Polls will be open Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. for the statewide bond election. The bond issue, if approved by voters, will renew $575 million in bonds to repair 300 million miles of interstate highways in Arkansas.
Taxes would not be increased to fund the bonds. The bonds would be funded through an existing 4-cent diesel fuel excise tax and matching federal funds.
The revenue may be used to accelerate highway improvements already underway or scheduled, fund new interstate highway improvement projects, and the reconstruction of the interstate highway system.
Continuing the bond program will save the state money in two primary ways, according to Gov. Mike Beebe.
“First, the cost of road construction continues to rise, so the sooner we get to work modernizing these roads, the more we can avoid inflation,” Beebe said in his November 1 radio address. “Second, the longer we wait, the further our roads will deteriorate. Roads that become increasingly worse become increasingly expensive to repair.
“Approval of this measure will create about 28,000 construction jobs. In the long-term, the economic potential is even greater,” he said. “Part of Arkansas’s attractiveness to businesses is the lower shipping costs accommodated by our central geography. But our location is a selling point only if we have the infrastructure required to support companies and their transportation networks. As one of our state’s most important economic-development and job-creation tools, modern highways will allow us to effectively compete with our surrounding states.”
Drew County consolidated polling sites.