Faced with shortfall, AHTD pulls construction projects

Faced with shortfall, AHTD pulls construction projects
Projects removed from 2015 bid lettings. (Source: A.H.T.D.)
Projects removed from 2015 bid lettings. (Source: A.H.T.D.)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Afraid that they might not get paid, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has pulled 56 construction projects, including several in Region 8, from consideration.

The AHTD blamed “uncertainty of federal-aid reimbursements available from the Federal Highway Trust Fund” for the withdrawals.

The estimated value of the projects withdrawn from April's opening bid is more than $112 million, including $50 million authorized by the Arkansas Highway Commission, according to a news release from AHTD.

This brings the total number of projects withdrawn from the 2015 bid openings to 61.

Projects in Region 8 counties that are among those withdrawn include:

  • Clay: Boydsville-East (overlay)
  • Craighead: Old Bridger Rd.-Paragould Dr. in Jonesboro (overlay)
  • Cross: Gum Slough-Wolfpen Slough (overlay and shoulders)
  • Independence: CR 80 (Antioch Rd)-South city limits Cave City
  • Independence: Hwy. 69-West (overlay)
  • Jackson: Hwy. 17-Hwy. 367 (overlay)
  • Lawrence: Lake Charles State Park-Powhatan (overlay)
  • Mississippi: BNSF railroad-end State Maintenance/Armorel (overlay)
  • Poinsett: Terrel Rd. Overpass-St. Francis River (overlay)
  • Randolph: South of Maynard-Hwy. 166 (overlay)
  • Stone: South Sylamore Creek-East (passing lane)
  • Stone: Sylamore Creek-White River (overlay)
  • Woodruff: Hwy. 145-Hwy. 64 (overlay)

Alan Walter, a construction engineer with the AHTD, said the jobs on the list were dependent on federal funding.

"With the uncertainty of the funding, those are going to have to be postponed," said Walter. "My understanding is if something occurs with the federal funding and it's readily available they will go ahead and go to contract."

Those construction projects would be left to outside sources. 

"Some of our local paving contractors would bid on those," said Walter. "Those aren't the project the department does themselves."

Walter named several major road projects that are projected to begin within the next year.

"If there's not some clarification and assurances that program is solid and dependable, then those will probably have to be postponed as well until the federal funding is dependable and assured," Walter said.

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