Proposed I-40 tolls could force Ark. drivers to pay up - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Proposed I-40 tolls could force Ark. drivers to pay up

The tolls would help fund an I-40 expansion project from West Memphis all the way to Little Rock. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) The tolls would help fund an I-40 expansion project from West Memphis all the way to Little Rock. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - A proposal could force drivers to pay to use Interstate 40 in Arkansas. State leaders are considering setting up tolls.

The tolls would help fund an I-40 expansion project from West Memphis all the way to Little Rock.

It would be a $10 dollars round trip to drive I-40 from Memphis to Little Rock. That's if a study proves enough to change the law currently prohibiting them.

"With the construction now, we tell them [drivers] different ways they can do, and they say, 'I don't want to go if it's a toll road.' So that to me tells me that if there is toll roads they're going to find a way to go around them anyway," said Cherill Duncan, Arkansas Welcome Center in West Memphis.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department hired a consultant to conduct a toll feasibility study. It looked at expanding the interstate by one lane in both directions north of Little Rock to Memphis.

Drivers have mixed feelings.

"I know you got to have changes, but it's just really inconvenient. We drive this four to six times a year, and we've been stuck out here four to five hours," Bill Blankenship said.

Randy Ort with AHTD says the expansion project would cost $700 million to $800, but the state can't afford that.

There is likely several more years of discussion, law changes, and implementation before the proposal could become finalized. The state says it would eliminate the congestions along I-40.

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