This photo says just about everything you need to know about the condition of some of the rural roads in Arkansas. The road is so damaged that when you lay a rake across the damaged section of road there is about six inches of space between the rake and the lowest point of the damaged road. Clearly, this is a road that hasn’t been repaired or really worked on in any way for many years. When you listen to the policy and political discussions about coming up with additional state funding for road repair this is what it’s all about.
I think the word “infrastructure: implies building new highways and bridges in some distant part of the United States with federal tax dollars. But this picture is what “infrastructure needs” are really about. This road is so damaged that it’s hard to drive for a mom taking her kids to school, and it’s certainly not easy to drive for a farmer driving a large piece of equipment to get his crop to market.
Legislators are gathered in Little Rock right now for the 2019 legislative session. They are trying to agree on how much more money Arkansas needs to be spending on roads and where that money should come from. The next time you see a newspaper article about that dialog, or see a tv story about the discussion, please think of this rake sitting across this really horrible country road in Arkansas. This is what this discussion is about. This is why this issue matters in terms of quality of life in Arkansas.