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Lawmakers seek answers from highway officials

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 9, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.

Stalled traffic fills Interstate 40 on Tuesday between Forrest City and West Memphis. A similar backup occurred on Interstate 55 southbound between Blytheville and Missouri.

I-40 Traffic Jam

Traffic is stalled along Interstate 40 east and west bound from Forrest City through West Memphis on...

LITTLE ROCK — State legislators are planning to question highway officials about the response — or lack of response — as sleet and snow piled on Arkansas roadways and left motorists stranded for hours.

Winter weather raked much of Arkansas a week ago and left roads slick statewide, but Interstates 40 and 55 in eastern Arkansas became choked with traffic that was also clogged by a mix of construction zones and jackknifed tractor-trailers.

Legislators will open two days of hearings on the subject Tuesday.

Republican state Sen. Bill Sample, chairman of the Senate Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee, says roads in adjacent states were much clearer than in Arkansas.

And Gov. Mike Beebe has criticized the highway department's storm response as too slow.

Highway department Director Scott Bennett has declined comment.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

tesbrown1101071440 says... March 9, 2014 at 5:59 p.m.

They took a longer time in responding this time around. But once they got going central Arkansas was fair.

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RonalFos says... March 9, 2014 at 6:56 p.m.

When you have a lean and mean state government there are going to be times when you are going to get around to the mean part.

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