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Arkansas Highway Commissioner Bobby Hopper dies at 89

The Arkansas Department of Transportation says Bobby Hopper was the longest serving Highway Commissioner, with a total of 16 years.

ARKANSAS, USA — The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) announced that  Arkansas Highway Commissioner, Bobby Hopper, has died at the age of 89.

"The Arkansas Department of Transportation and Arkansas Highway Commission are deeply saddened by the news that the longest serving Highway Commissioner, Bobby Hopper, has passed away," ARDOT wrote in a statement.

ARDOT says Hopper served a total of 16 years on the Highway Commision, making him the longest serving Highway Commissioner. Hopper served twice as Chairman from 1987 through 1988 and again in 1997 through 1998.

“Bobby Hopper built a legacy of public service, hard work and perseverance in working towards a vision,” said ArDOT director Lorie Tudor. 

ARDOT says Hopper’s determination was most evident in the work put forth to make Interstate 49 between Alma and Bella Vista a reality, which includes the Bobby Hopper Tunnel that opened in 1999.

Hopper once said he was there “from the start to the finish" of the I-49 project and was proud of how it changed Arkansas’ landscape.

“While we have lost a great friend, a wonderful person, and a dedicated servant of the people, he and his legacy will never be forgotten,” Tudor said.

Former President Bill Clinton also released the following statement regarding Hopper's death: 

“Bobby was a remarkable person -- a good man, a great friend, a model citizen, and one of the finest and most effective Highway Commissioners ever. I loved him, and my thoughts and prayers are with Lois, Regina, Robert, and all who will miss him. We need more people like him in public life.”


RELATED: Bobby Hopper Reflects On Vision For Interstate & Namesake Tunnel

RELATED: 300 acres of Ozark National Forest to be preserved in Northwest Arkansas

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