FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Leaders from 3 counties are pushing to build a new port in Central Arkansas.
Leaders from Conway, Faulkner and Perry Counties met Thursday night at the Nabholtz Building in Conway. They're looking to create a Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority (RITA) to oversee not just the port but building roads, trains and airports.
Doctor Don Bradley, a marketing professor at the University of Central Arkansas, said the driving force is the Panama Canal and the potential for jobs.
"In 2014, the Panama Canal will be doubled and that will create a lot of opportunities for barge traffic along the Arkansas River," explained Bradley.
Doctor Bradley said the authority could create as many as 4-5,000 jobs. The next step is getting the proper paperwork through the Quorum Courts.