Road construction funding hits all-time high in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It seems everywhere drivers go in the state, they face a line of a traffic because of construction. Monday, the Arkansas Highway Department took on your questions about the construction statewide.

Spokesperson Danny Straessle told Channel 7 News they understand the construction can be frustrating.

"You can't do this in a hurry and we prefer to do it safely and do it right," Straessle said.

Over the next 10 years, the department will give more funds to construction than ever, spending $1.25 billion on state highways alone. Currently there are 112 projects. The increased funding is because of voter-approved bonds and a half-cent sales tax increase.

But when will it all be over?

The "Big Rock" I-630/I-430 interchange will be completed by the first half of 2015. Some of the overpasses will be finished by January of 2014, but will not be opened because they will not yet be connected to roads until later.

Construction on I-40 to Conway should be wrapped up by next summer. After a little less than a year, the work through Russellville is at the halfway mark.

From Little Rock to Memphis on I-40, they're wrapping up a toll road study this year. Near Forest City, road construction will be completed in a year.

On I-530 to Pine Bluff, where traffic is down to one lane, construction will be completed by summer of 2014.

There are big plans in the works for the I-30/I-430 interchange where a new Bass Pro Shop is almost complete, including moving the Otter Creek exit further east.