The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said it hopes to obtain almost $400 million for projects from the proposed federal infrastructure stimulus program.

Director Dan Flowers said his agency will fast-track construction plans and change orders to meet possible deadlines for spending the infrastructure funds.

“We hear talk of, 'You use it or lose it,’ ” Flowers told members of the Arkansas Highway Commission at its regular commission meeting week.

Based on the state’s usual 1.25% share of federal highway funds, Arkansas should receive approximately $378 million from a $30 billion transportation package, he said.

The department has identified 130 projects valued at more than $1 billion that could be ready for contract within 180 days, according to Flowers.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said states have identified more than 5,000 highway projects costing more than $64 billion that would qualify for funding under the federal proposal.

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