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Public Works Director Gives LR "C" in Roads Report Card

City board expected to approve $2.5M for resurfacing in coming weeks.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Deficient roads cost Arkansas driver roughly $2 billion a year, according to a national transportation research group. In Little Rock specifically, it breaks down to more than $1,600 per driver. 

The Little Rock Board of Directors is expected to approve more than $2.5 million in the coming weeks to resurface roads during 2018. By spending that money overlaying streets, the city hopes to save itself and drivers money over the coming years. 

The more than two dozen streets slated for overlay in 2018 include Pleasant Forest Dr., where Brock Bailey lives. Bailey says his street is anything but quiet. 

"It's definitely a busy street," he said. "High traffic, especially at rush hour times. Of course, there's quite a few potholes." 

John Honeywell, Little Rock's Director Public Works says trying to keep roads in good condition is comparable to going up an uphill street. 

"It's something we're chipping away at and hopefully we're hitting the high-need areas," Honeywell explained. "The overall need and the number of miles in the city are a lot bigger than what we've done so far."

Honeywell says to bring all Little Rock streets up to the city's standards would cost upwards of a billion dollars. A sales tax passed in 2012 for capital improvements only raised roughly 15% of that. 

"It certainly makes a dent in it, but it's probably not doing everything that could be done," he said. 

It's not just aging asphalt that keeps the streets department busy. Some roads were once part of the county but then annexed into the city, meaning they were built to a lower standard. 

"Just because it's a not a curb-and-guttered, brand new street, doesn't mean it's not functioning the way it should be," Honeywell said. 

When we asked Honeywell to give the city an overall "roads report card," he opted for a C average. It's a grade Brock Bailey agrees with. 

"We moved here from South Carolina," Bailey explained. "Those streets are pretty bad, so compared to that, I'd say a C." 

Anyone with street problems or concerns is encourage to report them through the city's 3-1-1 system, either by phone, online, or through the city's 3-1-1 app. 

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