‘Build Back AR Bridges’: Ark. officials call for investment in infrastructure repairs

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 10:25 AM CDT
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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - Elected officials in Arkansas came together in West Memphis Wednesday to highlight the need for repair in infrastructure.

“Build Back AR Bridges” is calling attention to Arkansas’ aging roads and bridges and “economic costs of failing to act.”

This comes as a major artery between Arkansas and Tennessee, the I-40 bridge, shut down last week due to a crack found during a routine inspection.

During the news conference, officials acknowledged there are hundreds of bridges used each day that are deemed structurally deficient by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. There are another 2,000 bridges in the state that are rated below average or worse regarding their structural soundness.

“What that means is we have school buses, trucks, neighbors, ambulances driving across substandard bridges every day in the state of Arkansas and no real emphasis on infrastructure,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray.

Officials are requesting congressional leaders to come together and pass the American Jobs Plan to invest in the state’s infrastructure.

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