The transportation agency for Arkansas has a new name.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department is now called the Arkansas Department of Transportation and will serve as the point of contact for intermodal development in coordination with aeronautics and waterways for purposes of economic development.
Senate Bill 589, now Act 707 of 2017, went into effect July 31 and changed the name of the department.
Although the Legislative Task Force on Intermodal Transportation and Commerce task force did not finalize absorbing the Arkansas Aeronautics Department and the Arkansas Waterways Commission into ArDOT as considered during the last session, the task force did recommend changing the name. Bullet points offered in the Act for the name change included bringing the highway department into the “mainstream of the vast majority of transportation entities” and aligning it with “specific language” in federal law which refers to the various “Departments of Transportation.”
The length of the 128-page bill was the result of changing the name of the department in every location within the Arkansas Code.
The Arkansas Highway Department was separated from the State Department of Lands in 1929 and remained until 1977 when the name was changed to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
“Although we have a new name, we still have the same commitment to safety, efficiency, quality and trust,” ArDOT Director Scott Bennett said.