Dear Mahatma: Once again I speak for Arkansans appalled and alarmed at the treacherous and dangerous portion of U.S. 70, six miles from Brinkley to Braswell. U.S. 70 is a major artery between Memphis and Little Rock for those who want to avoid congestion and trucks on Interstate 40. Deterioration, erosion and uneven lanes make it extremely hazardous! "Road construction" signs have been in place for months, possibly years, but there is no evidence of improvement. -- Dagmar Girl
Dear Girl: You are nothing if not persistent, this being the umpteenth time asking about this highway.
How long, O Lord?
Now comes a semi-good report from David Nilles, who frequently speaks here for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
No denying this is a "poor section" of U.S. 70, Nilles said. Director Lorie Tudor and District 1 Engineer Cannon Calicott previously discussed this matter and a long-term solution is under discussion.
In the meantime, Nilles said, U.S. 70 is being resurfaced between Brinkley and the Prairie County line. This job was contracted, and a limited amount of work done -- and the contractor went slap-up out of business in 2022. It took some time to get a new contractor, and the job sat idle for most of the 2022 construction season.
Good news! Most of the work has now been completed on this project and will be totally completed this month, even though, as we all know, rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.
As a result, this section of roadway has been greatly improved, Nilles said, although a long-term remedy is still needed and is being explored.
Dear Mahatma: Hard to believe you were stumped by the vanity plate 2OFAKND. -- Road Kill in LR
Dear Road Kill: You speak for the umpteen readers who wrote in to tell us the plate means "two of a kind." Or to quote Garth Brooks, "two of a kind working on a full house."
By "umpteen" we mean it took about three days, off and on, to answer all those emails. Everyone was nice. Our explanation was three-fold.
First, we are not the brightest bulb in the box.
Second, the Fabulous Babe calls us Forrest because we are so dense.
Third, sometimes you get it; sometimes you don't.
We are nationwide, by the way, because one of our readers checked in from Snoqualmie, Washington, east of Seattle. Ex-pat Arkansans are everywhere. May our prodigal sons and daughters soon return.
Dear Mahatma: Here's a vanity plate I'm sure you won't use. TOPWOP. -- Mr. Chicago
Dear Chicago: There, we used it. Are we bold journalists, or what?
As for that term, our feelings are not hurt. We lost all feelings in year two of our 50-year newspaper career.
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