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ARDOT reacts to delays in Interstate 30 construction



Benton, Arkansas – Drivers continue to experience difficulties due to construction on Interstate 30 close to Benton.

And the costs of those issues can be high.

However, there is a way to receive paid if your car was damaged while in a construction zone, though it can be challenging.

The same stretch of Interstate 30 continues to receive calls, according to two tow truck businesses.

In comparison to the year before construction started, the average number of reported accidents along that length more than doubled from 2019 to 2022.

After hitting metal plates on the highway close to Benton, Kiara Hollins experienced two tire blowouts.

“I had to pay for everything out of pocket,” Hollins said. “I had to get two new tires, two new rims, my bumper. I had to get a new one in a wheel alignment. It cost me about $780.”

Hollins claimed that she kept the damaged tires as proof in order to pursue compensation.

“I like to keep it because I didn’t want them to say I was lying,” Hollins said. “There’s no way that I can do this.”

Because of the damage, she is forced to pay for repairs while also having to make fewer deliveries for Amazon and Instacart.

“It’s to the point where I don’t want to go out there,” Hollins said. “My work is for my safety… I’ll turn it down. I refuse to badge and go home without pay.”

Hollins sought assistance from the Department of Transportation and the State Claims Commission, but claimed that the procedure was complicated.

“I tried calling them, multiple numbers,” Hollins said. “I kept getting transferred to other people. I don’t even know their name because they weren’t telling me their name.”

What should individuals do if their car is damaged? is a question we posed to Dave Parker from ARDOT.

“They should first try to reach out to the contractor,” Parker said. “If they’re unable to reach the contractor for whatever reason, they certainly can reach out to ARDOT.”

When the project’s contractor didn’t respond, we traveled to the Johnson Brothers offices in Benton. There, they denied to speak to the media but advised drivers who had damage to contact ARDOT.

However, according to ARDOT, the contractor is liable for any losses that occur within a work zone if they can be established.

“Ask us, you know, ‘hey, we need legal,’ and we’ll direct you into that,” Parker said. “Maybe they can help at least navigate the process a little bit.”

The completion of Interstate 30’s construction, which has been delayed for several years, is anticipated in late 2024, according to ARDOT.

“They are being fined a total of $77,700 per day for every day that they’re late on that project,” Parker said. “I can’t speak for the contractor, but they’re doing what they need to do, and we’re doing what we need to do.”

While it is up to drivers like Hollins to decide what comes next.

“It’s gonna get to the point where I have to take off work,” Hollins said. “Go up there to see what’s going on.”

ARDOT can be reached by drivers at 501-569-2000.

Additionally, a company affiliated with Johnson Brothers may be reached at 813-685-5101, and according to Google Maps, their address is 15522 I-30 Benton, AR 72019.

The Attorney General’s Office can also receive complaints about consumer protection. They can be reached at 800-482-8982 or 501-682-2007.

The Department of Transportation has put a speed camera in the area in an effort to slow down traffic. According to ARDOT, it has so far resulted in 227 warnings and 66 citations.


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