Millions Could Come to Arkansas for Transportation Security Center

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A University of Arkansas center studying rural transporation could become one of several institutes receiving millions in federal aid to study ways to protect bridges, highways and railroads from terror attacks.

Senator Mark Pryor says a joint conference committee report attempting to put recommendations of the September 11 commission into law will include $18 million a year to study protecting the nation's transportation system.  The funding would go to six institutions, including the Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center at the University of Arkansas.

Pryor, a Democrat from Arkansas, says the study could be vital.  He says an attack on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River, for instance, could disrupt traffic for hundreds of miles.

The joint conference committee report, which Pryor said may be completed Wednesday, also calls for more funding for checkpoint and baggage screening at airports and screening all cargo at seaports and on passenger aircraft.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)