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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Contact: Brian Keeter or Nancy Singer, 202-366-0660
FHWA 8-04

Nation's Top Highway Official Tours Hwy. 67/167 Construction Site To View Technologies Saving Money, Making Road Last Longer

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters today toured the construction site on U.S. Highway 67/167 in North Little Rock, getting a firsthand view of technologies that will save taxpayer dollars and provide for a longer lasting road.

The technologies that include high strength, longer lasting concrete, maintenance-free steel beams and higher visibility road markings, are expected to provide a longer lasting roadway with reduced maintenance costs, Peters said. For example, special weather-resistant steel used in the new bridges never need to be painted over the 50-year lifespan of the bridge, saving the taxpayer dollars and time, she said.

“Our goal is to provide reliable and lasting solutions to the thousands of frustrated drivers who for years have been forced to maneuver through the Highway 67/167 bottleneck to get to their jobs and their families,” said Peters.

Highway 67/167 is the main corridor in and out of Little Rock from the north, with approximately 80,000 vehicles traveling the road each day. The highway is currently a four-lane divided highway that is often congested, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours, and is difficult for many drivers to access from the frontage roads that run parallel to it on each side, Peters said.

“Transportation moves the American economy,” Peters said. “When complete, this project will improve the quality of life for the families who commute to jobs, schools and stores using this route.”

The $59 million corridor project will widen the highway to six lanes, relocate entrance and exit ramps, and add connectors between the frontage roads. The expansion and improvements will add capacity to Highway 67/167 and improve safety. Once upgrades are completed, motorists should expect easier commutes and less congestion, Peters predicted. Improving traffic flow on the road will also help existing and new businesses by cutting delivery costs, improving customer access and easing nearby congestion, she added.

The project is being built by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department with oversight by the Federal Highway Administration.

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