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State Highway Directors Call for $600B for Work

Fri September 17, 2010 - Southeast Edition

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) A national group of state transportation officials said Congress needs to appropriate $600 billion to fix and upgrade the nation’s highways, particularly in rural areas.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials released a report in Little Rock on Aug. 30 saying truck freight will greatly expand in the coming years. The group said the country needs strong rural roads to get goods to market and to get supplies to farms and factories.

The group said rural highway improvement also is important for safety, considering rural roads have three times more fatal crashes than urban highways.

Arkansas accounts for about 1 percent of America’s population, but has the 12th largest highway system among the states.