More Resources Needed to Improve Winter Weather Response: Arkansas DOT

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett says more equipment and employees are needed for highway officials to improve their response to winter weather conditions.

Bennett told a joint legislative committee Tuesday that the department needs more money to buy additional snow plows and hire more people for snow and ice removal.

The meeting was called after motorists were stranded for hours on icy Interstates 55 and 40 in eastern Arkansas when a winter storm dumped heavy sleet on the state last week.

Bennett says the AHTD has spent about $18 million this fiscal year in clearing icy roadways after spending about $5 million last year. He told lawmakers that Missouri has more snow plows and more employees to cover a smaller area than does Arkansas.