HomeArkansas newsARDOT launches new digital platform for public inquiries

ARDOT launches new digital platform for public inquiries

Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) recently unveiled a fresh and innovative tool to enhance public communication. The department introduced “Ask ARDOT,” an initiative aimed at ensuring the public has a more straightforward, direct line of communication to the department, facilitating questions on everything from “road closures to road construction.”

“Ask ARDOT” primarily serves as a bridge, granting users “quicker access to public information when it comes to the Arkansas Department of Transportation.” The user-friendly nature of this digital tool stands out. It’s accessible via the ARDOT website from multiple devices – be it a mobile phone or a computer. The process is simple: users can submit inquiries and simultaneously keep tabs on any prior inquiries they’ve made. Each submission is equipped with a unique feature; “When you submit a request, you will receive a tracking number so you can track the status of your inquiry.”

But why the emphasis on tracking and recording inquiries? Dave Parker, an official with ARDOT, believes that this feature can significantly aid the department in discerning and addressing the primary concerns of Arkansas drivers. He said, “Let’s say we get 1,700 calls about any issue in a particular part of the state in Northwest Arkansas. It has a common theme like bridge maintenance or whatever. It’s going to allow us to make some decisions going forward. Maybe we put more money into that particular concern in the next fiscal year. So it creates reports for us to allow us to make decisions.”

Beyond assisting the department in data collection and decision-making, Parker emphasized the tool’s role in enhancing ARDOT’s accountability. The commitment to transparency is evident as “Ask-ARDOT will help the department be more accountable when it comes to questions from the public.” Users won’t be kept waiting either. Parker assured that inquiries would typically receive responses “within about three business days.”

In elaborating on the range of queries the public can make, Parker shared, “It’s a way for the public, another way for the public to get in touch with us, to ask anything at all they want from, why does this road project go through my neighborhood? There’s this pothole. How much does it cost to build a bridge? What goes into this? To request documents, to request photos, anything they want, it establishes a tracking number, a reference number that they can have. See the progress of it.”

The proactive step to establish “Ask ARDOT” began at “8:00 Monday morning,” marking a significant stride in public communication and responsiveness for the department.

Olivia Martinez

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