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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Interstate power cut by project

by Frank Fellone | May 14, 2022 at 8:39 a.m.

Oh Enlightened One: Can you enlighten me as to why my early morning drive to the airport in Little Rock is so … unenlightening? Signs on Interstate 630 and Interstate 440 are dark. All the interstate lights are present but dark along the route and interchanges. Someone less familiar with the route would be in trouble. — Looking for the Light Dear Looking: Please look no further.

ArDot, the Arkansas Department of Transportation, said power is out on parts of Interstate 30 and connecting interstates until the completion of the 30 Crossing project.

A look at idrivearkansas.com tells us that the project will improve I-30 from Interstate 530 to Interstate 40, and I-40 from Pike Avenue to U.S. 67/167. Lest we forget, this will include replacing the bridge over the Arkansas River.

How long, O Lord? Early 2025.

Dear Mahatma: We live outside of Beebe on U.S. 64. Shortly before a sleet storm over the winter the Highway Department put in those reflector markers. Then the sleet came and they graded the road, scraping off the markers. We think that was a waste of money. We have picked up the damaged markers out by our driveway before. — Kelly in Beebe Dear Kelly: David Nilles, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation, acknowledges that snowplows are the dickens on those reflectors. (Dickens — our word, not his.) But the top priority, he said, is safety. Better to lose some reflectors than to lose a life on an icy road.

The good news is reflectors used to have metal bases that could damage snowplows or, if they came loose, any other vehicle. Modern reflectors don’t have a metal base, are made of plastic, and are lighter and less expensive.

ArDot crews, Nilles said, replace reflectors where they’ve come up. Our advice to the reflector-less is to go to idrivearkansas.com , an agency website, the home page of which has a contact button in the upper right corner. Scroll down for the “Report a Problem” button and fire away.

Dear Mahatma: I saw in Russellville an Arkansas license plate reading POTUS. Surprised restrictions don’t apply to that choice. — Sally Dear Sally: We think, based on faulty memory, that you are the very first Sally to appear in this space.

POTUS of course means President of the United States. The term is commonly used in the news biz and elsewhere. Joe Biden is POTUS. (Yo, Joe, you are the first president to appear in this column. We think.) Scott Hardin speaks for the Department of Finance & Administration, the agency which passes out those plates.

This plate is copacetic, Hardin said, since Arkansans know the actual prez isn’t driving around our small, wonderful state.

Vanity plate on a Chevy Equinox: SPINSTR.

Fjfellone@gmail.com

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