the best.”

D.B. Hill, III, owner of D.B. Hill Contractors Inc., is a lifelong Associated General Contractors of Arkansas member and past president, and as an AGC Lifetime National Director he’s worked at the national level as an advocate for safety.

In addition, he’s Vice President of the Arkansas Good Roads Board and a member of the Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association, and both the state organizations, he said, have turned their attention to “the issue of creating a safer work zone environment for roadway construction employees and the traveling public.”

He believes a collaboration of ideas and resources, as well as education, are two effective means of accomplishing this goal. Hill said the industry and ARDOT realize the need, based on dramatic increase in work zone deaths and crashes over the last years, and added, “We need to empathize that more drivers

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 15


We can all do our part to help. Work zone safety is everyone’s job.

more information, visit: ARDOT.GOV/SLOWDOWNPHONEDOWN #SLOWDOWNPHONEDOWN @myARDOT @idrivearkansas
In Arkansas70%

and passengers were killed or injured in work zones than workers.”

Although 2022 numbers declined, Hill feels with the predicted increase in asphalt-pavement jobs, both on small- and large-scale, through the STIP funded projects, the accident rates will again climb.

Hill agreed with Tudor and Estes that the number of work zone sites across the state will only grow and said, “this is concerning to our industry and ARDOT, and it should be to the traveling public.”

Thoughtful Leadership

Lorie Tudor spends a lot of her time listening to people with thoughts on how to make driving in work zones safer. She was raised in the ARDOT culture, where everyone knows each other, and many families have had multiple generations of people working to design and build roads and bridges. She is thoughtfully making good decisions on how to protect drivers and workers.

At the February Highway Commission meeting,

she announced that the department will start retaining off-duty police officers from local communities to park at highway job sites. Arkansas Highway Police officers, who are part of ARDOT, now spend more than 8,000 hours a year carefully watching over job sites, sending a clear message to drivers that it’s time to slow down.

When Tudor and new Highway Commission Chairman Alec Farmer talk about what 2023 looks like for the sprawling department, safety is always one of the first things they both mention.

More available funding means more highway construction, and that means more work zones for drivers to navigate. At the same time, overall driver safety numbers seem to have changed for both good and bad since the pandemic. The data can be confusing, but what remains clear is that everyone in the Arkansas infrastructure world is supportive of measures that make driving safer for both drivers and workers.

Be aware and slow down. Please.

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Arkansas Road Safety
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David Haak

David Haak Joins Arkansas Highway Commission

Arkansas Good Roads members are proud to welcome David Haak to the Arkansas Highway Commission. Haak was appointed to the commission by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He was sworn in on February 14, 2023.

At his first commission meeting Commissioner Haak pointed out that his first job out of high school was on an ARDOT road crew. He is clearly familiar with the culture of the department and for decades has contributed to his community in many capacities.

Haak served as a state representative in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2004.

During that time, he served on numerous committees including the Joint Budget Committee, Revenue and Tax Committee, and State Agencies & Government Affairs Committee. He also served on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission from 2005-2008 and on the Arkansas Waterways

Commission in 2021.

As a lifelong resident of Texarkana, Haak has always valued community involvement and civic engagement. He has served on the Texarkana Arkansas City Council, as a Texarkana Chamber of Commerce board member and on the Texarkana Arkansas Zoning and Planning Commission. He was also named the Texarkana Arkansas School District “Distinguished Alumni” in 2006 and the Texas A&M Texarkana “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1990.

A graduate of Henderson State University, Haak started and owns a label business in Texarkana, First Tape & Label.

He has been a member of Beech Street First Baptist Church since he was 14 years old, having served as a deacon, a chairman of deacons, on pastor search committees, as a leader of youth bible study and presently as a teacher for an adult men’s class.

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Joins Highway Commission
20 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023 Arkansas State Highway Commission
Dalton A. Farmer Chairman Philip Taldo Vice Chairman Keith Gibson Member Marie Holder Member
3592 Hwy 367 South Searcy, AR 72143 (501) 268-2359 Roadway & Structures Site Prep Rock Excavation Overburden Removal
David Haak Member

Highway Commission Honors Arkansas Good Roads

At a recent Highway Commission meeting, Arkansas Highway Commission Chairman Alec Farmer presented Good Roads Executive Director Joe Quinn with a plaque showing ARDOT appreciation for the work done by Good Roads. For more than 40 years, the Arkansas Department of Transportation has worked closely with Good Roads to educate Arkansans about the need for quality roads and bridges. Good Roads is a non-profit foundation that doesn’t engage in political lobbying but does work to remind people that better roads strengthen the economy, make drivers safer, and make life more convenient for millions of motorists.

Ironically, the last time ARDOT formally thanked Good Roads for this work, Commissioner Farmer’s

father was involved with Good Roads and accepted the appreciation award.

In the course of a year, Good Roads manages a digital communication strategy that reaches more than one million Arkansans, publishes an award-winning quarterly magazine, and hosts an annual policy meeting as part of an effort to engage people in serious policy dialogs about the infrastructure issues facing the state. In July of this year, the next policy event will be held in Jonesboro on July 20-21. If you would like to help sponsor the event, please call 479-426-5931.

Thanks again to ARDOT and the members of the Arkansas Highway Commission for partnering with Good Roads to tell the infrastructure story in Arkansas.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 21 Highway Commission Honors AGRF

Changing the ARDOT Message as the World Changes

During the past couple of years, without a great deal of fanfare, ARDOT has changed virtually every communication strategy it uses. At the heart of this effort is former KTHV News Director Dave Parker. After a TV career that saw him spend a number of years in Philadelphia and elsewhere, Parker seems very much at home in his new role. He tends to be soft spoken and doesn’t expect a great deal of praise for the work he does, but since he took the job in October of 2020, he has clearly shifted the ARDOT communication strategy to match the new world.

For many years, long before he was deputy director of the department at the end of his career, Randy Ort was the voice and face of ARDOT, and he was always available to reporters. It was an age of news releases sent via fax machines, and local TV newsrooms calling a lot during somewhat rare Arkansas snowstorms, and Randy was great at his job. But the communication world has changed, and in some ways state government agencies have been slow to catch up. That’s not the case right now at ARDOT with a significant shift in both messaging and how the message is delivered.

As winter weather approaches, Parker and his team are posting videos shot on their own cameras. They are always accessible to TV newsrooms in distant parts

of the state looking for a live or taped interview. But perhaps the most telling example of the strategy shift is the relatively new MYARDOT Instagram account.

During the recent national Women in Construction week, Parker and his team posted profiles of 12 different women at ARDOT who are making a difference in the infrastructure world. Each was accompanied by a great photo with concise copy about what they do and why it matters. The thing about work like this is that when it’s done well, it looks easy, but it’s tremendously time consuming. Parker and his team get it right.

Parker has also been in the middle of the Slow Down, Phone Down campaign that has been an integral part of the effort to reduce accidents in highway work zones. The TV commercials that are airing as part of this work are well done, and they don’t have that old school look of state government PSAs with mediocre production values. Organizations that get communications right are organizations where the person running the effort works closely with the CEO. It’s apparent that Parker and ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor spend time prioritizing communications and making decisions in advance of any large event that results in widespread coverage later. Tudor is a reminder that a

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Changing the ARDOT Message

good leader keeps her communication strategist close.

One of the most important shifts at ARDOT has been a move from emphasizing localized “ribbon cutting” type events to larger regional efforts to remind a specific part of the state about what ARDOT has done in the past decade to improve local infrastructure. Shifting the message to the larger picture is a better way to remind taxpayers what ARDOT is doing with resources to make life both easier and safer for drivers. The new gatherings are called Tip of the Cap events and pull together local leaders and local media to

talk about the larger picture. Arkansas Good Roads Foundation President Dan Flowers has been a speaker at multiple events to remind the audience that Good Roads and ARDOT are seamlessly aligned on creating messaging that reminds people why road and bridge improvements matter.

ARDOT also does something most state agencies don’t think much about – they have a remarkable photographer on staff. The best pictures you see in this magazine each month are photos taken by Rusty Hubbard. He is a quiet presence at ARDOT events

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Changing the ARDOT Message
ARDOT has shifted to larger, regional events to celebrate progress.

Changing the ARDOT Message

getting creative, colorful shots that really tell the ARDOT story in a beautiful way. The communication team makes anything Rusty takes available to organizations like ours, and that quiet professionalism is always appreciated.

In 2018 when I took the job as Good Roads Executive Director, I was asked at an event one day, “What do you know about asphalt and construction?” My answer was, “Not much. But I have dozens of board members and members at large who know everything about transportation and building roads. But I do know a lot about communications, and that’s what the board hired me for.” Dave Parker and his team remind me that I was right the day I said that. The ARDOT communications staff is reminding all of us that they know a lot about implementing a communication strategy that makes life easier for drivers and helps people understand how the work of the department changes constantly to improve the Arkansas economy and quality of life.

Everyone in the Arkansas infrastructure world must be a storyteller of some sort to get our message to much larger audiences. ARDOT is quietly reminding all of us of that.

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2022 Good Roads Digital Communications

During 2022, our digital communications program has allowed us to reach more than a million Arkansans with news and stories about the importance of maintaining and improving our roads and bridges.

Total Impressions for 2022:


Bridging the gap between idea + achievement

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Through smart infrastructure and high-performance buildings, we’re helping our clients push open the doors to what’s possible, every day.

By The Numbers

These numbers are from a new book by Peter Zeihan (“The End of The World is Just the Beginning”) that says globalization is collapsing and as we look to the future we will be more dependent on resources and products close to where we live.


Shipping a container in 2000 cost about $700. If that ship were full of shoes the shipping cost would be about eleven cents per pair.

Modern ports are relatively few and far between They also tend to be massive and typically not located near the populations they serve. Most ships entering the ports are full of thousands of containers filled with the intermediate parts and pieces needed to build manufactured products. Finished products that once were made in one city are now made in dozens of cities.


40 Miles

One laptop today has ten times more memory than all the combined memory on all the computers in the world in the 1960’s.


30 ever more sophisticated versions of the iPhone have been released in 15 years.

The average grocery store sells 40,000 items. 100 years ago, the average store sold 100 items. Everything is available to consumers because items can move halfway around the world at low cost and high speed. As you read this, iPhone, fertilizer, oil, cherries, and whiskey are in motion in the global supply chain. Transportation is the ultimate enabler of the life Americans want to and expect to live.

If you used a train to carry the cargo carried by a ship going through the Panama Canal, the train would have to be 40 miles long.


The United States is trying to shift to electric vehicles ten times faster than the pace at which the country adopted gas engines.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 27 By the Numbers

Nontraditional Roads & ARDOT

It’s quiz tme. Take a moment and see if you know the answer to the folloing question: What do the roadways leading into Lake Catherine State Park, onto the campus of Arkansas Tech and up to the Blytheville Municipal Airport all have in common?

Each of these roads and over a hundred more “nontraditional” roads, as they are called, are maintained by ARDOT.

Institutional routes were established as a part of the State Highway System in April 1952. Per legislation and Arkansas Highway Commission policy, ARDOT maintains certain routes that provide public access to state owned facilities. That includes 240 miles of public roads on the 16,400-plus mile State Highway System that access state parks, airports, state institutions, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission use areas and industrial areas.


In 1937, the Arkansas State Legislature adopted Ark. Code § 27-67-204: Designation of roads in and connected to state parks. This legislation instructed the State Highway Commission to include certain state park access roads, parking areas and parking facilities as part of the State Highway System.

ARDOT maintains roads at 40 of the 52 state parks across the state. They range in length from 0.3 mile at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park to 16.2 miles at Delta Heritage Trail State Park. As of December 2021,

more than 93 miles of state park roads are included in the State Highway System.

An example of the type of work that ARDOT performs on nontraditional roads in State Parks can be seen in Arkansas City where the Delta Heritage Trail State Park attracts thousands of bicyclists and walkers each year.

Speed humps were installed in 2022 on Highway 600 just outside of town and leading to the McCallie Access boat ramps.

Additional speed humps will be installed in the park in the near future using Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds. The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism received a grant of $140,000 for the new speed humps during the 2021 TAP application cycle.

“With cyclists traveling on the Delta Heritage Trail and then along Highway 600 to the new boat ramps, these speed humps will keep traffic at a safe speed and that helps keep cyclists at ease,” stated Highway Commission Chairman Robert S. Moore, Jr.


The addition of certain designated roads leading to municipal airports onto the State Highway System occurred in 1971 when the Arkansas General Assembly approved Act 248. ARDOT-maintained airport access roads vary in length with the longest being 3.6 miles at the Nashville Municipal Airport. As

28 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023
Nontraditional Roads & ARDOT

of December 2021, almost 33 miles of airport access roads were included on the State Highway System.


Arkansas Highway Commission Minute Order 4201, approved August 1961, introduced a new policy for maintenance of institutional access roads and drives. What are Institutional Roadways? They include roadways leading to prisons, higher learning facilities, agri-stations and other state-owned facilities.

There are almost 92 miles of institutional roads and drives on the State Highway System. They range in length from 0.06 mile at the Black River Vo-tech Fire Training Center to 7.9 miles at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission roads provide access to certain fishing and boating recreational areas under the general supervision of

the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). In December 1963, ARDOT and the AGFC entered into an agreement regarding the construction of access roads to Game and Fish use areas. Arkansas Highway Commission Minute Order 70-188, approved June 1970, authorized the Director to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies for improved access to public waters administered by the AGFC. ARDOT-maintained Game and Fish Access roads can be as short as 0.1 miles at Lake Pine Bluff or a three-mile drive to Lake Wilson.

As of December 2021, there were almost 19 miles of Game and Fish Access Roads on the State Highway System.


Regardless of whether a nontraditional road you travel in the future leads to a scenic overlook, your favorite fishing hole or your next airline flight, ARDOT is there to make the journey a pleasant one.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 29 Nontraditional Roads & ARDOT
With cyclists traveling on the Delta Heritage Trail and then along Highway 600 to the new boat ramps, these speed humps will keep traffic at a safe speed and that helps keep cyclists at ease.
— Chairman Robert S. Moore, Jr.
Arkansas Highway Commission
30 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023 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 @arkansasgoodroads AR Good Roads @ARGoodRoads Arkansas Good Roads Foundation 479-426-5931

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.


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 State Police Commission

Arkansas Trucking Association

Ash Grove Cement Company

Association of Arkansas Counties/ County Judges

Associated Builders & Contractors of AR

Atlas Asphalt, Inc. (Jamestown Investments)

Bank of Delight

Blackstone Construction

Bob Crafton

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 Contractors, Inc.

Dan Flowers

Delta Asphalt

Dermott Industrial Development

Dumas Chamber of Commerce

Eagle Bank and Trust

Emery Sapp & Sons

Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

First Community Bank of Batesville

FM Structural Plastic Technology

Forsgren, Inc.

Garver LLC

Golden Triangle Economic Development

Harold Beaver

HDR Engineering

Hines Trucking Inc.

HNTB Corporation

Horatio State Bank

Hudson, Cisne & Company

Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce

Keith Gibson

Kiewit Corporation

Koss Construction Company

LaCroix Optical Company

Larco, Inc.

Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

Lion Oil Company

M & T Paving and Construction Co., 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 Reg. Chamber of Commerce

Philip Taldo

Pickering Firm, Inc.

Razorback Concrete Company

Riceland Foods, Inc.

Riggs CAT

Robert Moery

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.

I-49 International Coalition

Jack Buffington

Jeffrey Sand Company

Jensen Construction Company

Jim Wooten

JoAnne Bush

Johnnie Bolin

UCA Foundation

University of Arkansas

Upper SW Regional Solid Waste Management District


Weaver-Bailey Contractors, Inc.

Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 31
Highway 248 west of Waldron on the way to Lake Hinkle, which is known for largemouth bass, catfish and crappie fishing. (Photo by Bill Paddack)

LRCVB Unveils 10-Year Plan

for Little Rock Tourism

After twelve months of research, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) revealed its 2023 Tourism Master Plan on January 26, 2023. This plan, the first of its kind from the LRCVB, details strategic directions for the development of Little Rock’s tourism landscape over the next 10 years.

The planning process was led by the LRCVB, facilitated by hospitality-industry consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), and done in collaboration with more than 500 industry partners and community leaders.

The nine key areas focused on in the strategy are:

• Destination development

• Tourism infrastructure investment

• Reinvestment in public and open spaces downtown and along the riverfront

• Evolve targeted marketing approach

• Enhance the visitor experience

• Optimize utilization of the Statehouse Convention Center & Robinson Center

• Community engagement

• Leverage positive destination perception

• Invest resources to further in-progress equity, diversity and inclusion efforts

“The [LRCVB] cannot tackle this plan alone,” said Gina Gemberling, President and CEO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Only by working together can we unlock the true, transformative power of the tourism industry in our community.”

For an electronic version of the LRCVB’s Tourism Master Plan and 2023 Business Plan, visit https://www.

Congressman Westerman Celebrates Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Assignments

On February 1, Congressman Bruce Westerman celebrated his subcommittee assignments for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the 118th Congress. Rep. Westerman was assigned to the Aviation, Water Resources and Environment, and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittees. The Congressman has served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for 6 years.

“I’m honored to continue serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, more specifically, I am grateful for the opportunity to work

with my friends Chairman Garret Graves, Chairman Troy Nehls, and Chairman David Rouzer on these prestigious subcommittees,” Rep. Westerman said. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to tackle supply chain problems, reauthorize the FAA, and make much-needed improvements to our nation’s water infrastructure.”

Additionally, Committee Chairman Graves said, “I am excited to welcome back Representative Bruce Westerman to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am confident he will continue being a valuable member of our committee as we work to develop solutions to improve our infrastructure, strengthen transportation programs, and help alleviate ongoing energy and supply chain problems on behalf of the American people.”

32 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023
Side Roads

U of A College of Engineering Faculty Granted

$3.5 Million for 3D Concrete Printing

Faculty members in the U of A College of Engineering were recently awarded a $3.5 million two-year grant by Applied Research Associates, a research and engineering firm in New Mexico. The money will be used to study 3D print horizontal mission structures for the U.S. military. Additionally, they will identify optimum design patterns and indigenous materials for use in construction projects such as culverts, T-walls, and Jersey barriers. The principal investigator for this project will be Michelle Barry, associate professor of civil

engineering. Wenchao Zhou, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Cameron Murray, an assistant professor of civil engineering, will serve as co-PIs.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with ARA and leverage their industry knowledge and experience to develop cutting-edge 3D printing capabilities,” said Zhou. “This grant will enable us to invest in research and development, driving the innovation of our swarm 3D printing technology and unlocking new possibilities for the future of construction and other industries.”

B&F Engineering Acquired by Crafton Tull After 50 Years of Business

Last fall, B&F Engineering celebrated 50 years of business as well as the firm’s new status with Crafton Tull. The Hot Springsbased company was founded by Don Beavers and Bill Fletcher, and last year it was acquired by Rogersbased Crafton Tull.

During the pandemic, the two firms, which had often partnered on projects, began discussing an acquisition. James Montgomery, former President of B&F Engineering, acknowledged that the decision was bittersweet, but that it was best for the employees, clients, and community.

“We are excited to join forces with B&F Engineering,” said Crafton Tull President and CEO Matt Crafton.

“Our two firms have worked together for many years, and we have always greatly admired the quality of service and professionalism of their people. We think our common values, mission and culture align perfectly to form an exceptional expanded capability to serve our clients.”

B & F Engineering was important to the Hot Springs community and played a major role in projects such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway as well as Highway 70 connecting Hot Springs and Benton.

Spring 2023 | Good Roads Foundation 33
Side Roads
James Montgomery, former President of B&F Engineering (left), and Matt Crafton, President and CEO of Crafton Tull. Michelle Barry and Wenchao Zhou in the AMBOTS lab, in front of a robotic 3D printing platform.

People, Projects, Promotions

Maestri Named to Ark Biz’s Latest ‘20 in 20s’ List

Arkansas Business magazine announced that Garver Aviation Project Engineer Chris Maestri, P.E., has been named as one of the publication’s “20 in Their 20s.” Maestri is already making an impact on the rapidly growing aviation landscape in Northwest Arkansas. While working with clients like the Northwest Arkansas National Airport, he has managed projects with a value of more than $10 million. Those include XNA’s Taxiway B Reconstruction, which provided the region’s largest airport with vital infrastructure upgrades that will enable smooth airport operations for decades to come.

Brandon Love Selected as District Construction Engineer

Brandon Love has been selected for the position of District Construction Engineer in District 5 effective March 11, 2023.

Love has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Love began at the Department as an Engineering Student Intern before being hired in October 2003 as an Engineer in Resident Engineer Office #52 in Batesville. He followed the engineering career path to his current position of Resident Engineer of Resident Engineer Office #53 in Batesville, which he obtained in July 2016.

Forero Joins Crafton Tull’s Fayetteville Office

Andres Forero, P.E., CPESC, has joined Crafton Tull’s Fayetteville office as a project manager. Forero brings 24 years of knowledge and experience in drainage design, stormwater management, and erosion control for streets and highways, as well as experience with environmental compliance programs. In addition to a variety of utility coordination projects in Texas and Kansas, Forero has extensive experience with ARDOT permitting and projects. Forero has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Universidad de Los Andes School of Engineering in Bogota, Colombia, as well as an MBA in operations management and finance from Pennsylvania State University.

Seth Parish Selected as ARDOT Resident Engineer

Seth Parish has been selected as Resident Engineer for Resident Engineer Office #84 in Conway effective February 11, 2023.

Parish has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arkansas State University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Parish began at the Department as an Engineering Student Intern before becoming an Engineer at Resident Engineer Office #84 in May 2013. Following the engineering career path, Parish advanced to his current position of Assistant Resident Engineer in December 2017.

Transportation Connections is compiled by the Good Roads Editor. Possible items for inclusion can be sent to

34 Good Roads Foundation | Spring 2023
Transportation Connections

Beyond the design

Dustin Tackett knows that dedication goes beyond roadways. It’s about creating lasting connections in all of those communities where we live and work. And with a team of Arkansas-based engineers working to build a new generation of transportation infrastructure, the roads, bridges, and thoroughfares ahead have never looked so good.

Dustin Tackett, PE | Transportation Project Manager
Arkansas Good Roads Foundation P.O. Box 25854 Little Rock, Arkansas 72221 PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Tucson, AZ Permit No. 271

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