Uncertain federal funding delays 56 Arkansas highway projects
Uncertainty over federal funding has caused the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD) to withdraw 56 construction projects set for an April 21 bid cycle, with 11 of those projects in the Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith metro areas.
The estimated value of projects is more than $112 million and includes $50 million authorized by the Arkansas Highway Commission for its 2015 highway overlay program, according to an AHTD statement issued Tuesday (March 24). This brings the total number of projects withdrawn from the 2015 bid openings to 61. The estimated construction value of these withdrawn projects is $162 million.
“Now that we have cancelled our overlay program for this year, there are few areas in the State that are not affected by projects withdrawn from the April bid letting,” said AHTD Director Scott Bennett said in the statement. “If you stop and think about the economic impact this has – not only on construction jobs, but the lost commerce that results in each local area because construction isn’t taking place – then you begin to understand the trickle-down effect and the urgency of solving this national problem.”