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Tue November 27, 2012 - Southeast Edition
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) The Arkansas Highway Commission has awarded a $37.8 million contract to widen a highway that will provide a direct, four-lane route between Little Rock and Jonesboro.
The commission on Sept. 12 approved a contract for Arkansas 226, which will link U.S. 49 near Jonesboro to U.S. 67 near Newport. The project involves the construction of two more lanes for about 3 mi. (4.8 km) on Arkansas 226 from its new connector to U.S. 49 at Gibson, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Robertson Contractors Inc., of Poplar Bluff, Mo., submitted the lowest bid for the project, which when finished will speed up traffic between the state capital and Jonesboro, the Craighead County seat. Eight other contractors submitted bids ranging from $38.4 million to $44.2 million.
Another contract will be awarded later this year to widen 1.85 mi. (3 km) of Arkansas 226 west to the future Cash bypass.
The commission also awarded contracts for five major projects in north and northwest Arkansas. Those projects include: $13.9 million for Arkansas 5 in Stone County, $6.21 million for Arkansas 16 in Fayetteville, $5.4 million for Arkansas 265 in Springdale, $4.39 million for Interstate 540 in Washington County and $4.5 million for Arkansas 5 in Baxter County.
Also Sept. 12, the commission ratified the initial $225 million bond sale for a $1.2 billion interstate repair program that will finance about 75 projects on 455 mi. (732 km) of interstate. Voters approved renewal of a $575 million bond program last November.