Move over Alaska, the Natural State of Arkansas has its’ own highway to nowhere. What does it cost? Only $600 million. This would fund the entire Amtrak system for six months. The Pine Bluff Commercial files this report on what should be a taxpayer outrage. Please note carefully the word “future.”
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has continued to progress in the construction of a 38.5-mile road designed to connect Interstate 530 in Pine Bluff to U.S. 278 in Wilmar though much of the work is hidden from view. The connector is intended to provide easy access to future Interstate 69.
The Interstate 69 corridor from Indianapolis to Mexico is the pork barrel pipe dream of highway and trucking special interests in 20 states and it is a dollar sucking waste. It is a total boondoggle. Of course, highway backers are not accustomed to hard questions about their taxpayer funded play pretties.
Five years ago the connector was expected to cost $300 million, but that amount has since grown to $620 million due to a dramatic increase in construction costs over the past several years including the cost of oil-based asphalt, [Highway Department spokesman Glenn] Bolick said.