LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansans made a commitment to buy into road infrastructure more than 10 years ago and now they're ready to finish what they started.
Last November more than 80 percent voted in favor of extending road work bonds and soon drivers will see more evidence of that decision.
For years Arkansas interstates lagged behind other states in quality and efficiency.
"Back in 1999 when this program was first proposed Arkansas literally had one of the worst highway systems in the country," says Randy Ort with the State Interstate and Highway Department.
Then Arkansans voted yes to issuing $575 million in highway bonds to repair the state's road system.
And last November they agreed to continue the four cent a gallon diesel tax and now upgrades are around every turn.
"We'll numerous projects underway on Interstate 40 between Little Rock and Fort Smith, numerous projects between Little Rock and Memphis on Interstate 40. Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Texarkana, Interstate 530 between Little Rock and Pinebluff, Interstate 540 in northwest Arkansas, Interstate 55 in northeast Arkansas we will have work going on all of those roads," says Ort.
Ort says most of those projects will begin next spring, but some could start as early as this fall.
"It's simply going to take longer to get from point A to point B. You need to plan your trips accordingly. We encourage people to look for alternate routes to get from home to where ever it is they're going," say Ort
Ort says Arkansas voters chose to renew this program because they saw the success the first time around.
"I think they saw it as a no brainer. I think they like what occurred ten years ago and they gave us overwhelming approval 81 percent to do it again," says Ort.
The interstate rehabilitation program allows the issuance of $575 million in bonds. And according to Ort, about a billion dollars in actual work will take place over the next three to seven years.
This November voters will decide whether to approve another 1/2 cent tax that will produce an additional 1.8 billion dollars for road work over a ten year span.