A group that wants improvements made to roads throughout Arkansas has started a campaign to raise highway-needs awareness. The group is expected to
pursue a new highway construction bond program in the upcoming legislative
The state's Highway Commission has estimated highway
improvement needs will total $19 billion during the next decade, the Arkansas
News Bureau reported.
To help fund roadwork, the Arkansas Good Roads
Transportation Council is expected to pursue a highway bond program and new
revenue sources during the legislative session that begins Jan. 8, 2007.
The group's newly-appointed director, state Rep. Johnny
Bolin, D-Crossett, said lawmakers should consider tapping into as much as $200
million of the state's budget surplus and using some of the state's general
revenue to help with roads. Bolin is taking the position with the roads group
as his time in the Arkansas Legislature comes to a close due to term limits.
Bolin told the News Bureau that a new bond program
would have a good chance at passage in the new session if Gov.-elect Mike Beebe
During his campaign, Beebe said there is a need for highway
improvements, as well as a four-lane highway across northern Arkansas. He
didn't offer specific plans.
A spokesman for Beebe's transition team said the new
governor would have to review all budget requests before taking a position on