OCTOBER 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:21 a.m. CDT
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Northwest Arkansas promoters are working with legislators on drafting a bill they hope will speed up highway construction they say is sorely needed for the fast-growing region. The Northwest Arkansas Council is hoping the Legislature next year will revise a law that allows cities or counties to organize a regional mobility authority to solve regional transportation problems.
Revisions proposed by the group would allow the regional authorities to take control of transportation projects designed by the highway department, build the projects, then transfer them back to the state after it has been paid for. Under the revisions, the authorities also could raise rates in tolls or fares for highway projects without first getting voter approval.
The law was passed last year and no regions in the state have formed an authority as yet.