A proposed $500 million freeway in northern Pulaski County could be funded through tolls under a plan being studied by the Arkansas Highway Commission.

The state is teaming with the Metroplan transportation planning agency to fund a $500,000 study on how to build the North Belt Freeway. The road has been on the state’s to-do list since 1947.

The Commission last week selected Atkins North America of Austin for the study.

A study in 2001 found that the freeway was the only one of eight major transportation corridors and 17 proposed projects in Arkansas that could generate enough revenue to be financed with bonds supported by tolls.

Scott Bennett, director of Arkansas Highway and Transportation Project, said the earlier study was too outdated to be useful.

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