Paving the Way to Better Roads

CRAIGHEAD AND GREENE COUNTIES (KAIT) - Around region eight, the colors of orange and white are a popular sight when driving on nearly any highway.

There are several major construction projects underway, but there is good news on the way.

The summer heat and a lack of heavy rain has actually picked up the pace of most projects.

"It is the best time to build a road. Most of our contractors will tell you, they can haul all of the water that they need, and if it didn't rain for the entire summer months it would be really good for them," said Joe Barnett with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

With that being said, several projects are moving along.

Along Highway 412 in Greene County between Pargould and the St. Francis river, construction is about 70 percent complete, and the portion to the west of town is now open to all lanes of traffic.

Moving south into Craighead County, Highway 18 between Jonesboro and Lake City is also nearing completion.

Even on Friday, crews were out paving and getting that portion of roadway ready for its opening later this year.

As construction in some areas nears completion, along the Highway 67 corridor, the gravel ends and the dirt begins as this portion of major highway stretches a little bit closer to Highway 226.

While it seems like this stretch of highway may be moving slow, it's actually on schedule for it's opening next year.

However, this project is more complex than some of the others.

"There are huge quantities of material that have to be placed. Actually that work is not going unusually slow. It's about normal," said Barnett.

But the speed of all highway projects comes down to one thing.

"As with anything, money drives what we can do and the way in which we can open these contracts," said Barnett.

We're told the bid for the next portion of Highway 67 that will advance North of Highway 226 will be sent out next week.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at