The "time is now" to raise more money to improve Arkansas roads and bridges, a new coalition said in an open letter to lawmakers that came with no specific recommendations.
"We are urging you to act to approve additional funding that will improve our roads and bridges and make them safer," the Arkansas Roads and Bridges Funding Coalition said.
The coalition includes the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation, the Arkansas Municipal League, the Association of Arkansas Counties, the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Trucking Association, the Poultry Federation and four organizations that count road contractors among their members.
The letter cited a Legislative Audit report last year that confirmed the Arkansas Department of Transportation's estimate that an extra $478 million is needed annually to improve the state's road system, preserve the system and increase capacity.
"We know that $478 million is an ambitious goal, but let's work together to get to a funding level that starts to realistically address the fact our roads are crumbling," the letter said.
-- Noel Oman