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State highway officials continue to propose studies to determine whether the state should use tolls to build or fund new needed infrastructure around the state. The newest study commissioned by highway officials would provide funds for a new section of Interstate 49 in western Arkansas.

“The thought, if the money part works out, is that a private entity would design, build, operate and maintain the facility until it is paid for and can become a ‘free’ route,” Scott Bennett, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department director, said last week. “Many times, with facilities such as this, there is a shortfall between the revenue generated from tolls and what is needed to build the facility.”

Interstate 49 is a north-south corridor between Kansas City, Missouri, and Shreveport, Louisiana. More than $1.2 billion has been spent on improvements to the Arkansas section, but portions of the route have not yet been built.

State highway officials estimate that the new 13-mile corridor would cost $380 million, which includes $110 million needed to build a new bridge over the Arkansas River.

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

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You are here: Home News In Brief Arkansas Eyes Tolls for 13-Mile Stretch of Interstate