The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has opened bids for the construction of its new Jackson County Area Headquarters near Newport.

The project calls for constructing a 4,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility on 5.3 acres on Highway 384. Crabtree Contracting Company, of Newport, was awarded the contract at $510,000. The new Area Headquarters will feature offices for AHTD personnel, along with three 800-square-foot maintenance bays for vehicles and large equipment. High-efficiency lighting and insulation will be used throughout the facility, while energy-efficient LED lights will also be installed along the perimeter of the property. Work could begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2013.