Top 20 Arkansas Highway Projects Survive Fiscal Cliff as AHTD Pares Down Roster

by George Waldon  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Work at the Interstate 630-430 interchange in west Little Rock, the No. 2 highway project in the state, is a year away from completion.

Contracts totaling $100.4 million recently were awarded for 70 highway improvement projects around Arkansas.

The dollar total could’ve topped $160 million if it weren’t for the looming shadow of the Fiscal Cliff.

“What was significant was what was not in there,” said Randy Ort, spokesman for the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department. “We had to pull 10 projects that should’ve been on the list.”

Until Congress stabilizes the Highway Trust Fund, the AHTD and its peer agencies around the nation are tightening the belt. Frugal budgeting is the order of the day with the uncertainty of federal funding.

“We have to make sure we have enough money to pay our existing contracts,” Ort said. “We’re not going to get into a contract we can’t fully pay. We’re a cash-flow agency. We have to spend the money before we can get reimbursed from the trust fund.”

Highway disbursements to Arkansas and other states, funded largely by the federal fuel tax of 18.3 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel, start diminishing in July heading toward the end of the federal fiscal year, Sept. 30.

“There will be zero federal highway funding for all states starting Oct. 1,” Ort said. “Congress is working on a new six-year bill, but short term, something has to be done very quickly to shore up the Highway Trust Fund.”

He estimates that $500 million worth of highway work in the state hangs in the balance.

Four of the larger Arkansas projects delayed by the federal funding crunch are paving the Cash bypass on Highway 226 in Craighead County, building a new Roosevelt Road (U.S. Highway 70) viaduct in Little Rock, widening 5 miles of U.S. 167 north of Batesville and widening 1.5 miles of U.S. 63 in Lawrence County between Portia and the new Black River Bridge at Black Rock.

Two of the projects among the 20 largest active highway contracts in Arkansas are overseen by firms most known for general contracting work.

Ideal Construction Co. of Crossett has done highway work for more than 15 years.

“It’s real capital intense, and you need a lot of equipment,” said Mike Webb, president of Ideal Construction.

The company is widening a nearly 1.6-mile stretch of U.S. 167 through the Saline River bottoms in Dallas County, a $29.1 million contract (No. 16 on the list).

Conway’s Nabholz Construction Corp. has pursued highway work in Arkansas for about five years.

The company also is licensed to pursue jobs in Oklahoma.

“We’ve assisted on a couple of jobs as a subcontractor in Oklahoma,” said Jim Spotts, manager of Nabholz Construction Services.

Nabholz is widening a 6.1-mile piece of U.S. 62 in Benton County between Avoca and Garfield, a nearly $23.3 million contract and the 19th largest currently under construction in the state.

Top 20 Arkansas Highway Projects Under Construction
As of April 22, 2014


1. Hwy. 22/I-40
County: Sebastian
Route: I-540
Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., Omaha, Neb.
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 4.59
Award Amount: $78,829,029
Let Date: November 2012
Estimated Completion: May 2014

2. I-430/I-630 Interchange Modifications (Phase III)
County: Pulaski
Route: I-430 & I-630
Contractor: Weaver-Bailey Contractors Inc., El Paso & Manhattan Road & Bridge Co., Tulsa
Type Work: Interchange
Award Amount: $78,123,925
Let Date: November 2010
Estimated Completion: May 2015

3. U.S. 71B-Hwy. 72 South (Bella Vista Bypass)
County: Benton
Route: U.S. 71
Contractor: Kolb Grading LLC, St. Charles, Mo.
Type Work: New Location
Length: 6.37
Award Amount: $52,605,673
Let Date: February 2014
Estimated Completion: March 2016

4. Forrest City-East
County: St. Francis
Route: I-40
Contractor: APAC Tennessee Inc., Memphis
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 7.88
Award Amount: $51,946,709
Let Date: April 2013
Estimated Completion: July 2014

5. U.S. 65-East
County: Faulkner
Route: I-40
Contractor: Mid-South Pavers LLC, Nashville, Tenn.
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 8.20
Award Amount: $44,659,165
Let Date: December 2011
Estimated Completion: June 2014

6. Mill Creek-Hwy. 331
County: Pope
Route: I-40
Contractor: Blackstone Construction LLC, Russellville
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 7.40
Award Amount: $42,378,010
Let Date: November 2012
Estimated Completion: March 2015

7. Black River Bridge
County: Lawrence
Route: U.S. 63
Contractor: Jensen Construction Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Type Work: Bridge Replacement
Length: 1.03
Award Amount: $39,217,806
Let Date: November 2012
Estimated Completion: July 2015

8. U.S. 49 Connection-West
County: Craighead
Route: Hwy. 226
Contractor: Robertson Contractors Inc., Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 3.14
Award Amount: $37,856,270
Let Date: September 2012
Estimated Completion: December 2015

9. Hwy. 273-Peters Road
County: Dallas
Route: U.S. 167
Contractor: McGeorge Contracting Co., Little Rock
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 5.15
Award Amount: $33,406,105
Let Date: April 2013
Estimated Completion: June 2015

10. Hwy. 212-Hwy. 11/U.S. 425 Connector
County: Lincoln
Route: I-530
Contractor: Graves & Associates Inc., Pine Bluff
Type Work: Base & Surfacing
Length: 7.75
Award Amount: $32,180,378
Let Date: March 2012
Estimated Completion: October 2014

11. Hwy. 77/I-55
County: Crittenden
Route: I-40
Contractor: Koss Construction Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 2.60
Award Amount: $32,123,726
Let Date: December 2013
Estimated Completion: November 2014

12. White River Bridge (Clarendon) (Phase II)
County: Monroe
Route: U.S. 79
Contractor: Jensen Construction Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Type Work: Bridgework
Length: 1.45
Award Amount: $31,382,534
Let Date: July 2010
Estimated Completion: November 2014

13. White River Bridge (Newport)
County: Jackson
Route: Hwy. 367
Contractor: Tanner Construction Co., Ellisville, Miss.
Type Work: Bridge
Length: 0.91
Award Amount: $31,361,490
Let Date: October 2013
Estimated Completion: August 2016

14. Cache River-Bayou Deview
County: Monroe
Route: I-40
Contractor: Koss Construction Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 4.10
Award Amount: $30,000,027
Let Date: April 2014
Estimated Completion: November 2014

15. White River Bridge (Clarendon)
County: Monroe
Route: U.S. 79
Contractor: W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., Philadelphia, Miss.
Type Work: Bridgework
Length: 1.32
Award Amount: $29,357,212
Let Date: November 2010
Estimated Completion: October 2014

16. Saline River-South
County: Dallas
Route: U.S. 167
Contractor: Ideal Construction Co., Crossett
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 1.59
Award Amount: $29,106,015
Let Date: July 2012
Estimated Completion: November 2014

17. Hwy. 181-Hwy. 158
County: Mississippi
Route: I-55
Contractor: Koss Construction Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Type Work: Reconstruction
Length: 7.78
Award Amount: $28,983,450
Let Date: June 2013
Estimated Completion: May 2014

18. Hwy. 167 Bypass (Sheridan)
County: Grant
Route: U.S. 167
Contractor: Martin Marietta Materials Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
Type Work: New Location
Length: 8.58
Award Amount: $25,885,925
Let Date: November 2010
Estimated Completion: May 2014

19. Avoca-North Garfield
County: Benton
Route: U.S. 62
Contractor: Nabholz Construction Corp., Conway
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 6.11
Award Amount: $23,278,980
Let Date: October 2013
Estimated Completion: September 2015

20. Hindsville-Huntsville Bypass
County: Madison
Route: U.S. 412 & Hwy. 45
Contractor: Crossland Construction Co., Columbus, Kan.
Type Work: Major Widening
Length: 4.90
Award Amount: $22,997,127
Let Date: November 2010
Estimated Completion: May 2014

 

 

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