GRAVETTE -- Dennis Kurczek, president of the Gravette Kiwanis Club, has announced that Lorie Tudor, director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, will be the guest speaker for the Friday, Oct. 1, meeting of the club. The meeting will be held at the Gravette Civic Center, beginning at 7 a.m.
The director of the Department of Transportation is appointed by the State Highway Commission and serves as ARDOT's chief executive officer. Tudor, a 36-year veteran with ARDOT, became the department's director on March 20, 2020, upon the retirement of Scott Bennett. She is the department's first female director and the fifth person to serve in that capacity in the last 47 years.
Tudor began her career with what was then the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in 1981 as a clerk typist. She resigned in 1995 to return to school and obtained a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Memphis.
She returned to the department in 1998 as a civil engineer in the planning branch and has held various titles in planning, research and program management. She became assistant chief engineer for planning in 2011 and in December 2014 was named deputy director and chief operating officer. She is a registered professional engineer and was inducted into the University of Arkansas' Academy of Civil Engineering in 2018.
Garver engineering firm, in coordination with ARDOT, is now conducting an online virtual public meeting to present and solicit feedback on the Western North-South Connector Study, which will consider a new highway connection from Highway 612 (Springdale Northern Bypass) to Highway 549 (Bella Vista Bypass) in Northwest Arkansas.
The issue is of particular interest to area residents since some proposed routes would pass directly through the Hiwasse community.
The virtual meeting website, WNSConnector.TransportationPlanroom.com, is available for input during the virtual public meeting and comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20.
Kiwanis members invite all interested persons to come and hear director Tudor and ask any questions they might have about this project or other Arkansas transportation issues.
Tudor can also be reached by telephone at 501-569-2211.